Septiembre 28, 2022
Image from Suvajit Roy on Pixabay
Child labor is a serious issue in Mexico and worldwide, affecting millions of children and their families. Children are often pushed into child labor due to poverty, lack of education, and other challenges their families face.
Understanding why child labor exists is the first step in reversing this trend if we don’t understand why this phenomenon happens.
Recently, since the COVID-19 pandemic, but even before this event, several media outlets reported on child labor prevalence throughout Mexico due to armed conflict in some regions of the country through the years.
This exploitation of children has spurred average citizens to recognize this as a serious problem and take action to help prevent it from continuing. Fortunately, there are ways you can help prevent child labor in Mexico and other developing countries. Read on for our main ideas on eliminating child labor:
Educate boys and girls
Education is the best way to prevent child labor and can significantly impact families' livelihoods.
When children attend school, they gain access to the skills and information they need to earn a living wage and support themselves. They are more likely to find better opportunities in the long run and stay off the streets.
Additionally, educated girls are more likely to live a better life and have healthier children, reducing the number of mouths a family has to feed. When girls are educated, they are more likely to delay marriage and childbirth, helping them avoid debilitating health conditions caused by early pregnancy and focus on their professional paths.
Educating children is one of the best investments a community can make.
Ensure children are in school
Child labor is a way of financially supporting their families and reducing household expenses. Unfortunately, it usually takes the form of child labor which is exploitative and dangerous.
Children taken out of school and put to work are more likely to suffer from poor health and frequent injury. They are also much less likely to be able to complete their education, putting them at a disadvantage for their entire lives.
If possible, communities should work to ensure that children are in school, meaning stepping in and helping families pay for their children’s education if they can’t afford it. It can also mean finding ways to reduce the weight or kind of work children do to give them time to study and prepare for an actual and viable future.
Help create jobs for adults
Children often end up working on farms or in other types of agriculture due to a lack of other employment options in rural areas.
Adults with better employment access are less likely to push their children into dangerous work. Unfortunately, this challenge will take time and effort to address.
In the short term, communities can encourage adults to build professional and soft skills that will help them find jobs not only focused on agriculture but other types of services.
Help provide basic necessities to families
Giving families access to necessities like clean water and food can help prevent child labor by improving their living conditions.
Low-income families who lack these necessities are often forced to send their children out to work through agricultural labor or poorly paid jobs. If a community can provide these resources to families in need, it can prevent children from having to work for survival.
You can provide families with tools and skills to earn a living. Often, communities and NGOs may need to provide families with a basic income to afford all the necessities they need.
Provide better access to healthcare
Poor health conditions are another major contributor to child labor. In some communities, children are sent to work because their families cannot provide adequate healthcare.
If a child’s work provides money for the family, it likely benefits from reduced household expenses and the ability to provide better care for the rest of the family. However, if a child is sent out to work with poor health, it often leads to an early death for their weak state.
Preventing child labor can also mean ensuring families have better access to healthcare that can improve their overall health and reduce the need for expensive hospital visits.
At Fundación Esperanza Contigo A.C., we ensure that abandoned children in Tijuana, Baja California, can live a sane childhood with proper education and healthcare facilities until they have the minimum age to legally and independently work in Mexico.
Get involved or donate today to help stop this vicious cycle once and for all.
Gracias al apoyo de nuestros donantes, así como al esfuerzo de nuestra red de voluntarios, aliados y equipo de trabajo, hemos logrado impactar positivamente la vida de niños y jóvenes en situación de abandono en toda la ciudad.Involúcrate