After three months of work Kalpona get her paycheck and looks at it. She had made only three dollars after working so hard. Kalpona works in a large factory sewing clothes long hours of the day. She is just barely fourteen years old, and already using large and dangerous machinery. Kalpona is sewing clothes that children all around the world are wearing today. There are millions of children just like Kalpona in her country that are working way too young. Making kids work in very dangerous and unprotected factories for large companies is called child labor. Child labor is when companies will pay little money for children under the age of sixteen who work long hours. Child labor laws in the United States are very different now, but they did not change enough. Changing the laws in the united states made large companies push overseas to make their products. Consumers could help with this issue by boycotting these companies. Boycotting means that customers will stop buying certain products to help change the child working policy. Consumers should boycott companies that support child labor because, the working conditions are very dangerous, children deserve an education, and kids deserve a childhood.
First, children should not have to work in factories because it is very dangerous. In the article, "Nike Pledges to End Child Labor And Apply U.S. rules Abroad", by John H. Cushman, Jr, Cushman states, "Footwear factories have heavier machinery and use more dangerous raw material"(105). Children who work in these footwear factories are required to use heavier machinery, and have less protection. Even if the children are working in a gingerly manner, using heavy machinery can cause injury if something unexpectedly should happen. Even the smallest thing could avert a calamity. Children should not be using these things at such a young age. Factory owners neglect the kids health as long as they do their work. Also, from the article, "Why Are Your Clothes So Cheap?", the author Kristen Lewis states, "One wrong move and the needle could slice through her finger"(6). No one is perfect, especially kids. Kids mess up all the time. Children should not be around things that will be life threatening to them if they do one thing wrong. Therefore, children should not be required to work in factories at such a young age because, they are very dangerous and can be life threatening.
Not only are factories very dangerous for children, but children should not be required to work in factories at such a young age because, children deserve an education. By the time kids turned 14 they were usually required to work to help provide for their family. At age 14 they were not done with school yet, therefore they were pulled out of school to go to work. The companies wanted children to work because the faster they were the more profuse amounts of money they would make. Children were no longer able to go to school. In the article, "Why are your clothes so cheap?", Kristen Lewis states, "Amish are allowed to leave school and start working around the age of 14"(113). Even though for our generation that might sound like a blessing, these children loved school and did not want to leave. For example, Kristen states, "It is unthinkable that a 14-year old would quit schools and go to work all day in a factory"(8). At school these children could go and see their friends every day. Instead of seeing their friends, they would trade school for long hours of working. No kid has ever aspired to be a worker at a dangerous factory at age 14. Clearly, child labor prevents children from getting the education they deserve.
In addition to the dangerous factories and the deprived education of children in poor economies, these children do not have a childhood. Children deserve a childhood because they are only a kid once. Although, this did not rankle the children because they did not know any different. When people are 14 they are not grown up completely. Kids should not have to do jobs meant for adults that are bigger and stronger than them. In the article, "Why are your clothes so cheap?", the author states, "According to UNICEF estimates more than 3 million boys and girls below age 14 work in Pakistan"(109). Child labor is a problem all around the world, but Pakistan alone has more than 3 million. All day these children work long hours and do not have time for fun things. Part of being a child is having a fun time. Another example is, Kristen states, "Kalpona often thinks back to her teenage self...wishing for a better life"(10). Teenagers do not want to sit in a factory all day and work, they want to do fun things. Many children would not like to remember their teenage of even younger years of their life. Child labor has affected the lives of many people and children. Many people wish that something had happened long before it did. As you can see, child labor should be abolished because of the effect on millions of people and their lives, especially their childhood.
Some people may argue that child labor helps poor families and poor economies. These people may believe this because, the children who work are very poor and their pay is all they have to keep their families alive. However, advocates for supporting child labor fail to acknowledge that these children do not get paid enough for the hours they work. In the article "Why are your clothes so cheap?" The author states, "Factory owners were cheating and depriving them"(10). Kids would work long and difficult hours, but would get paid about $.50-$1.00 an hour. This was not fair for them and certainly did not make enough money to keep their families alive. Clearly, child labor did not benefit these children and should be abolished as soon as possible.
In conclusion, child labor has changed the lives of millions of people. It was not a good change in any way. Children should be able to have an education, and be able to go to school instead of work. Kids should not have to worry about work, they should be able to have a fun childhood that they want to remember. Also, factories are very dangerous environments for anyone not just children. Large factories have the audacity to put kids in dangerous environments with not enough pay to even make it worth it. Because of the little pay, and the long hours and long years would elapse before they are able to get enough money to buy food for their families. Child labor should be abolished once and for all, in every part of the world not just the United States.