The concept of childrenbeing view as a social construction has entirely changed over time due tothe consequence of political, social and cultural battles betweengroups with distinct ideas about the best way to care forchildren. Consequently, this paper aims to dispute why there isa need to eliminate child work.
The concept of Childhood/Child labour In order to considerchildhood from a social constructionist view is to discoverthe significance which individual’s attribute to childhoodwithin a particular cultural context. Childhood is a global proven andthroughout past, which sometimes considers a child as innocent, helpless,a consumer, a worker with additional domestic employee,a hazard to society and it is a construction that shifts over time (Prout,2010). Historians of childhood have maintained over the meaning, suchas Arie?s and Baldick, (1996) affirmed that the notion of ‘childhood’ didnot occur before the seventeenth century; thus,children remained small adults with the similar abilities, privilegesand obligations. Hence childhood varies from society to society and its contextbased on diversity, the idea of the individuals and their culture(Mhic Mhathu?na and Taylor, 2012:40-42).
Childhood can be describedas the initial stage of all individual life together values and beliefs.Not all people in the world have the equal idea of childhood which showsthat childhood is neither global nor natural (Rea, 2008; Basu, 2003& Ali Norozi and Moen, 2016; Mhic Mhathu?na and Taylor, 2012:41). However,according to James & James (2012:122) ‘states that social construction is atheoretical view that investigates how reality collaborated in everyday lifethrough community’s communications and sets of discourses’. Also, Kehily (2013)affirms that social constructionist picture develops a discourse within whichchildren are not yet adult as they are in the process of developing rather thanthe person. The socially constructed of childhood is signifiesthat the perceptive of childhood is not a biologicalprocess. Instead, it is the society which agrees when achild is a child and when a child becomes anadult; for that reason, the concept of childhoodcannot be separated as it tangled with the societies factors (AliNorozi and Moen, 2016; Mhic Mhathu?na and Taylor, 2012).
However, despitethe comprehensive consideration of the above of what peoplemean by childhood and the position children take is notsteady but differs from times, States and Nations. There is significantvariation in what individuals in diverse cultures think about the statusof young children in society, involving what children should andshouldn’t be doing at particular times as well as how children must besocialised at a particular stage at which they should beviewed as adults. As a result, sociologists articulate that childhoodis in a social context (Mhic Mhathu?na and Taylor, 2012:39). Observingfrom the social constructionist viewpoint, the concept of the developing child associated with psychologyand the work of Piaget, in particular, represent childhood interms of deficiency (James and Prout, 1997). Childhood in other hand is shapedby the political, economic and cultural circumstances of society which impactscontinuously on children developmental ways. This signifies that childhoodpossesses a certain degree which is established and termed by the people(Ali Norozi and Moen, 2016).
A child is deemed as every human being youngthan 18years unless the majority in the law whichapplies to the child is differed (Wild, 2013:25; Noguchi,2002; Balton, 1990). Looking at the meaning of child indicates that every child requiresto have freedom, choice, and the privilege to be knowledgeableand as such, no child should be driven to work as they demandspecific attention to grow into adulthood. Article 3 of theUNCRC stressed the paramount welfares of children should be the key principalmatter in making choices that may influence them. Also, United NationConvention Rights of the Child 1989(UNCRC) lay down possiblestandards which enforced Nations to give children anatmosphere that will educate young children and enjoy their freedoms(Noguchi, 2002; Balton, 1990; Lawrence-Karski, 1996). Therefore, adultsshould ensure that children have acquired what the best suittheir development. Under the law, a child worksignified as labour to children which is unfair and illegal tochildren under the age of 18 which is believed to beharmful to their physical, emotional, social, spiritual and cognitive development (Woodhead,2004; O’Donnell, Rosati and van Doorslaer, 2005). Moreover, theChildren Act, (2001) terms harm as an illegal action which comprises of neglecting children to different kinds of abuse(Irish Statute Book).
However, Parton (2012) advocated that resolving of whatmust be considered child work are socially constructed, and are thereforereflective of the ethnicity and values at a particularperiod. Children who are involved in child work may learn how tobe productive and may become independent and maturecitizens. However, the children working in these types of activitiesdeprived them of attending school regularly and socialise with theirpeers (Wild&Street, 2013; Rea, 2008; Fassa, Parker and Scanlon, 2010).Child work is a reality of life for children in many countries, and itis an issue that involves us all. The issue affects everyone to participatein the ban of child labour.
Child labour is not a new issuebecause it has been existent in every part of the world since ancient periods.In a recent history, it appeared as a concern during the industrial revoltwhen they remained to work in unsafe environment for up to12 hours a day. In 1860, fifty percent of children in Ireland betweenthe age of five and fifteen years were labouring.In 1919, the world embarked on to report the concern of childwork and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) implementedstandards to eliminate it. During the 20th Century, some legallybinding agreements and international conventions were made, but despite these,child work continues to till this day (Rea, 2008:5). But the fact that thereare many third world countries experiencing economic hardship which puts children ina state of working in an unsafe and unsuitable environmentthat influence their adolescence, there is a need to eliminatebecause every child deserves a better education. Child labouris a difficult problem that requires an inclusive solution.
The most significantresult is to provide children with their right to be educated and feel secure.Though there are individual charity organizations over there tryingto decrease the rate of young children employed yet thereare still children working in an environment which is not safe