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What are disadvantages of child labor?

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Quick Answer

The disadvantages of child labor include: susceptibility to abuse, low pay rates, hazardous working conditions and illegal work, such as drug trafficking, child prostitution and human trafficking. Additionally, the educational development of child laborers is often stunted by the limited access to school time and other educational opportunities. According to the ILO conference report of 1996, child labor is the single most important source of child abuse and exploitation.

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Full Answer

Child labor is the employment of minors in any labor industry, particularly when it is illegal or exploitative. The ILO defines hazardous child labor as work that by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children. A couple examples include slavery, the use of child soldiers, prostitution and drug trafficking. The effects of these forms of child labor are traumatic, and they include long-term health and psychological problems for the children involved.

The ILO conducted a research in 26 countries, where they discovered that one-quarter of all child laborers suffer injuries or illnesses on the job. In the United States, businesses that employ a large number of child workers tend to generate more occupational injuries than industry average. One of the plausible reasons is that child laborers often work in unskilled types of jobs, which are dangerous and high risk. Since many child laborers come from poor family backgrounds, poverty-related problems, such as general poor health, often aggravate the risks, leading to exponential injury rates among child workers.

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