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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.42 n.4 Pretoria Jan. 2008




'n Teologies-etiese beoordeling van kinderarbeid in Suid-Afrika


A theological-ethical judgement of child labour in South Africa



E.J. de Beer

Skool vir Kerkwetenskappe, Potchefstroomkampus. Noordwes-Universiteit. Potchefstroom. E-pos:




Kinderarbeid is wêreldwyd 'n probleem wat die afgelope drie dekades opnuut onder die soeklig gekom het. Alhoewel kinderarbeid in Suid-Afrika nie so 'n ernstige probleem is soos in sommige ander lande nie, vind hier ook onaanvaarbare vorms van kinderarbeid plaas. Die meeste kinderarbeiders word vanweë hulle sosio-ekonomiese omstandighede gedwing om ter wille van oorlewing te werk. Hulle word die geleentheid ontneem om goed opgevoed en opgelei te word sodat hulle as goedtoegeruste volwassenes werk kan verrig waarvoor hulle na behore vergoed sal word.
In hierdie artikel word kinderarbeid soos dit in Suid-Afrika voorkom, beoordeel. Die beoordeling vind plaas in die lig van 'n aantal teologies-etiese uitgangspunte oorkinders en arbeid. Hoewel die arbeidsopdrag universeel is (dus ook vir kinders geld), is dit logies dat kinders nie dieselfde arbeid as volwas-senes kan verrig nie. Kinders behoort eerder opgevoed en toegerus te word om hulle vermoëns sodanig te ontwikkel, dat hulle as volwasse werkers hulle vermoëns ten volle kan benut.


Throughout the world child labour is a problem which has been underespecially close scrutiny forthe past three decades. Although child labour is not such a serious problem in South Africa as is the case in some other countries, unacceptable forms of child labour also occur here. Socio-economic circumstances force most child labourers to work in order to survive. The result is that these children are deprived of a good education and training in order to occupy positions as adults in order to earn a living wage.
In this article child labour is judged as it occurs in South Africa. Child labour is judged in the light of theological-ethical utterances on children as well as on labour. Although the demand to labour is universal (and thus also applies to children), it is obvious that they cannot labour in the same way as adults. Children should rather be educated and equipped to develop their abilities in order to utilise it to the maximum as adult workers.



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