Child labour refers to children being forced to work at an inappropriate age where they are expected to learn and enjoy the phase of their innocence. It means lost or deprived childhood that leads to exploitation and harassment of children in various forms like the mental, physical, social, sexual, and other aspects of their life.

Research has it that child labour is more rampant in rural than the urban area. This occurs majorly in Africa where the children are forced to work under the inhuman condition where their miseries know no end. Though we can say there are laws banning child labor in Africa, it seems ineffective as these children keep being exploited through cheap labour. This is because the authorities are unable to implement and enforce laws meant to protect minors.

A UNICEF report has identified poverty, lack of social security, the increasing gap between the rich and the poor (social inequality), lack of education, and ignorance, among others, as the major factors contributing to the menace of child labour in Africa. The poor children are exposed to dangerously polluted environments and weather, as well as starvation which manifests in physical form as symptoms of malnutrition and frailness,  exposing them to risks of contracting various diseases.

All these are because they have to work long hours to make a living for themselves and their family. They inhabit adult world, and shoulder adult responsibilities at a very tender age.

The society, parents, governments, voluntary organizations, and lawmakers, among others, have a huge collective obligation to put a stop to this practice. The government can do this through reforms, investments, enlightenment, education, income increase, poverty eradication, and other possible means. and citizens should be disciplined enough by pledging never to employ child labour and discourage others from doing so.


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