The problem of child labor has become an ever-increasing concern among many nations. Many of the worst child labor offenses take place in Third World countries. Throughout these nations, children are being forced to work long hours in terrible conditions for little or no money. To fully understand child labor, one needs to address the reasons for supporting and opposing child labor, its effect on underdeveloped countries’ economies and the child laborers, and what is being done to combat child labor.
Child labor can be defined as mostly full-time work of children under the age of 14 in situations that are damaging to health, education, or moral development- for pay or no pay. The most common type of child labor is bonded labor, in which workers agree to sell their labor in exchange for a lump sum payment, such as a medical bill. These debts are usually impossible to repay. Therefore, the debt is passed down from generation to generation. Bonded children may also be kidnapped, exported as prostitutes or camel riders, or "recruited" to work in factories and plantations. These children may perform a variety of tasks. They may work in brick kilns, assemble shoes, mix gunpowder for firecrackers, or work at carpet looms.
Although many nations object to child labor, many Third World countries believe it is an acceptable and necessary way of life. Some Third World countries argue that child labor is inevitable for societies at an early stage of industrial development. While trying to achieve this development, poverty and underdevelopment cause child labor to be a necessary, if unfortunate, aspect of modernization in poor countries. In the majority of Hindu societies, for instance, there is a natural...
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...ldren from child slavery. Frequently, the organization will literally storm into factories and free bonded children. Many companies have also started combating child labor by requiring their suppliers to prohibit the employment of children under the age of 14.
Child labor is a severe and complex problem that can not be solved easily. Although slavery is outlawed in almost every country, it is frequently practiced and rarely punished. Winning the war against child labor will come through the spread of literacy and education, not trade sanctions. In the immediate future, international attention will be focused on the protection of children working in dangerous jobs and inhumane situations. The education of children from Third World countries will also help eliminate poverty from these developing nations, which, in turn, will someday eliminate child labor altogether.
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