THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS OF PARENTS AND THE TENDENCY FOR CHILD LABOUR IN THE UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Background of the Study
Child labor is one of the greatest social ills facing Nigerian children today and Africainfeneral. In recent times, there exist copious writings and research in the area of study. (Okeinaim 1984); Omokhodion, Omokhodion and Oduste 2005; Togunde and Richardson 2006; Togunde and Carter 2008; Olawale 2009). The general findings of these researchers revolve around the fact that child labor is prevalent in Nigeria and that drastic measure is required to curb this ugly trend.
Child labor exposes children. These include malnourishment which makes them susceptible to diseases, musculoskeletal disorders from heavy labor, physical and sexual abuse, and educational problem due to absence from lateness to school.
Many factors have been studied and found to be responsible for child labour practices, for example, Togunde and Carter (2008) attributed the phenomenon to several factors like globalization, population, growth, socialization and violence between the family structures.
Other studies of interest on child labor in Africa include that of Osiruemu who considered the nature and implication of poverty of parents on child labor in Nigeria, the outcome of the study revealed a significant positive relationship between the poverty of parents and child labor.
The analysis of data on the occupation of a parent in the social study shows their concentration on low-paying jobs. The study of Togunde and Carter (2008) earlier reviewed was in support of the fact that parent engaged their children in child labor to agreement family income.
They also found that the parent of child laborer tend to have low education, occupation and income attainments. Corroborating these findings was another study earlier conducted by Togunde and Richardson (2006) on household size and position as correlates of child labour in the rural community in Nigeria.
Household size and position of members were examined as implicating factors in child labour. The study concludes that most working children come from households with low parental socioeconomic status. Other demographic variables like parent educational achievement and number of children were found to influence child practices.
In a study of parental socio-economic status as correlated to child abuse and neglect in Ibadan, Nigeria. Olawale (2009) reported a significant different in the abuse and neglect of students from lower-socio-economic background than those from higher socio-economic background. He also reported a significant different in child abuse and neglect among parents of low educational status.
Child labor in Africa may indeed not be an index of poverty and under development. In the eye of an African traditional person, what in the West is called child labor is to him an opportunity to introduce the child into occupational training in early life. This may have compounded the issue of child labor and restrict researches from attributing its escalation strictly to exploitation as the reason that motivates parents to subdue their children to child labor.
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