Project Syndicate: Ending the Business of Child Labor

Child labor is wrong, unnecessary and especially vile when wealthy consumers turn a blind eye to indulge in low-cost goods and services. In 1997, global leaders expressed a deep commitment to ending child labor, explains advocate and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, but since then “the world has not even halved the number of children in the workforce.” He estimates that more than 150 million children toil today and about half are involved in hazardous work. “Even ‘safe’ child labor affects victims’ physical and physiological wellbeing long into adulthood,” Satyarthi explains. Girls and children under the age of 12 are especially vulnerable, and conflict and extreme poverty contribute to children falling prey to trafficking. Governments have a responsibility to invest in education, public health and protections. He urges “strong legal frameworks, robust accountability mechanisms” to prevent child labor in supply chains.” Awareness campaigns and labels work, too, by advising consumers that carpets, clothing or food were not handled by children. Communities improve their economies by “Ending the vicious circle of child labor, illiteracy, and poverty.” – YaleGlobal

Project Syndicate: Ending the Business of Child Labor

Opponents of child labor have given up on a solution through globalization and urge strong legal frameworks, robust accountability are required in supply chains
Kailash Satyarthi
Thursday, November 16, 2017

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Kailash Satyarthi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is honorary president of the Global March Against Child Labour and the founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.

© Project Syndicate - 2017

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