All work and no play

6 Nurbayti Md Dali, 11, quit school in Year One to help her sick mother; the family lives in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. -- ASRI ABDUL GHANI/The Star

Is a child who helps at his parents’ pasar malam stall a labourer? Sunday Star talks to the experts ahead of the 10th Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. The conference, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur from Oct 24 to 28, will discuss how to ensure healthy and happy childhoods.

IN a perfect world, children play and laugh without a care in the world, exploring and learning with wide-eyed wonder. The reality for some families isn’t as rosy. Banning child labour is a Western ideal but in Malaysia and much of Asia, children working in the family business is a norm. To make ends meet, kids – some as young as six – have to work.

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Family & Community , child labour


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