Child Labors

February 21, 2018

Imagine a building full of fourteen-year-olds hard at work. All at once, a fire starts in the building, causing chaos. If this were to happen in America, it would make news headlines. But in a country like Bangladesh, this was not rare, and neither is child labor. Child labor is the use of children in an industry or business. Buyers are wanting to boycott these companies that practice child labor. Boycott means to withdraw from a product as a protest. In the 1990s, American clothing factories were being shut down and moved their product making overseas. Moving the companies abroad saved American companies billions. Consumers should boycott companies that use child labor because child labor is dangerous, children deserve an education, and kids deserve childhoods.
To begin with, child labor is dangerous. Most child labor jobs are gruesome and risk the child’s life. According to John H. Cushman, “Footwear factories have heavier machinery and use more dangerous raw material, including solvents that cause toxic air pollution.” (105). Air pollution is the presence of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects. This means that the work environment was putting off harmful substances that would harm, or even kill the workers. Author Kristin Lewis states, “The room filled with blinding black smoke, burning Kalpona’s throat. Panic erupted as people rushed to find a way out. All Kalpona could hear were screams” (6). In this story, Kalpona was working when the building caught fire. This shows how unhealthy a child labor workplace can be. Therefore, child labor workplaces are dangerous and no child should be working in them.
Not only is child labor dangerous, but children deserve an education. In America, minors attend school for six or more hours every day. In poor countries around the world, a minor attending school is rare. One example from the article “This Company is Employing Children?” explains, “We fear they might be the cheapest to hire, the easiest to fire, and the least likely to protest. And we don’t want them to be deprived of the opportunity to get a proper education” (Faulmuller 112). Since child labor consists of children under the age of sixteen, they will be paid minimum wage. This highlights how a child should be at school rather than working for little or no money. Another example from the article “Why Are Your Clothes so Cheap” recites, “As the family faced starvation, Kalpona had no choice but to quit school and get a job in one of Dhaka’s many clothing factories” (Lewis 7). In the story, Kalpona’s dad had lost his job, resulting in her having to leave school and work. This resulted in her not getting the proper education that every child deserves. Hence, children deserve a proper education.
Finally, kids deserve a childhood. A childhood is a time when kids can be free, with minimal consequences. Most children enjoy this time of their life the most, since they have no responsibilities. Author Kristen Lewis states, “And that’s when it hit Kalpona: She would never go back to her school. Her old life was gone” (8). Kalpona started working for a company when she was under the age of sixteen, causing her to give up her childhood. This illustrates how hard giving up an old way of life can be. Another example suggests, “To find the answers, you must travel to sweatshops like other one where Kalpona worked. Once you do, you will realize that the human cost of our cheap clothes is heartbreakingly high” (8). While making clothes, many children get injured, some severely. This proves how children deserve a time to be free instead of a time to work. Thus, children deserve a childhood before they work.
Some may disagree and claim that companies that practice child labor should not be boycotted. These people may believe this because it helps children learn skills they will use in their lives. However, children can learn those skills in school. According to the article This Company is Employing Children, “There is hardly any child unwilling to go to school who doesn’t hear the ‘it’s for your own good, it prepares you for adult life’ argument” (Faulmuller 113). In school, students learn mathematics, science, language arts and more. This concludes if youth went to school instead of work, they would learn more skills to use later in life.
In conclusion, buyers should boycott companies that support child labor because child labor is dangerous, children deserve a proper education, and kids deserve a childhood. Buyers should not be lackadaisical about this issue. When buying the next trendy pair of jeans, make sure they were not made by a child forced into child labor.






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