Child Labor Issues - Research Paper Example

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Child Labor Issues Renee J Quenneville Park University Abstract The International Labor Organization’s (ILO) goal to eliminate the worst forms of child labor by the year 2016 pursuant to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is experiencing a significant setback…
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Download file to see previous pages Increasingly, there are reports of children working in unsafe and unhealthy conditions for low wages in the global South in the production of both domestic goods and goods for Western businesses (Hart, 2008). Although child labor is typically associated with poverty and is more pervasive in developing countries, child labor is an issue globally (Dagdemir & Acaroglu, 2010). This research study analyzes the issue of child labor as well as identifies the political, cultural and economic factors that commonly contribute to the persistence of exploitive child labor. By identifying the common political, cultural and economic factors that contribute to the persistence of child labor, we can formulate recommendations for responding to those factors with a view to reducing, if not eliminating exploitive child labor. This research study is therefore divided into four main parts. The first part of this paper defines child labor,the international community’s, policies and laws regulating child labor. The second part of this paper identifies the persistence of child labor globally. The third part of this paper examines the key factors contributing to exploitive child labor. The final part of this paper makes recommendations for eliminating or at the very least reducing child labor. Contents Abstract 2 Contents 3 Introduction 4 Definition of Child Labor 5 International Regulation of Child Labor 6 Global Trends in Child Labor 9 Child Labor: Factors, Issues and Concerns 14 Conclusion and Recommendations 19 Recommendations 19 Conclusion 22 Introduction The most recent data in 2010 from the International Labor Organization(ILO) (2010) reveals that child labor is a major issue globally. There are approximately 215 million children characterised as child laborers globally with 306 million children characterized as employed (ILO, 2010). While the latest data reflects a reduction child labor since 2000, the numbers stalled as of 2006 and the number of child laboreres globally remains unacceptable (International Labor Organization, 2010). According to the International Labor Organization (2010), agriculture remains the sector most frequently associated with child labor with Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and West Asia identified as the most problematic areas. Increasingly children are working in unsafe conditions in agriculture in the production of global agricultural goods such as bananas, rubber, tobacco, cocoa, tea, coffee and cotton (International Labor Organization, 2010). Child labor in agriculture is not restricted to developing countries. For instance, a recent report claims that 9 percent of farm laborers in the US are children as young as 7 years old that work between 14 and 16 hours daily for a full seven-day work week and are paid well below the mandated minimum wage (Adame, 2010). Aside from agriculture, Western retail companies have increasingly become complicit in the exploitation of child labor in their supply chains where child labor is reportedly used in “low-cost” countries in the production of goods distributed globally (Weele, 2010, p. 55). For instance, Nike was condemned by the Western press for the use of child laborers who worked in Pakistan in the sewing of soccer balls for Nike (Heal, 2008). This research study analyzes the issue of child labour globally and identifies the political, economic and cultural aspects of child labour. In identifying the common political, econom ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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