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The Affect Of Child Labor On The World

1269 words - 5 pages

The Affect of Child Labor on the World

Introduction

Child labor is a very hot topic in today’s world. The problems associated with child labor have always been a part of life but thanks to Globalization, everyone is now more aware of the child labor issues that exist. Whether an individual is in favor or against child labor the fact is that child labor affects everyone, because child labor affects the global economy. Children who work play a big role in the economy because they produce goods and are paid wages just like adults; they are an active participant of the work force.

Child Labor Issues

It is estimated that more than 200 million children across the globe between the ages of 5-17 work instead of going to school. And of these, 171 million work in hazardous conditions. Even though child labor was widespread during the eighteenth century it was not until the industrial revolution that society began to realize the seriousness of abuses on children that worked. In the past children generally worked alongside their families to help the family survive, but those conditions were not as severe as when children began working more than ten-hour days in factories and in adverse conditions like those seen during the industrial revolution. There are many other factors that cause child labor such as poverty, social values and cultural circumstances but they tend to be complex to understand. It can be said that child labor is more widely seen in developing and third world countries than that of developed. This is due in part to the poverty that the majority of these people live in, and then children are forced to work to help support the family. Asia has the highest number of children below the age of 15 that work with approximately 56,784,000 (Journal of Economic Literature, 1999). They have the most because of their large population, but fortunately those numbers have gone down compared to previous years. Other countries with large numbers of children working include Africa and India.

Children in the work force are not necessarily a bad thing. Some children by free want and like to work, but the potential for exploitation and violation of civil rights can be very high in the some work places. As mentioned earlier children in many cases work to help their family and the experience can be a very pleasant one. This all depends on many things such as the age of the child, the hours worked, the conditions, and the ability to still attend school. On the other hand many children are forced into work. With bonded labor a family in need of money would be given advanced payment and then turn over a child to work for the employer to repay this debit. Most of the time it is nearly impossible for the child to pay off this debit because the interest that is deducted forms the child’s earnings is very large. There are also other forms of slavery that children must endure such as being denied the right to leave the workplace or...

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