Child exploitation is something that’s practiced in order to force a child to work or serve against his/her own will. There are lots of forms out there but the most common ones are prostitution, forced labor, slavery, trafficking, and pornography.
But is there a form that does not involve a gross violation of a child’s rights but still comprises a glimpse of exploitation?
Child and teen beauty pageants are so popular in the US and Europe. Each year, there are certain festivities that show off children dressed in gowns and make up while walking down the catwalk. Several contests even qualify children aged 3 or 4.
Now the general notion is that it’s fun and provides a good training ground for the child’s personality development. But there are groups that seem to disagree. Though there’s actually no physical harm done to them, the pressure from parents to join the contest and win it is somewhat very stressful for a three year old, right?
Apart from that, the presence of hundreds of people watching plus the lights and sound can inflict a sort of fear and misunderstanding for child and feel as if he/she is pushed to join though he/she doesn’t like it anymore.
Anyhow, joining child beauty pageants these days is not against the law obviously. As a parent, it is still within your discretion to allow your child to have fun if you feel he/she isn’t being exploited.