Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Is child labor always a bad thing?

It is official: child labor is a good thing. That was the catchy headlines for an article at the telegraph website by David Harrison which I find quite exciting. Child labor always was associated with the images of child employer abusing children and forcing them to work jobs such as mining, deep-sea fishing, and even prostitution and drug-trafficking considering that more than 250 million children aged five to 14 are at work worldwide. But is that the only and the most accurate way to observe child labor? The telegraph article talked about the other side of the story where it is possible that any actions to ban child labor could cause more harm than good, and it could damage the only substantial source of income to many families.
Child labor considered to me one of the most hot and controversial issues in today’s world due to nature of it. The complexity of finding a standard definition makes it difficult to normal people, and even to academic professors, to study and find a moderate solution to it without causing any harm to anyone. However, According to Rothbard “a child becomes an adult not when he reaches some arbitrary age limit, but rather when he does something to establish his ownership and control over his own person.” This definition might be very suitable for rich countries where children could have options. In some countries, there might be some conditions where an average person is making what is considered to be the minimum substantial living to a human being and literally live for the day. Therefore, banning child labor might result in harmful results to those whom living below the official poverty line. The article was describing the study made by two leading professors of economics in which they mentioned that “a worldwide ban, championed by the International Labor Organization and supported by 151 countries, could deprive families of money that might otherwise be used to pay for children's food and education.”
In conclusion, choosing only the worse examples of child labor is a way a campaigner use to attract public attention and promote their causes. There might be other reasons why child labor is allegedly wrong. However, I quote from the previously mentioned study “where there is a choice, the worst forms of child labor will usually be chosen because they pay better than other forms, considered 'non-harmful”. In order to solve our social and political problems, we should all look at issues in a very fair and critical way where all the sides of the stories are presented and illustrated equally.


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