why does child labor still exist today

Have you ever thought about the people who have been a part of the manufacturing of the products you use? Especially the child labor. If it was not for Lewis Hines, I do not think we would have a clear picture of the conditions the children worked in the factories in US a hundred years ago. He used to go into the mills with the permission to take the pictures of the machines, eventually he left us the invaluable and concrete pieces of times when little children were besides those machines. That was America one hundred years ago. Today it seems the geography has shifted, as children in other places of the world have replaced them. It is estimatedPthat there are 215 million children are at work today and 14 million of them are involved in direct manufacturing. There are many reasons why factories are using child labor, main reason being poverty; families who are in need of support are sending their kids to work in countries where the labor rules are not established, and it is quite common to use little ones. Besides providing cheap labor, they are preferred by many factories since children are easier to direct and the risk for strike is eliminated. According to a study by United Nations in 2009 only 2% of the global military spending is sufficient to achieve the universal education for the entire worlds children. Developing countries who are burdened under the development debt repay more than their GDP, worsening the conditions and forcing children to work because of the cuts of education funding.


Only in Sub-Saharan Africa, 48 million children under 14 years of age are at work. Besides not being able to get an education, child laborers are under greater health risk when compared to the adults doing the same job. Especially children working in the agricultural areas are under more risk than children working in other industries. 80% of child laborers work in agriculture. PReasons are the exposure to pesticides, working with machinery and sharp tools, lack of clean water, beginning to work at very early ages, often between 5-7 years of age and less restrictive standards set for agricultural work. International Labor Organization sets the standards and the rights of workers under its member countries, effective abolition of Child Labor is one of them, and unfortunately many countries cannot apply because of the pressure from the employers or local governments not to enforce laws. One of the obstacles to prevent the child labor is free trade rules, countries that rely on child labor may put trade barriers against the countries who refuses to buy their goods. As a result of high competition and low prices on coffee for example, producers look for the cheapest options in work force, and child laborers become more efficient for them. Child labor is not impossible to prevent; Gap sets a perfect example how it can be done. In 2007 after the disclosed fact that some of the GapKids clothes had been embroidered by children in India, Gap immediately stopped the orders and paid back to the children.


In the end it is up to the companies who are placing the orders to make sure all standards are met by their vendors; even at times when it is hard to control who is hired down at the supply chain, it is their responsibility. If we all act the same way according to the same principles, one by one vendors will be forced not to exploit children.
Child Labour Pshould have been successfully eradicated by now. The information is out there, MNCs are actively engaged, and NGOs like theP International Labor Organization World Health Organization P(WHO) have made this a Global Advocacy and Policy priority. Yet despite all these actors and stakeholders this issue has not onlyP failed to be resolved but continues to persist. Shockingly enough, experts speculate that rates of child labour in Africa will be increasing in the years to come if we do not focus on adequately addressing this transnational issue. Typically child labour Pis defined as hazardous work that might deprive children of their potential, their education, or anything that affects their physical and mental well-being. PThe worst forms of child labor are often associated with coercive elements,P human trafficking Pviolations and slavery practices. The Scope of the Problem These practices contribute greatly to the high child mortality rates we see today. The (WHO) estimates that there are nearly 250 million children around the globe that are currently involved in child labour and trafficking. The (ILO) approximates that around (70%) of these children are involved in agriculture and frequently exposed to hazardous materials which present harmful physiological and psychological risk factors.


What`s impeding these initiatives? Why does this problem persist? Despite declining poverty rates the use of Child Labour in production and agriculture continues to rise. The sporadic success and failures of past initiatives have prompted a rethinking of how we look at approaching Child Labour. NCER report, the major issue impeding the eradication of child labour is caused by The interplay between income inequality and investments in human capital which give rise to a non-convergent dynamic path of income distribution Other meta-analytic studies suggest that Child Labour continues to thrive because of a: Failure to properly register and identify youths affected by Child LaborP Lack ofP accurate Pquantitative data Insufficient resource allocation Lack of Sustainable Long Term Initiatives The fact that it is so difficult to keep track of children that are not enrolled in school coupled with the fact that we do not have sufficient manpower on location makes it extremely challenging to effectively eradicate this blatant human rights violation. ICMHD International Centre for Migration and Health Development Pcontinues to build proposals aimed at resolving issues and public health threats like this around the globe. The objective is to help meet the WHO Millennium Development Goal 4 (namely reducing child mortality rates by two-thirds by 2015). P

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