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Said Farah-Ceh

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Working children: should we prohibit, permit or promote it.

For many years various international institutions (such as Unesco or the goverment) have fought against child labor, saying it is a way to exploit them. But since 1976 in Peru there is an organization of children and adolescents who are clamoring for their right to work, ensuring that through work they can get different skills, knowledge and social abilities.

* What is your personal position on this issue that concerns us all, in one way or another?
* If you were the minister of labor in your country, what position would you have to child labor.


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  • Jul 13 2012: Great question.

    My mom was of the opinion that kids should have a childhood and that having fun was more important than anything else. It is a philosophy I am following with my children.

    That being said, I also believe children need someway to build a feeling of self-importance. There are numerous ways to do that. It could be from being good at a sport and practicing hard at it. It could come from working hard to have great grades at school. It could come from any number of places.

    I wasn't all that good at sports, I was terrible at school, I was pretty good at video games but that was a solitary affair 20 years ago. Looking back I realize now that my self-confidence, which had been abysmal most of my life, improved significantly after I started working at the age of 17.

    It wasn't until I got my first job that I felt a sense of independance. That feeling of finally controlling my own destiny changed me in profound ways. I can't help but wonder, had I worked earlier (which my mom was very much against) would I have actually gotten more out of my childhood.

    So, I am in favor of allowing children to work but I do believe there should be laws in place to keep some limits (so many hours per day/per week). In the US the laws are there but are pretty easy to get around. Family businesses and farms certainly get leniancy. There are always places willing to pay kids under the table.

    When it comes to my own children, I intend on encouraging them exactly the way Jess's parents did. I'd be more than happy to see my kids work in an environment they have a passion for. Will I "let" them work in fast food at 16? Well...I guess we'll just have to see :)
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      Jul 14 2012: Certainly, you have a point.
      All caountries should have laws specifically regulating the work of children, and follow up carefuly.

      I also think is important what you mentioned about the several ways to build a self importance.
      Thank you for sharing Jack.

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