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Islamic Guidelines on Child Labor
Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that al-Aqra' bin Habis (May Allah be pleased with him) saw Allah's Apostle (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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.
Lack of Enforcement:
Lack of Awareness:
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.