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Literature Review

Intergenerational Persistence of Child Labor

Child labor is a global crisis that affects generations of children. The constant exploitation of children leads to a number of negative outcomes on the child’s psychical, emotional and psychological well-being. Our topic is child labor and its relationship with inter-generational factors. As we conducted this literature review what we wanted to discover is why parents are allowing their children to work and what effect did minors working have on their lifestyle. The following articles used in this research have been found by accessing the Brooklyn College Library database. These articles emphasize on why parents incorporate their children to work, how income plays a role in child labor, and if it has decreased. Some articles also discuss the immediate effects of child labor on learning achievement, health and well-being of under-aged workers.

Causes and effects of child labor

(Omokhodion 2010) identifies the reason why parents incorporate their children to work in a division labor is because the child’s income would become an extra source for the family household, family businesses, and help combat poverty. These jobs consist of unskilled, skilled, and professional resulting in unskilled jobs having more individuals compared to professional or even skilled jobs. The researchers conducted a cross sectional study which was carried out in Ibadan, southwest Nigeria (low income urban community) that consisted of 473 participants. A study was given to parents of children. The survey revealed that women preferred their child to work instead of the father. Some parents don’t even know what child labor laws are. My argument raised by this article is why are parents allowing their child to participate in these types of division of labor? , when it’s depriving the child by limiting what he or she can and cannot do. It’s molding their minds because they’re set into these mindsets of just knowing unskilled work, resulting in them working there long-term just as their parents because that is all they know. The last argument was if children were able to go school instead of work they will learn to be more knowledgeable and would learn about laws that are their rights.

(Heady 2003) This paper analyzed the effect of children’s work on learning achievement. It is related to our topic because it provides a direct effect of child labor on the quality of education a child receives. We wanted to review this paper to discover one of the many effects child labor has on education. The researcher were interested in studying the effects on learning achievement through a different method. The researcher explained that he wanted to go beyond the analysis of the effects of school enrollment or attendance. And instead use measures of skills learned in reading and mathematics. The researcher conducted his research by administering educational tests. These included a test of innate ability, a reading test, a mathematics test and an advanced mathematics and reading test. The test were given to a population of 1,848 children ages 9 to 18.  The results show that work outside of the household has a substantial effect on learning achievement. And that a direct link could exist because of exhaustion or because of diversion of interest away from academic concerns. In relation to our purposed research question this provides a new way to look at the existing research but also how we can alter our current view and emphasize on a new method.

Health issues and well-being of the child

(Anjum, Zafar, Maann, Ahmad 2015) The authors of this paper directly investigated the health issues and wellbeing of child laborers in the carpet industry in Pakistan. Although it is research down on a different country’s child labor force it is related to our topic because of the style of work these children did. Much like child labors in the U.S these children were working in physically harming positions. We are reviewing it because the health risks that were raised in this article equally effects U.S child laborers. The researchers were interested in identifying the factors contributing to child labor and effects of work-related health issues on the wellbeing of child carpet weavers. The researchers conducted a cross sectional survey. Interviewing a sample of 320 carpet child workers ages 8-17. The researchers found that majority of the respondents reported health issues including body aches, eye strain, cuts, wounds, exhaustion, breathing problems. These children are put in a harmful and dangerous situation like all child laborers. When a child is working long hours and strenuous work it takes a toll on their physical, cognitive, social and moral health.

(Fronstin, P 2001) The child’s work in Turkey is acknowledge by a series of questions and how they answer them, resulting in a possible job he/ she can do. The research conducted here is chain connected from the mother to the child. This shows how at least one child in a household would be working. Since opportunities for women to work its more likely a child can work as well. This article uncovers that child labor has decreased in Turkey because the ban of child labor and schooling being implemented. Students were also getting free resources to attend class by providing books. My argument towards this article is though child labor is banned some families still incorporate child labor into family businesses, when does a parent stop and think that there child is not an adult but a child? By this article we can assume that child labor would truly never have an ending because its up to the parents to empower their own children. Many parents are still embedded in this lifestyle of the past and don’t understand the future that lies ahead for their children. (Descriptive statics)

Economic influences

(Wahba J 2006) focuses on market income. He discusses how parents whom started with child labor jobs seek their children to do the same. The reason for this is income is below tolerable level. Another factor that plays into this is social norms, examples they used are: shamed, embarrassment and frowning upon from others. My argument towards this article is if you as a parent grew up as a Child laborer, it does not make it correct for your child to do the same. This goes to show that society perceives people to do certain things and if they don’t they are looked down at, but why should a child be included in this perception if they don’t understand. This leads the child to feel pressured to work more and put aside their childhood.

(Islam and Choe 2013) as a group we agreed that income was a factor that played into the role of children working or not. This article in particular gives us another insight on how programs aimed to credit families can also influence the choice for children to work. The researchers were interested in the impact of access to microcredit on children’s education and child labor. The researchers collected data by a survey given to a population in rural Bangladesh. The findings showed that household participation in a microcredit program may increase child labor and reduce school enrollment. This is relative to our own research because it shows us that even in programs aimed to fight the cause can also have an arrange of issues as well.

Parental influence 

(Emerson 2003) Emphasizes more on the head of the household deciding whether their child should be working or not. They did a study in Brazil and the findings were that parents who ended up working as children earn lower when they are adults. This leads to parents enforcing their child to also be child laborers. Also, this influences child laborers because it takes away from there schooling. This is what causes more effects to the family as a whole. My argument towards this article is parents believe they are helping their family but they are actually harming one another. Since child laborer is all they know. They don’t know how schooling can help the family because they cant afford to, and they don’t want to try it because they don’t know the results may be, since all they know is the results to child labor.

Therefore, from the following articles we understand that parents seek their children to work child labor job because of source of income, social norms, and past traditions. A way these articles answered the question of how they can end child labor is by implementing services to these families, the problem is that with so many families it isn’t guaranteed that  everyone would receive the help they need. These articles don’t answer how parents feel about putting their child to work or what are the outcomes of children as they mature into adulthood.

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