The Great Depression in America

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Child Labor

The 1990 World Summit for children was a landmark, which was attended by 71 heads of state. It was a moment of great satisfaction and encouragement for all the international bodies engaged in their pursuit of making “A world fit for children”, when 71 heads of state pledged to eradicate polio, reduce infant mortality rate, eliminate the worst forms of child labor and promote vocational training for adolescents (Sandrasagara, 7).

Complex Factors

There is a popular public opinion that the children should not be exposed to labor tasks including employment at an age, which demands their involvement in educational and recreational activities. The activities undertaken at child age contribute to their growth and development and undertaking labor task at this age is no less than a crime. However, mostly people express this opinion based on strong emotions and the complex factors contributing to this dilemma are not understood in their real background. These factors range from legal, social, political and economic aspects, which extend far beyond the strong emotions. A detailed, careful and empathetic analysis of these factors can lead us to understand the problems of child labor on an international horizon. Powerful legislation, its strict enforcement and the extent of its implementation across the board on an international scale can serve as a foundation in addressing this curse. International studies reveal the magnitude of the grave problem of child labor. A systematic estimate, undertaken in 1985 (Black 9), calculated around 31 million street children worldwide, of whom 71 percent were child workers living at home, 23 percent kept occasional family contact, and 8 percent were entirely separated.

The contributing factors to the child labor are limitless, however, the vital few factors are external debt, poverty, lack of appropriate infrastructure, economic crisis, and social and cultural environment. It is said that the information technology has greatly contributed in globalization and transforming the world into a global village. The irony of the situation is that everything in this world is globalizing except wealth and development. The Brettonwoods institutions i.e. IMF and the World Bank have to play a strong and unbiased role in ensuring that the seeds of growth and development are injected into the developing world. Although poverty is termed to be the main causal factor for child labor in the developing world, however, some studies have shown that some child workers “are relatively from affluent families, and engage in the business for excitement and pocket money (Myers 9).

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