Somewhere in Lagos, I saw this young boy (of about 11 years) carrying a heavy back pack, probably filled with tools for manual-jobs; frailly walking towards his elder ‘brothers’ (early adults) apparently involved in a similar profession. The first thing that crossed my mind was the fact that the boy may have been too tired or hungry for such a job. The next thing that crossed my mind was the fact that he was supposed to be in ‘school’.
If it was a case of being too hungry or tired, or even just too frail, for the job, I think that should be naturally considered as an abuse.
But, if he was in a family business, very motivated and without being abused in any (physical/mentally/emotional) way, should that also be counted as child labour/abuse? Is this type of training not some form of school, whereby he gets to learn, and eventually become an expert, through daily practice in whatever manual job he was to participate in?
What if I accused his elder ‘brothers’ for abusing such a young child through ‘manual labour’, and for depriving him from ‘school’. Would I be right or wrong? What would make me right? What would make me wrong?
Think along with me.