How Much Math Do I Need For An Econ Phd Should Children Be Allowed to Earn Money?

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Should Children Be Allowed to Earn Money?

At the mention of the words ‘child labour’, many people might imagine a chilling scene straight out of a Charles Dickens novel; with malnourished children enslaved on an assembly line, producing goods for cruel, predatory adults. The concept of children working for money has been somewhat associated with the denial of children’s rights and forced labour.

Unfortunately, in Jamaica, poverty and ignorance have led too many parents to restrict their children’s education at an early age, sending them to the fields, markets and streets to bring income to the family home. We’ve all seen little kids in uniform hawking their wares, explaining that they had to collect enough money to go to school the next day.

The question of children working for an income arose a few months ago around a television commercial featuring young people, obviously not yet teenagers, singing for a mobile phone company. A complaint was made that the advertiser was unethical in using children to promote their product. Finally, a notice was issued by the Ministry of Labor and Welfare reminding that children of a certain age should not be hired.

The whole thing left me bewildered and upset. Why shouldn’t talented kids be paid for the value they create in the marketplace, just like their adult counterparts?

Child labor and the law

To learn more about restrictions on child employment, I looked at the Child Care and Protection Act 2004. Section 33 states that “no person shall employ a child under the age of thirteen years for the performance of any work” . Article 34 establishes restrictions on the employment of children aged 13 to 15, ensuring that they do not participate in hazardous activities or night or industrial work.

However, article 35 indicates that, without prejudice to the provisions of articles 33 and 34, the minister responsible for work can “issue a permit to a minor to allow him to be hired for the purpose of participating in shows artistic”. Any offense against the provisions of this Act is punishable by a fine not exceeding $500,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

Section 38 also states that the restrictions do not apply to work performed by any child “under an order of detention in a juvenile correctional facility or a community service order; or as part of the instruction of such child in any school”, as long as it is not dangerous or interfere with the child’s education.

Children can contribute to economic growth

One of the problems facing Jamaica today is that we have insufficient business activity to produce much needed jobs. As we look for ideas to turn our country’s economy around, we cannot ignore the role that children can play. If we don’t develop entrepreneurial vision and money-making skills in our youth, they will graduate from school expecting a job that won’t be available.

I believe it is vital that parents encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in their children. The knowledge of how to create value for others and receive a monetary reward in return is one of the best lessons to impart. Several large companies in the retail, manufacturing and hospitality industries continue to thrive today because the founders brought their children into the business at an early age.

Even if you don’t have a family business, you can teach your children how to make money. Working gives them experience providing a service or delivering a product, builds their savings accounts and teaches them important money management habits.

Money making ideas for kids

– Car wash: children can go in groups of two or three around their communities and offer to clean their neighbors’ cars.

– Pet Care: Kids with a love for animals can offer grooming and dog sitting services.

– Selling food: Kids who like to cook or cook can make money by making lunches or snacks and selling them on weekends.

– Babysitting: Busy parents always need help with their kids, so this can be a profitable job for kids with babysitting skills.

– Tutoring services: Kids who know school subjects like math or English, or who are computer geeks, can tutor others in these areas.

– House sitting: When the neighbors go on vacation, children can offer to water the plants, rake leaves or feed their pets in their absence.

– Gardening: mowing the lawn, planting flowers, weeding and trimming are light gardening activities that children can do for the neighbors.

– Backyard gardening: Encourage a green thumb by giving your kids a space to grow vegetables and herbs that can be sold in supermarkets and health food stores.

– Artistic creations: Kids can design jewelry, make greeting cards, design promotional materials, create websites, produce artwork, paint faces at birthday parties, and more.

It’s important to monitor your children’s business activities to make sure they stay safe and that their income doesn’t interfere with their schoolwork.

Copyright © 2010 Cherryl Hanson Simpson

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