Have you ever wondered about who made your clothes? The clothes you are wearing right now may be the result of the hard work of child laborers. From the harvesting of the cotton to every thread in your clothes may have been put together by children. There are an estimated 152 million children in the world toiling in factories putting together clothes, working in the tobacco fields and cotton farms, and digging in mines for as long as 16 hours every day. Almost half of these 152 million children are aged between 5 and 11 years of age. Imagine these children, younger than us, mistreated at their workplaces and sometimes working under dangerous conditions, to earn less than minimum wage. I strongly believe that there should be more done to end child labor.Child labor has a negative effect on the children’s physical health. Children get injured from working with dangerous machinery in factories and farms. There have been machete accidents on plantations. Some jobs like mining, ceramics, and fireworks manufacturing involve working with dangerous chemicals that could affect people’s’ health. According to the Human Rights Watch, or HRW, children in the US that are working on farms aren’t protected from using dangerous tools and machinery. HRW interviewed children who were injured using sharp tools and heavy machinery, and they all said that they didn’t get any protective gear or safety training beforehand. In agricultural labor, pesticide poisoning is the biggest cause of death among child laborers. In the tobacco fields of the US, children are exposed to nicotine and toxic chemicals sprayed into the air to protect tobacco plants. There have been reports of children suffering from vomiting, nausea, headaches, and dizziness, the symptoms of nicotine poisoning. In Sri Lanka, more children die of pesticides than from diseases like diphtheria, malaria, polio, and tetanus combined. The number of deaths from pesticides worldwide is approximately 40,000. Child labor can also lead to long-term health problems, like respiratory disease, asbestosis, which is a lung disease from inhaling asbestos particles, and a variety of cancers. These children also suffer from exhaustion and malnutrition, because they are underdeveloped children doing heavy manual labor, working long hours in poor conditions, and not earning enough money to feed themselves to sufficiently. Child labor is the cause of children’s health issues, giving them life-long diseases, and even causing death.Child labor deprives children of their childhood. When children work, they lose their whole childhood. While young children should be able to run around outside and play, these children have to work. They would never know what it is like to be a normal child and be free, not have any worries. But at a young age, these children have to focus on making money and support their family or help with their family income. Here is a story of a 15-year-old girl named Bithi who works at a garment factory in Bangladesh. She sews together designer clothes that will later be sold in Canada, the US, and other countries. She helps make a minimum of 480 pairs of pants every day for only about one dollar in wage. She comes from a family of 6 children and was forced into work because of abject poverty and her sick father. She used to go to school but had to give it up because of work. She is one out of thousands of children who are in this situation. I believe that every child deserves an education and an opportunity to gain knowledge, not stuck working in factories and farms. Child laborers are denied education, resulting in poverty. As I mentioned, most child laborers are denied a proper education. This leads to poverty because if they don’t get an education, they can’t go to college and get stable jobs when they become adults. They would live in poverty their whole lives, only working very low-paying jobs, or even the same job their whole lives. Generations after them would also be going through the same cycle, as they aren’t given a chance to improve their lives. The government should help these people and provide help for these families. Children should be given a basic education so that the children can get better jobs when they grow up.More action should be taken to stop child labor. Luckily, child labor rates are dropping, but far too slowly. Between 2000 and 2012, child labor rates dropped by 82 million. But now, this trend is slowing down. But from 2012 to 2016, child labor rates dropped by only 16 million. At this rate, there is no hope for ending child labor. Children suffering from child labor need to be saved from this terrible and inhumane system, now.

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