Enforcement of International Child Labour Law Thesis

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Enforcement of International Child Labor

Even in today's seemingly progressive world, there exists the abomination of child labor practices all over the world. In countries both struggling to develop and those with rising economies, there are immense child labor problems which put a dark blight on the practice of global capitalism. However, in some cases, the existence of child labor is an absolute necessity as to keep an entire nation from slipping into utter poverty, Rwanda being a prime example. Yet, most countries with major child labor problems need to create stronger anti-child labor laws and tighten laws already in place, as seen in the cases of India, Nepal, and China. Therefore, the prohibition of child labor needs to be hinged on the country's economic condition; allowing it in moderate amounts where necessary, and creating a staunch an international fight against it elsewhere.

Despite major advances in both technology and business ethics, the practice of child labor is still a major problem in developing and prominent countries all over the world. In many developed nations, the existence of child labor is a nefarious element of the incessant greed seen in capitalism today. Children are paid less than their adult counterparts.

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Thus, employers save tremendous amounts of money by employing children instead of adults, who require more money and more attention in terms of their labor rights. However, this is not the case across the board. In many cases, the existence of child labor is tied to a country's poverty. According to research, "poverty is the most important reason why children work."

In countries struggling to pull their people out of high levels of poverty, there may be large numbers of children in labor force. These children tend to be a crucial factor in the health and well being of the larger familial unit; "Poor households need the money which their children can earn, and children commonly contribute around 20-25% of family income."

Thesis on Enforcement of International Child Labour Law Assignment

Therefore there is a delicate balance that must be maintained while abolishing the nefarious practice of allowing children into the workforce that differs between countries.

Rwanda is notorious for employing thousands of children into the nation's workforce, yet it is a prime example of a nation that needs some exceptions to typical anti-child labor statues. According to research, in Rwanda "Children as young as six work 10-hour shifts."

The workforce is over populated with young children and adolescents. Work starts very early in the day as to allow the children to end early so they can go to school and get an education. Yet, by the time the child's work day is over, many are too tired to make the long walks to their local schools. This then leaves many uneducated, doomed to repeat the same vicious cycle with their own children. However, Rwanda proves to be an interesting case. Recent genocides across the countryside have left the nation completely devoid of a normal adult workforce; "Child laborers are much in demand in Rwanda, a country short of manpower since the genocide which claimed between half a million and 800,000 lives in 1994 left a quarter million orphans."

With so little adults around to work, the entire economy of the nation seems to rest on the shoulders of young children to take on the burden. They must also take on the burden of caring for themselves. With so many orphans, it is clear that without children in the workforce, thousands would starve. There are not enough adults in the country to care for the young, and so there is an ethical paradox. Children must be allowed to work for their own good, to help the nation's economy as well as to feed themselves and their orphan families.

Yet, even in this strange situation, there are ways that the international community can help take some of the burden off of these child workers. Recent grants have been a major improvement in the dire situation; "Rwanda is among the few African countries to benefit from a U.S. $59 million fund from the United States aimed at combating exploitative child labour."

Giving funds to help improve the economy as a whole as well as stimulate educational programs that can help bring these children out of such dire poverty proves a crucial way the international community can help the child laborers in Rwanda. According to research on the most recent charitable donation, "The money is expected to rescue more than 85,000 children undergoing exploitative child labour as well as enrolling them back in school."

It is clear that child labor cannot be outright banned within the nation of Rwanda without proper steps to first slowly filter it out through educational and preparation programs. An all out ban without the proper preparation steps would leave thousands of children to starve and completely destroy the economy of Rwanda. Such grants give hope for a better future of slowly filtering out the need for child labor in the region; "The grants will also help improve collection and analysis of child labour data and support for the development and implementation of national action plans to address the problem."

With more funds and research, the children of Rwanda have a greater hope of a better life without the risks of starvation and poverty.

Yet, many other nations have tremendous child labor problems, without the dependence on child labor seen in the case of Rwanda. India, for example, is a developing country with an enormous child labor problem, but with the capability to ban it outright without debilitating the nation's economy. Currently, there are over 11 million kids working in India. Most of these child laborers are not necessarily in urban factories, but out of sight deep in the countryside; "Over 85% of this child labor is in the country's rural areas, working in agricultural activities such as fanning, livestock rearing, forestry and fisheries."

Therefore, India must face the problem of first exposing the nature of child labor as a way to better address it within a modern context. Yet, India has its own complications within completely eradicating child labor in rural areas. Most children working do so within a familial setting; "Moreover, nine out of ten of working children work within a family setting. Working in family-based occupations, these children also develop skills in certain traditional crafts, thus augmenting the human capital formation of India's developing economy."

Therefore, laws against child labor should not completely eradicate it in all cases, for that would debilitate the creation of future human capital within the region. India needs to produce strict laws that can be enforced that would allow for the training of future workers, yet still ban child labor beneath that of a certain capable working age. Many international statues place this working age at around 15, with more hazardous positions being at 18. India needs an all out ban in hazardous employments, but allow some labor for family-based crafts that help develop the human capitol of India. Part of this process is also educating the public of both India and the international community of the nature of the problem within the context of India's growing child labor issues; "Any effort to protect children from workplace hazards must therefore begin by making the invisible visible, bringing to light and public consciousness both the children who work and the dangers they face."

Therefore, India proves to have a delicate balance as well.

One nation, however, has a growing child labor problem, without the needs of both Rwanda and India -- Nepal. Over 42% of children in Nepal are active workers, with some reports saying over 127,000 are in the Nepalese labor force.

Most of Nepal's prosperous economy is based on consumer goods, yet many "point out that consumer is uninformed or misinformed about the thousands of goods and services among which they choose, and can be easily pressured by advertising."

This competitiveness has lead many consumer product companies to turn to child labor as a way to cut prices on the consumer end and therefore increase profits in the midst of such staunch competition; "Thus competitive international economy and consumer behavior has fueled the dynamics of the child labor expansion."

Thus, Nepal has no excuse for its leniency of allowing child workers to work tirelessly in factories to feed consumer demand.

China also provides a similar consumer-based context. The improving economy of china has opened up vast new work opportunities. This has largely been filled with adolescent and child workers streaming out of the rural areas to find work and take advantage of a now booming economy.

Many parents fail to see the full dangers of allowing their children to leave the home and enter into the workforce; "This low awareness in the public about child safety and protection provides a breeding ground for both exploitation and potential disaster."

Thus, just as in Nepal, it is a consumer culture, not an economic or cultural need that fuels child labor in China's workforce. According to research, the "root causes as being… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Enforcement of International Child Labour Law.  (2009, November 11).  Retrieved November 27, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/enforcement-international-child-labour/8077219

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"Enforcement of International Child Labour Law."  Essaytown.com.  November 11, 2009.  Accessed November 27, 2020.