Journals Proceedings

International Journal of Social Science and Human Behavior Study

Delayed Psychological Cognition and Social Incompetency of Children Exposed to Child Labor Hardship in Iran



Street children otherwise known as working children, whose early developmental needs are not met may develop severe and irrevocable psychological and cognitive harm, in addition to social incompetency. The irreducible needs of children dictates that the minimal requirements of a child’s healthy development must include nutritional food intake; shelter, safety, education, developmentally appropriate experiences, and cultural continuity. In recent years and due to current political and social climate, Iran has experienced an exponential increase in the number of “Street Children”, labeling them as “Children of Labor”. These children, who are the youngest victims of such calamities, consequently lack proper developmental milestones, which may lead to traumatic experiences and developmental delays. In addition to a life of child labor and living on the streets, these children experience trauma such as psychological, social calamity, and emotional distress. Street children live a life of fear of being harmed, incapacitated, arrested by the police and exposed to brutality, victimized by other homeless on the streets, being subjected to abuse, and contracting infectious diseases. They are concerned about loneliness, not having a normal family life, and being unloved. Furthermore, Children of Labor do not receive a formal education, which deprives them from learning and developing necessary skills for social competency and capabilities. Furthermore, these children are exposed to social ridicule and stigma of being a child labor, which adversely impacts their self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-confidence. A comparative study by Canagarajah and Nielsen in 2001, attempted to understand causality of these children’s predicament, and to influence governmental policy, in order to promote school enrollment of at-risk African children. The same study also concluded that living on the streets and working hard labor impacts street children’s health and social competency, consequently preventing them from becoming functioning members of the society. The Street Children of Iran are forgotten and ignored by the government and society at large. Meticulously, this study will show that being exposed to hardship and labor in critical periods of early developmental stages will have adverse long term and irreversible effects on a child’s physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development. This qualitative study is conducted on the premises of closely following 20 street children ages 5 to 15, who are currently working as “Child Labors” in Iran. Moreover, through qualitative research methods, the study will explore in details their day to day experiences revealing the harmful influences these children continuously face and battle in order to simply survive one day a time. The study aims to explore the cause, effect, and the existing correlational variables of street children’s demise and long-term impact of such influences.

No fo Author(s) : 2
Page(s) : 33 - 40
Electronic ISSN : 2374 - 1627
Volume 1 : Issue 4
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