The issue of child labor has been quite controversial and it affects many economies especially in developing nations. Underdevelopment and poverty are the main contributing factors to the problem. Despite the existing labor laws, there are countries especially in Latin America where children have organizations that protect their right to work. This paper will therefore summarize different sources that present different cases in various countries on child labor related issues.
Bhowmick, N. In India, Hundreds March on Parliament to Demand End to Child Labor. New
Delhi. Time Magazine, Aug. 29, 2013. Web. Nov 7, 2013.
About three hundred children as well as their representatives from international civic and local societies have in the past organized peaceful demonstrations urging the legislative assembly to put to an end child labor. The demo was aimed at passing on a petition of a million signatures to the legislators hoping that it would motivate them into ensuring the anti-child labor law has been passed and is waiting for their attention for the last one year.
The law if passed would put to an end the hazardous work for those below the age of 18years. It would also illegalize child employment especially those below fourteen years and ensure basic schooling a significant right for Indian children below the age of fourteen. India also has an estimate of 12 million kids who work under harsh conditions and for long hours in rice mills and in stone queries.
Additionally, children are often traded for sex and are employed as domestic servants. Protestors therefore called for kid’s protection by calling upon members of parliament to pass the bill.
Barboza, D. Child Labor Cases Uncovered in China. The New York Times. April 30, 2008.
Web. Nov 7, 2013.
The economy of China is developing at an incredible speed. Such development can occur at the expense of law, environmental laws and children rights. Investigations by authorities in southern Guangdong province of China revealed that there are many children from poor backgrounds that work as employees in large manufacturing companies.
Such companies are known across the globe for toy’s exportation, electronics and textile. The authorities have additionally succeeded in saving more than hundred children and in arresting suspected employers. The children had no identification cards thus, making it very difficult to identify them. According to specialists, the increasing labor costs, raw material and energy charges as well as labor shortage are some of the reasons behind increase in child labor as factory owners use it to cut down on production costs.
Many laborers in the factories come from destitute and underdeveloped areas. What’s more, parents who are mostly naïve of the prevailing working conditions, sell some of their children into labor. According to existing reports, child recruiting agencies transport and sell their kids to interested individual via virtual auction. The children often work free and receive only forty three percent per hour in some cases. This is way below the minimum wage of sixty four cents per hour.
There have also ben claims that despite the factual evidence, labor department in China has not shown any interest in offering a lasting solution.
Porter, E. Are Western Activists Really Reducing Child Labor? The New York Times. Mar 8,
- Web. Nov 8, 2013.
Major enhancements in any workforce are often driven from within. Imports ban made child labors of great help to activists’ especially in developed countries but it does little enhancements on the lives of kids in developing nations. This is attributed to the fact that many kids work on non-trade related industries including retail trade and agriculture.
Employment of children below the age of fifteen years also reduced to 140 million in 2008. This is attributed to the economic and industrial development which ensured an increase in household income. Income dynamics is also a major factor contributing to child labor because it can persuade parents to withdraw kids from school and take them to work.
Western crusaders are however naïve on the issue. When garment manufacturers in Bangladesh sent away child laborers after US sanctions, many children were forced to take up worse tasks because families had to replace the lost income. Experts claim that the crusaders may make child labor a very complex issue to get rid of because they force kids out of formal employment into informal sector with less competition compared to adults.
Rudovsky, F. J. In Latin America, Looking at The Positive Side of Child Labor. Time Magazine.
Nov 16, 2011. Web. Nov 8, 2013
Victor Chipani, a Bolivian child laborer at the age of ten started working in transport sector. Five years down the line, he is still working in the industry earning less than a dollar in an hour. The money enables him to feed his eight siblings and to cater his night school supplies. He makes up part of thousands of Latin American children working in Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay and Nicaragua among other countries that have organized different organizations fighting for their rights to work. The kids demand for protection from the government and enhancement in their working environments.
The Bolivia’s Union of Child and adolescent Workers (UNATSBO) mentions the existing conditions in the mother lands are some of the reasons for the to work in an effort to provide for their families. They demand for enhanced working conditions because it is the basis of the fact that employers targeting children pay below the required minimum wage by virtue of being kids.
The kids agree that there is no ban on their employment considering the fact the jobs is exploitative and unsafe for kids. There are also kid’s organizations that support kids financially and call for their stay in school as well as initiation of income generating tasks. These countries hold many discussions in organizations and have agreed to protect kid’s laborers while striving to create a future where kids will not work.
Kernaghan, C. GAP Cgild Labor Controversy. Institute For Global Labor and Human Rights.
Nov 5, 2007. Web. Nov 8, 2013
It is also evident that GAP cannot employ kids between the ages of 10-13 years intentionally in India to produce its child clothing line. In this case, the kids are often subjected to sixteen hours of heavy work. GAP like many companies get contracts in developing nations where production costs are relatively lower as a result of weak labor laws and low wages.
The company is also known for using illegal means in its clothing production. The National Labor Committee in 2006 found out victims of human trafficking sewing for the company in Jordan. Young girls aged between 10-13 years in Bangladesh work for a week sewing garments for Wal-Mart.
The issue of child labor may therefore persist if protection is given to GAP among related companies as opposed to protecting kids who produce the clothing. The companies often block passage of such laws aimed at protecting child laborers on grounds that their laws impede free trade.
The constant demands for price reduction of their supplies in developing countries also contribute to child labor because they demand more products and lower salaries. There is also need for the company as well as other multinational corporations to support the laws ensuring protection of the rights of workers and to realize the constant demands for price reduction contributes a great deal to child labor.
It is therefore true that kids are abused terribly in GAP garment production and they owe the children freedom and a given amount of remuneration.
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