June 22, 2024

In the Name of Allah—the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Islamic Guidelines on Child Labor



Islamic Guidelines on Child Labor

Child
labor refers to the employment of children in any type of work that deprives
them of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular
school, and is mentally, physically, socially, or morally harmful. Child labor
is a form of exploitation that violates a child’s rights and can have
long-lasting negative effects on their physical and mental health, education,
and future opportunities. In many cases, child labor is also associated with
poor working conditions, low wages, and long hours of work, which can further
exacerbate the negative effects on a child’s development. Child labor is
considered a serious violation of human rights and is prohibited by
international law.

In Islam, children
are considered a blessing and a trust from Allah, and it is the responsibility
of parents and guardians to ensure their proper care, protection, and
education. Islam promotes the importance of education and encourages parents to
provide their children with a good education to prepare them for a successful
future.

Regarding child labor, Islam prohibits any form of exploitation
of children and emphasizes the importance of protecting children from harm,
abuse, and neglect. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims
to treat their children with kindness and mercy, and to avoid burdening them
with tasks beyond their capacity.

Islamic teachings emphasize the importance of fair and just
treatment of all workers, including children. Employers are encouraged to
provide safe and healthy working conditions and to ensure that the rights of
workers, including children, are protected. In addition, Islamic law prohibits
any form of forced labor, including child labor.

Overall, Islam promotes the well-being and protection of
children and emphasizes the importance of providing them with a safe, nurturing
an environment that allows them to grow and develop into responsible, productive
members of society.

 

Abu
Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that al-Aqra’ bin Habis (May
Allah be pleased with him) saw Allah’s Apostle ()
kissing Hasan ibn Ali (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on them). He
said:

I have ten children, but I have never kissed any one of them,
whereupon Allah’s Messenger () said: He who does
not show mercy (towards his children), no mercy would be shown to him. (Sahih
Muslim:H#2318)

Islam strictly prohibits oppressing any human being including
children and workers.

Surah An-Nisa (4:10) states: “And
those who oppress the believers – men and women – and then do not repent, they
will have the punishment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the
Burning Fire.”

 Child labor laws vary from country to country,
but generally, they do allow children to help their parents or elders with
household chores or light work that is not harmful to their health, safety, or
development. However, children are not allowed to engage in work that is
hazardous or interferes with their education or social development. The
International Labour Organization (ILO) considers any work that deprives
children of their education, social development, and childhood as child labor
and therefore, should be prohibited. Therefore, children should be encouraged
to attend school and engage in age-appropriate activities that promote their
growth and development.

However, child labor violations are
rapidly increasing all over the world. In the past, only poor countries have
been blamed for severe child labor violations, but now it is rapidly increasing
in developed countries including the United States.

Child labor is illegal
in the United States, and there are strict laws and regulations in place to
prevent and address any instances of child labor violations. However, there are
several factors that contribute to the prevalence of child labor violations in
the US:

Lack of
Enforcement:

Despite the existence of laws and regulations, there may be a
lack of enforcement, which allows employers to engage in child labor without
facing consequences.

Economic Pressure:

Economic pressures, such as poverty and unemployment, can force
families to rely on child labor as a means of survival. In some cases, children
may be forced to work to support their families or to pay off debts.

Globalization:

Globalization has led to increased competition and pressure to
reduce costs, which can result in companies outsourcing work to countries with
less strict labor laws and lower labor costs, including child labor.

Informal Work:

Some child labor violations occur in the informal sector, where
labor laws may not apply, making it difficult to address and prevent child
labor.

Lack of Awareness:

Some employers may be unaware of child labor laws and may unintentionally
violate them.

 

Economic
Policy Institute
reports that in the last year at least 10 states
introduced or passed laws rolling back child labor protections in the past two
years.
Why American states are passing laws
rolling back child labor? It is, really,  an alarming situation.

It is
important to emphasize that child labor protections are critical for protecting
the rights and well-being of children, and any attempts to weaken these
protections should be carefully scrutinized and evaluated for their potential
impact on children’s health, safety, and education.

 

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