An Exploration of Sweatshops and Child Labor

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“One in six children 5 to 14 years old, about 16 percent of all children in this age group is involved in child labor in developing countries. Worldwide, 126 million children work in hazardous conditions, often enduring beatings, humiliation and sexual violence by their employers” (UNICEF). It is near impossible to not think how lucky some children have it these days. Check out the news and see the technology, kids have cell phones, gaming devices and even their own miniature cars to drive around the house. Children from developed nations such as the U.S. or Great Britain have laws that protect them from being thrown into a sweatshop at the age of 5 years old.

Even in countries that do have these laws, most third-world countries do not have a stable government to protect them. Recently child labor crackdowns and cases came out of India, China and Bangladesh. Children in these poverty stricken countries are either sold into slavery or they have to work to earn money for their family. Each day they face the harsh conditions and possible punishment from their employers. But the horrific possibilities do not end there; the risk of being sexually harassed and sexually abused lingers around every corner for these young innocent children. It is hard for people in countries to see the terrible events that go on because we are simply not there to witness it. The saddest part about all of this is that the children in these sweatshops lose their hope and dreams for common folks to have whatever they want, whenever they want. Check the tag in your shirt, the play toy your child gets at McDonalds, even that iPad that you bought for 600 dollars. They were not made in America, but by the young hands of children in poor nations, while a tear ...

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...s using child labor or the child needing to work in the first place, it doesn’t change the fact that child labor is being used. Not only is child labor still being used, but also the conditions of the child labor being used are sweatshop conditions.

A common problem between places that use child labor is in the monitoring. Whether the facility is not being checked to begin with, the people who monitor neither recognize nor notice the use of child labor, or there is not enough enforcement in place, the problem with monitoring can be fixed with effort even with governments not as structured as first world countries. There may be more problems to address, but one step at a time is progress. Those clothes, toys, shoes, and iPad are products mass-produced daily. Both the people who produce the product and those who enjoy the finished product are all people in the end.

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