autumnsoliloquy90: (straight through the heart)
[personal profile] autumnsoliloquy90
IELTS Writing Task

In many countries children are engaged in some kind of paid work. Some people regard this as completely wrong, while others consider it as valuable work experience, important for learning and taking responsibility.

What are your opinions in this issue?

You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.

Many people tend to have qualms and reservations whenever the topic of children being paid for their work is addressed. Perhaps it is the almost automatic association with child exploitation through forced labour, which brings to mind pictures of child miners in Pakistan, or underaged gold diggers in the Democratic Republic of Congo -- this almost knee-jerk reaction to the topic of children doing anything else at all besides playing immediately rings alarm bells in our collective moral consciousness. But non-withstanding the context of the developing countries, there are many proponents to having children work, not only for monetary gains, but more importantly for their own self-development.

In poorer countries with minimal socioeconomic development and fewer opportunities for upward social mobility, children are often seen by parents are extra hands in the field, i.e. an additional potential contributor to the family's income. This, of course, not only deprives the children of their basic universal human right to education, but also exposes them to various occupational health hazards due to the intrinsically dangerous nature of their work. For example, child miners in Pakistan are more likely to develop pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancers compared to their children who are not labourers. Children who are forced into labour not only miss out on the present by being robbed of the opportunity to enjoy their childhood; they are also robbed of their futures in terms of quality of life and life expectancies.

That said, it would be a shame to condemn all paid work as detrimental to children's development. Perhaps it is the monetary transaction in exchange for the child's time and efforts that make adults uncomfortable, but to not reward a child for his or her efforts would exactly be a moral crime -- akin to economic exploitation. Moreover, early experience in the workforce not only prepares them for their future career choices, it would also contribute to their growing-up process through taking up responsibilities appropriate for their skill and maturity levels, through being able to learn from their mistakes in a conducive, non-punitive environment, as well as through socialising with people older than their peer groups.

Therefore, I believe that paid child work that does not interfere negatively with his or her health, future prospects and self-development, should be advocated in order to produce responsible, capable and mature young adults who are fully equipped to tackle the world's challenges.


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