Child labor has become one of the major problems of Saudi Arabia. The statistics of child labor in Saudi Arabia have detected an alarming limit of child laborers who dropped their education and started working since early years of their childhood.
The reports have shown that among these workers 37% children dropped school at primary level whereas 7% left education after reaching high school level. 48% of child labor did not attend school even for once in their lives.
The alarming circumstances state that among child labors, 90% workers are Saudi nationals. The major reason behind early age labor of these children is illiteracy of their parents.
Around 70% of a child working as labors have uneducated parents who don’t understand the importance of education and force their children to start earning from early years of their life.
The factors which have led to increases in child labor trends vary in different scenarios. At large social trends, financial crisis and lack of education are basic factors which have led to child labor in Kingdom.
Parents expect their children to eliminate their poverty, lacking tolerance to wait for their educational career; parents direct them to work as laborers, sales boys, mechanics and other labors in childhood.
Interviews conducted from several children working in labor market indicated that majority of children who are working ranges between 8 to 15 years of age and the statistics have shown that majority of the children have large families to take care of.
The researchers have indicated that 77% of families of these child labors are not dependent on their income; still, they work at the cost of their educational careers.
22% child laborers are head of their families and they earn to meet both ends of their siblings and parents. Some children work for continuing educational careers of their siblings and sacrifice their own education for this purpose.
The child laborers are obviously members of poor families, 79% of whom live in rented accommodation whereas 21% share their houses with other poor families to save rent costs.
The child laborers are not associated with construction projects which require intense hard work and offer poor working circumstances. 54% children work as vegetable sellers and salesmen, 38% as delivery boys and rest of 8% as street vendors to sell products home to home.
The average working hours of these laborers range from 8 to 12 hours a day which make 48 to 72 hours a week excluding one holiday. Normally these workers have not even a single day off in a week or even a month.
The maximum salary a Child worker can earn a day is SR 50 whereas rest of the children earn less salary. Saudi Arabia has two main stigmas to overcome i.e. poverty and illiteracy.
These two problems are interconnected, if one is resolved, it will start eradicating the other issue itself, as the basic reason of child labor is illiteracy even more than poverty.
Source: Arab News