Child labor refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labor. In the past,the term child labor was applicable to the work of children in factories and mines, but now it is used for the employment of the children generally and especially in work that will affect their mental, physical and emotional development.
Child labor is not a recent phenomenon. It has existed over the centuries not only in the developing countries, but also in developed countries until the beginning of the 20th century. The negative aspects of child labor were first highlighted during industrialization in Great Britain when cheap child laborers in exploitative factory working conditions became apparent, and it is during this period when the term “child labor” was first introduced (Cunningham & Viazzo, 1996; Zelizer, 1985). NowChild labor is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries.
A number of problems are involved in the definition and measurement of child labor. Any child labor estimate depends on how the terms 'child' and 'labor' are defined. As a legal framework, ILO Convention No.138, adopted in 1973, which came into force in 1976 along with the accompanying recommendations No.146, set 15 years as the minimum age for work. Based on the ILO Conventions No. 138 and 182, child labor is defined as the following:
• At age 5-11: all children working in any economic activity
• At age 12-14: all children working in any economic activity excluding those in light work
• At age 15-17: all children in hazardous and other worst forms of work
The global number of child laborers aged 5-17 years are 218 million and the number of children in this worst form of child labor (WFCL) are 126 million in 2004. More than two-
thirds, approximately 69 % of all working children are involved in agriculture, compared to 22 per cent in services and 9 per cent in industry. Asia-Pacific region has the most child laborers and Sub-Saharan Africa comes second in the number of child laborers.
Many studies conducted on the issue of child labor are describing the relationship of child labor with poverty. Most of the Literature shows that household poverty is the most important phenomenon that leads children towards work. Household poverty is a powerful motive for child labor and generally comes at the expense of the child schooling. Children indulge into work for the survival of their families and themselves. Specially, boys are forced into work for the household survival. However, a study in the rural Pakistan rejects this poverty hypothesis for girls. The study shows that the girls generally indulge in work, because the schooling is not considered to be more productive as compared to the work. Schooling is also affected by the high cost of education and low quality of education.
Poverty in combination with credit constraints can lead towards the increasing phenomenon of child labor (Ranjan, 1999). The easy access to credit has a significant negative effect on the child labor. This association between child labor and easy access to credit is greater in poor countries (Beegle, Dehejia & Gatti, 2003).
Parent’s education has a big role in phenomenon of Child labor. The probability of Child labor decreases if the head of the family is educated. Father’s education has a significant negative effect on the Child labor. This effect is greater on the girls than that of boys.
Ray (1998) determined that if a child had a greater number of younger siblings, there areless chances of his/her schooling. Chakrabarty, Grote and Lüchters(2006) identified during a study in Nepal that the probability of Child labor increase in the presence of more siblings.
Carefully read the given literature review and develop a TheoreticalFramework, that must include the followings requirements,
1. Identify and label major variables (Dependent, Independent, Moderating and intervening) from the given Literature Review.
2. Elaborate the logical relationship among the dependent and independent variables, and if applicable, the moderating and intervening variables.
3. Prepare a schematic diagram.
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