Do children have a right to work and have money?

Children should be getting educated, not working. Does that mean they do not have a right to work?” – Adam

The topic of our November inequality debate was “Do children have a right to work and have money?” There are many children who work and earn money by themselves in order to live. At the same time, there have been a lot of issues about child labour in the world, especially in developing countries. The question led to an interesting debate about the use and value of money and priorities for children.

Some people clearly stated that children have a right to work and have money in terms of the benefits for the children and their family:

“If children work and have money, they help their parents at home buying other requirements” – Isabirye, Uganda

“It is good for a child to learn responsibility and how to save money from a young age by doings some part time work I think” – Jenny, UK

Yes, because they can use that money to earn and start up some projects at home like poultry” – Sadat, Uganda

They should have access to basic amenities to protect their well being and avoid neglect. I think they should have access to a small amount of money to build understanding of budgeting and choices” – Pam, Nottingham

Moreover, some mentioned that they agree with the idea as long as working was under certain conditions:

“Children should be able to go to school without having to be employed. Weekend/holiday jobs might work for some & these should be properly paid and safeguarded!” – Veronika, UK

The majority of people were saying that children should not ignore their education and they need to think about school as the top priority.

On the other hand, people totally disagreed the idea of children working because it causes other issues including crimes.

It’s not good because some children start buying drugs and alcohol.” – Fataha, Uganda

“No because if children work it can make a child to become a thief because he will have love for money which not good” – Isabirye, Uganda

Some also claimed that children do not necessarily have a right to work because they should be in school:

“Not necessarily. You have to be over a certain age to buy certain products for a reason. Plus, children should be in school until 16 so they do not need to work!” – Tom, Nottingham

“Allowing children to work full time jobs under the age of consent could be maliciously exploited and be detrimental to their education, health and future prospects.” – Toby, London

People think that working and having money sometimes teaches children inappropriate uses of money.

In the debate, some people pointed out that working is not just the decision of children:

“Sometimes it’s parents that encourage us to work hard so this begins with parents and of they are our superiors telling us then working and earning money is good for a child because I will be following what my parent is telling” – Zubairi, Uganda

There were many interesting comments in November’s inequality debate. If you are interested in what other people think about this question, please take a look at the discussion here.

The monthly Inequality Questions make people rethink about inequality all over the world, both in developing and developed countries. Furthermore, the monthly questions are picked by children living on the streets of Uganda, and aim to expand the children’s horizons. They always look forward to hearing the opinions from many people around the world, so please take part in our monthly inequality debate!

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