Causes and Solutions to the Problem of Child Labor

922 words 4 pages
Every year on 12 June, people around the world celebrate the World Day against Child Labour, a day dedicated to the goal of creating a world in which children everywhere can grow up without the threat of being forced into child labor. An estimated 246 million children are engaged in child labor, with nearly 70 percent of them (about 171 million) working in hazardous conditions, including work in mines and quarries, work with chemicals and pesticides or with dangerous machinery. “Children as young as five are forced to spend long hours doing back-breaking labor, often in harsh weather and without access to health care,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said. “Children mining rock, gold, coal, diamonds and precious metals in Africa, …show more content…
There is a worldwide rise in commercial agreements-which must include norms for guaranteeing basic human rights and respect. Implementing these fair trade norms helps prevent child labor.
The new labelling campaigns-like Rugmark or the equitable commerce label-guarantee that the products consumers buy are not manufactured by children and that fair commercial practices have been employed. The label also reminds companies that young consumers should also be aware of commercial practices. Fair trade practices guarantee a fair price to small-scale producers. In 44 developing countries, fair trade helps keep 550 cooperatives in business. These cooperatives consequently provide goods to 5 million people and often reinvest profits in the community, where the money is used to build schools, medical clinics, wells, etc.
There are 800 million unemployed adults in the world; and yet, the number of working children is estimated to be at over 300 million. Replacing working children with their mostly unemployed parents would result in higher family incomes (since adults are generally paid better), and the resulting rise in production costs would have little impact on exports sales. On the surface, child labor appear to be a cut and dry issue, which must be put to an end immediately. But further examination reveals that it is a much more complex issue with many factors feeding into its


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