1: Children have to work because of poverty.
Admittedly, most child laborers come from poor families. However, poverty is not the only reason children work, nor is it as central as many people think. Recent studies examining the role poverty plays in child labor have found that other factors, such as parents' low regard for the education of children, particularly girls, and failing education systems contribute equally to child labor. Too often poverty is used as an excuse for child labor. Yet, it is a myth that child labor will never be eliminated until poverty is eradicated. Conversely, poverty will never be eradicated until child laborers are redirected to schools. Child labor perpetuates poverty.
2: Poor families need children to contribute economically to their survival.
When the topic of the elimination of child labor is raised, people often immediately object saying, "How will poor families survive without the additional income of the children?". Household poverty is widely regarded to be the chief cause of child labor. However, this is not necessarily true. As myth #1 indicates, other factors may be at work as well. Initially, some families have difficulty coping without the wages of their children. However, removing children from work may not present as much of a problem as initially perceived. Redirecting child laborers to school is better for families in the long run than letting them continue to work.
While child labor may increase household-income and contribute to its survival in the short run, it tends to have the opposite effect for future generations.
3: Children are better suited for some work than adults; they provide irreplaceable skills (for example, nimble fingers and dexterity)
Historically, it has been believed that children are better suited for some kinds of work than adults. This is commonly used as an excuse for using child labor in the carpet weaving industry, e.g., children's "nimble fingers" make it possible for them to tie smaller and tighter knots. The "nimble fingers" argument is entirely wrong in several hazardous industries, including carpet-making, glass manufacturing, mining, and gem polishing. Even in hand-knotting of carpets, which calls for considerable dexterity, an empirical study of over 2,000 weavers found that children were no more likely than adults to make the finest knots. Some of the best carpets, with the greatest density of small knots, are woven by adults.
4: Child labor is needed for development or economic growth
There is no evidence to support the theory that children must work for a thriving industry until economic growth and technological advancements replace them. Historically, the elimination of child labor and its replacement with universal education has contributed to the economic growth of countries. Child labor reflects underinvestment in education and the future of a nation. Education is at the heart of development. Historically, the universal completion of free education of good quality has been identified as the key to economic growth. As long as 246 million children aged 5-17 are working how can they attend school? Child laborers are automatically denied their right to education. Child labor hinders the full development of human capital. A less skilled workforce results in low productivity and income for countries.
5: Child labor is a valuable part of children's early childhood education.
Millions of child laborers miss a critical time in their physical and mental development to work day and night. Primary and secondary education imparts not only the knowledge and skills children need to obtain adequate employment as adults, but also provides children with an opportunity to relate to people in social settings. Moreover, education empowers children by enabling them to gain knowledge of their basic rights and realize their potential.
Findings disprove the claim that children benefit later in life from working at a young age. Child laborers often end up draining national economies. With no to little education, they grow up to be less healthy and less productive than adult who did not work until they reached adulthood.
6: Children have the "right" to decent work.
Some groups advocate protecting the right of children to work and to bargain for better working conditions. However, the very concept of children working violates standards set by international conventions related to children. A child's rights are non-negotiable. All children are equally entitled to their rights without discrimination, regardless of their economic, social or biological background. Their need to work because of economic necessity, or other reasons, does not create a new children's "right" to work replacing their rights to education, play, and protection from economic exploitation. Forcing children to work for their own survival is society's refutation of their fundamental rights.
7: Children are "cheaper"; they cost less to hire
The "economic" argument that it costs much less to employ children than adults collapses under close scrutiny. Children are usually paid less than adults. Yet, the International Labor Organization has found that the labor-cost savings from the use of child labor is very small: less than 5 percent compared to the final foreign retail price of bangles.