An Investigation Of The Effects Of Child Labor On Adolescent Career Development In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Psychology

An Investigation Of The Effects Of Child Labor On Adolescent Career Development In Nigeria

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Child labour has long been regarded as harmful to the development of a child’s intellectual resources. Despite the fact that a large body of research confirms the notion that child labor has a detrimental impact on schooling and human resources, several observational findings support the notion that child labor has the ability to positively impact child human capital development ( Edmonds, 2007;Udry, 2006). About 250 million children aged 5 to 14 worked around the country. This percentage constitutes one-fifth of the overall number of girls and boys in this age range. About 129 million children are found to be engaged in “hazardous jobs,” which is likely to have a negative impact on the child’s wellbeing, welfare, and spiritual growth. In reality, nearly 10 million of these children are involved in some kind of forced labor, military struggle, trafficking, or other illegal activity. Some observers, though, claim that these numbers understate the true scope of child labor ( ILO, 2010). International organisations such as the ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF, and WHO consider child labor to be a major global problem. These organizations believe that child labor is detrimental to girls, families, and culture in a variety of ways. It is their view that it hinders children’s physical and mental health. It has an effect on the family’s reputation and the society’s perception of her potential leaders and labor force. It is because of this belief that child labor is regarded as an exception to the law, notwithstanding the fact that it has reached epidemic proportions. International and local bodies have condemned the scourge as a heinous crime. Law has been enacted to prevent child labor, and associations have sprung up to enforce the legislation. It is the stance of these initiatives that no one agency operating alone will fix the issue, and that given the vast resources involved, alliances are necessary, and that working together, a global initiative to abolish child labor is feasible and will make a significant contribution to global development (IBRD 1998).

As a result, the word “child labor” encompasses a broad variety of circumstances, each with its own set of ethical, fiscal, and legal responses. to attempt a description of child labor, the word “child” must first be described, since it is used to apply to various persons in different places. In the West, for example, age is used to decide who a child is; but, in certain cultures, cultural and social influences often play a role (Rodgers & Standing 1981). The development of a child to maturity occurs through socially and biologically determined life stages during which the child’s degree of vulnerability and desire for security steadily decreases; for example, in certain cultures, an apprentice who is just eight or nine years old is sometimes deemed a child, a decision dependent on social standing rather than age (Morile, 1981). In this context, many communities, especially poor rural ones, do not consider child labor to be harmful; rather, it is part of the socialization phase, which eventually introduces the child to work activities and teaches the child survival skills. Many African nations, like Nigeria, hold this viewpoint (Bekombo, 1981; Agiobu – Kemmer, 1992). The concept of work is equally problematic to apply to the range of activities which children do like domestic work, to work in the household enterprise or farm, trading or heavy physical work (Rodgers and Standing 1981). The definition should consider the arrangement whether it is exploitative or it takes the form of bonded labour, quasi-slavery of feudal relationship. Any work that a person engages at full-time at too early an age (say 5-14) and works too many hours or when the work puts excessive physical, social and psychological strains on the person and hampers the person’s development in these areas (social, physical and psychological) is considered child labor, (UNICEF 1986; ILO, 1992). For Ashagrie (1993) a child is considered or classified as a labourer if the child is economically active. That is the child is gainfully employed or does work on a regular basis for which he or she is enumerated or which results in output destined for the market. Child labor has pulled millions of Nigerian children out of the comforts of their homes and out of school and has not let them go. It then drags children through various forms of illness and illiteracy. Child labor has been battled from several sides, both globally and domestically, but it persists and has a negative impact on children’s health and education. The International Labour Organization’s Child Labor Elimination Programme (IPEC), founded in 1992, seeks to eliminate child labor. It has a presence in 88 nations, including Nigeria. In 2013, Nigeria made a modest progress in its attempts to eradicate child labor by providing funding to families to allow children to stay in school. Despite these regulatory interventions, child labor remains a significant cause of concern, and Nigerian children continue to partake in numerous forms of forced labor. In Nigeria, it is popular to see school-aged children begging for alms and hawking on the streets, motor parks, filling stations, traffic jams, and market stalls in Nigerian towns, while others participate in household services, agricultural farm work, and other menial jobs during school hours. According to Aliyu, the amount of children engaged in exploitative jobs in Nigeria is unknown due to the widespread dispersion of child laborers.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Child labor has a wide range of consequences for the children who live in unsafe and dangerous environments. Since they are employed as they should be studying and also working, child labor has a huge impact on the child’s schooling as a consequence of the hours that labor requires. Many children are expected to be in school at a young age, learning skills that will inspire and ready them for the future, but now they are living in deplorable circumstances. Due to this child labor, many children drop out of school, and many others are not fully devoted and dedicated to their schooling. In this case, a substantial number of the potential Nigerian generation is being left carelessly in terms of supplying them with a good schooling and school services, and this carelessness and neglect drives children into labor. A lack of a good education for the next generation has a detrimental effect on the nation and on the children themselves, since they would be a challenge and a problem to society. While working children are not the only ones affected by the educational crisis, since it is a widespread issue in the Nigerian educational system, they bear the brunt of the consequences. As a result, if the number of elite and trained citizens is fewer than the number of illiterates, civilization would be in disarray, and lawlessness would be exacerbated day and night.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

  1. To investigate the causes of child labor in Nigeria
  2.  To investigate how child labor affects career development in adolescents

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the causes of child labor in Nigeria
  2. How does child labor affect career development in adolescents

1.5 Significance Of The Study

Child labor is unavoidable in some societies due to insecurity and poor family socioeconomic circumstances, and it is only after these conditions change that the pattern will be reversed. This study will be of significance to the government as it brings to their knowledge the failure of providing basic needs to the citizens is one of the causes of child labor.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of child labor on adolescent career development in Nigeria. Lagos state will be sample respondent for this study

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

Finance, time constraint and lack of research materials were the major challeges the researcher encountered during the course of this study.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


Is a transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood

Child Labor:

Refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful

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