The estimated reading time for this post is 8 Minutes

Introduction

Child labor is a global issue and not just a problem in the countries where this is happening.

It is thought that over 211 million children under 15 work, 73 million of them are under 10 years old, and around 22,000 die every year in work-related accidents. (Child labour | Ethical Trading Initiative, 2021)

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay

  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee

Place an order

document

Child Labour also has moral and ethical implications; this report will compare arguments for and against banning all forms of child labor in supply chains.

The first thing we should consider is what is child labor and why children work.

The term ‘child labor’ is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity, and is harmful to physical and mental development. (What is child labor (IPEC), 2021)

Children could be forced into work if there is a shortage of well-paid jobs for adults, it is cheaper to pay children as they are less likely to complain. Families with large numbers require multiple income sources to feed their members. Jobs that pay by the amount collected or picked, like in agriculture, encourage families to bring their young to help with the labor. Many families are not aware of the rights of their children and think it is the norm to send them to work instead of school as they think school will not help their children survive. (Child labour | Ethical Trading Initiative, 2021)

Advantages of child labor

The money that the child brings in is a huge support for poor families, and in some countries, parents see this as a reliable source of income. The money earned can be used to pay for schooling if the children work in their spare time. (Positives and Negatives, 2021)

Working children learn to become independent, productive and mature quicker than the average child. (Pros and Cons of Child Labour, 2021)

Disadvantages of child labor

Children start work at a very young age depriving them of their childhood, often working in dangerous conditions. They have little or no access to education as they are working. (Positives and Negatives, 2021)

Companies that employ children often pay low wages for long hours, as they are children, they are more likely to be exploited.

Supply Chains

Child labor is found in various types of industries like agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and tourism, producing goods and services that are consumed by millions every day. (Us, Areas and Chains, 2021)

Child labor happens largely in rural and informal economies, where it is harder to check and much more difficult to protect workers from exploitation. The demand for products in these types of industries is massive and the growing culture of consumerism is encouraging companies to find cheaper labor so that costs are low, and profits are high. (Us, Areas and Chains, 2021). The reality is that children are seen as a source of cheap labor because they slip under the radar, they are looked upon as low-skilled workers without a voice so become easy targets. (Us, Areas and Chains, 2021)

Industries that employ children get away with it as supply chains have become extremely complex and it is hard for companies to monitor and control every stage of production however not impossible. Businesses need to play a part in the role of protecting children’s rights and adopting child-friendly practices by demanding transparency within the supply chains and understanding the size of the issue. (Us, Areas and Chains, 2021)

Arguments for child labor

The main reason for companies employing children would be the cost, adults are more likely to want better wages for their work whereas children are less inclined to complain about pay and working conditions. A child is thought to have nimble fingers, so industries like carpet and garment like to employ children as they see them as having irreplaceable skills.

Companies also see children as easier to manage than adults, they are less aware of basic working rights and less troublesome. Some employers like to have a reserve of casual labor so they can hire and fire at will. When the labor is illegal, they and their parents are less likely to complain to the authorities for fear of losing their source of income. (Why do employers outside the family hire children? 2021)

Another view is that child labor is better than living in poverty, in poorer countries families are dependent on the child bringing in income so that they may have the basics to survive. Stopping the child from working may make the families more vulnerable to poverty and harsher environments which can also have harmful effects on their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. (Is Child Labour Better Than Living in Poverty? 2021)

Arguments against child labor

Child labor affects the general health and well-being of children, especially if they are in harsh and hazardous working conditions. It can have an impact on a child’s physical and mental health and can create several problems like premature aging, depression, and malnutrition. (Child Labour – Humanium, 2021)

Child labor also has an impact on children’s education, if they are working long hours then they will have little or no time for school.

Poverty and child labor create a vicious cycle that is very hard for poorer families to break out from.

(Child Labour in India: Causes, Consequences, Laws | UPSC Essay – IAS EXPRESS, 2021)

The fashion industry has one of the most complex supply chains, even when brands have strict guidelines in place, work often gets subcontracted by the suppliers to other factories that the buyer does not even know about. Companies that sell their products in Europe and the U.S. may not know where their textiles come from, they may know the initial supplier but have no idea where the cotton came from further down the supply chain. (Child labor in the fashion supply chain, 2021)

Recommendations

Governments should introduce and enforce laws that protect children from being exploited in the workplace, for example, they could set a minimum age that a child can work, have a minimum wage that businesses would have to pay, have a maximum working hours regulation and provide free education to all children up to a certain age.

They should monitor businesses when children are involved in the workforce, making sure that they are following the rules on child labor and imposing heavy fines or sanctions on businesses that do not adhere to them.

Businesses should regularly review their supply chains and try to apply methods to end child labor, they should try to foster a fairer wage for workers within their business across all sectors. They should label or certify that their goods were produced free from child labor.

We as consumers should be more vigilant when buying goods, making sure that child labor is not used in the production process and refusing to buy products from those companies that do.

Conclusion

In an ideal world, no child should ever bear the burden and the responsibility of being the main provider for their family and be forced into work from a young age, however, this is not the harsh reality that we live in. Although child labor is a terrible thing, I think stopping and eradicating it will be harmful if not done the right way as many poor families depend on the child to bring in income just so that they may survive. Charities like UNICEF and GOODWEAVE work tirelessly to help children in such situations, but I feel businesses and world governments could do more to help those stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty. Businesses could ask their suppliers to be fully transparent about where and how the raw materials used to make their products were obtained, the labor force used in the manufacturing process, and boycott suppliers if there are signs of child exploitation. World governments could help those working children’s families who are too busy for schooling by easing some of the financial burden put upon them. They should be given the chance to receive an education by reducing the amount of work they have to do, so in essence less work will mean more time for school. The families should be educated on the working rights of the child to try to prevent them from being exploited by the employer. Employers should also be monitored by both businesses and world governments especially when children are involved in the workforce, to make sure that they are in good working conditions, and that they are receiving a fair wage for the work being done. All this may be very difficult to achieve but if we all work together not impossible, as children are our future, and we should make sure that it is safe and secure.

Liked this content and would like yours written from scratch? Press “Order Now” to place your new order Now!

error: Content is protected !!
Directly chat?
Do you need any help from us?
Hello
Thankyou for visiting our website. We can help you to place your order via the order system. Just send the instructions including attachments to our WhatsApp Live chat.
Thank you!