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Child Labor

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Child Labor

Child Labor, refers to the economically active population under the age of fifteen years old, who are employed in various industries (Grootaert, 2). Recently, child labor has become a large topic of debate; however, in most cases, it is very unfavorable. The perception that globalization is leading towards the exploitation of children, is becoming an important problem for international business. In my opinion, child labor should be eradicated. It is not only harmful to the health of children, but it takes away their chance for an education, and simply takes away their childhood.
The International Labor Organization estimates that 250 million children around the world, between the ages of five and fourteen, work. Out of the 250 million, 120 million of them work fulltime (ILO, 5). Child labor is common in industries such as agriculture, domestic services, carpet and textile, quarrying and brick making, and also prostitution. Some children work in factories and other workplaces in the “formal economy;” however, many work on farms or in homes. Child labor has many hazardous effects on the health of children. Some children work in areas such as stone quarries, tanning leather, and electroplating metals. All of these working conditions endanger the health of the child. Children in different occupations face different fatal diseases. Silicosis, which is caused from working in stone cutting, brick factories, granite and slate factories is one such disease. Tuberculosis, is also another disease endeared by children in pottery related industries. Another very big problem, because of poor living conditions, is malnutrition.
The lack of education for working children is also another very serious problem. Child laborers work for most of the day, and in some cases 16 hours a day. There is no question, that education is a major contributing factor to the overall development of the child. Yet, because of the long working hours, children are deprived of time for education. Some children are more or less slaves, controlled by their employer to work all the time. In other cases, the parents are even responsible for child labor, because they give priority to labor and making money, over education. Some children must earn the income for the entire household (Grootaert, 3). Asi...

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...). However, developing countries including Brazil and India, which have very high rates of child labor, rejected the proposal. But the rate of child labor is still dropping. In 1996, Brazil had 3.3 million child laborers. Soon after, international pressures, forced President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to create an anti-child labor initiative. This program basically paid parents to send their children to school. By the year 2000, the amount of child workers decreased to 2.5 million.
Today, child labor is still decreasing, but it seems almost impossible to eradicate. Child labor is ethically wrong and immoral; and yet, there are still businesses that choose to turn their heads away.

Works Cited:

Bachman, S. L. “The Political Economy of Child Labor and its Impacts on International Business.” Business Economics Jul. 2000: 1-4.

Buckley, Stephen. “The Littlest Laborers: Why does Child Labor Continue to Thrive in the Developing World?” Washington Post 16 Mar. 2000: 1-5.

Grootaert, Christian. “Child Labor: an Economic Perspective.” International Labor Review 136. 1995: 2, 3, 7.

International Labor Organization. 1996. 20 Jun. 2001. <www.ILO.com. >
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