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Poverty, childhood, work and globalization

Thursday, November 24, 2016 12:12
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Worldwide 1 from 6 children works in hazardous conditions in mines, with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture, without wearing protective masks or various dangerous machines. Often it occurs overwork minors to being forced to work 12 hours a day, without the access to drinking water or toilet.

A study made by Human Rights Watch shows that the rate of mortality of young people who were involved in work when they were minors has increased, the total impact is a huge one if we take into account that the global total number of children working is estimated at 200 million. Worse than that is the fact that there were deaths even while they worked, events that were not necessarily followed by the employer’s penalties. 200 million children under 15 are forced to work, according to a study by the International Labour Organisation. „Terre des Hommes” found that at the end of the last decade, however, there were over 375 million children working as lustrangii, newspaper vendors, in agriculture, in manufacturing carpet, in quarries or mines. Child labor demand continues and is based on gross insured trade. The low prices they sell these products hide countless hours of work submitted by some kids who should be in school.

Financial gain besides children is minimal and does not bring any significant contribution to the state budget. Multinational companies are hiring cheap labor rather than to engage adults, who have a higher pretense of rewarding than minors. By banning imports involvement of children in the production of the goods would no longer be profitable, thus pushing firms to align the standards imposed by member countries. The result would be engaging adults who no longer work in the black, whose participation would contribute to the state budget and therefore to building a sustainable economy, able to support themselves. The act of not importing products made by minors should be one consistent of statements made by leaders of developed countries who assumes the role of international models. Thus, the states concerned should demonstrate that their goal is not an immediate profit, obeying the trader’s vision who repeatedly refused to apply sanctions because their financial term will be directly affected. It is clearly that the lack of outlets would block the entire market of child labor and it will be a sign of verticality from global countries regarding this problem.


Globalization and the child labor interact in two important senses. First, globalization is trying to increase the opportunities of finding a job and in the same time to grow earnings available to poor areas of developing countries. Changing the local labor market can increase or reduce the number of children who work. Secondly, globalization reinforces the influence of rich countries’ internal policies developing the world. Globalization can improve are has access to international markets, foreign investment often enter the country. seven local labor force and therefore higher wages. Also, many developing countries today have a comparative advantage in agriculture, and the integration of international markets could increase the export price of the product internationally. Thus, trade liberalization can increase employment and wages in the agricultural export sectors. These changes on labor markets in developing countries could discourage employers accepting children. Offers salary would increase, and adults should replace minors. Kids may be forced to take over some of the activities usually done by adults within their home. Globalization can improve revenue opportunities and therefore can reduce child labor. Where poverty leads to child labor, children working either for income from work, either because they can not afford school fees. When a child makes more as a result of globalization, other children may be able to stop working and attend school. Moreover, parental earnings growth may help parents reduce children the work they performed. Therefore, globalization can help parents stop child labor in emerging countries without foreign intervention. Bashers of globalization question whether globalization improves the earnings opportunities of residents in poorer countries. Globalization increases a country exposure to international competition. This may force inefficient companies in import-competing industries out of business. Despite the long-term advantages of this reallocation of resources, in the short term, these adjustments may create difficulty for some households with children.


In an era of globalization, it is in the best interest of multinational corporations to maximize profit, to be more competitive and therefore successful. One of the ways for multinational companies to accomplish this is to move into a less economically developed country and procure cheap labor. As children usually require less pay, they are therefore more profitable. This is part of the reason as to why children are employed by multinational companies and their suppliers. Vietnam is one of the places where Nike has a factory. Children working here for 20 cents per hour, 7 days a week, 14 hours a day. They are obliged to manufacture 11 pairs of sneakers per day and if they work overtime, they are not paid. This puts additional pressure on children because they are forced to make their norm to receive less than $ 20 per week. The working conditions are also terrible: the children work in dark, hot rooms, and the poorly ventilated environment frequently smells of glue. When comparing a child paid 20c an hour, and the average price of Nike trainers, $150, one must be led to ponder exactly how much money goes towards the producers, and how much to the shareholders.


Human rights organization Amnesty has accused Apple, Vodafone and Sony have not taken all necessary measures to inform themselves that the cobalt is mined by children. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it found children as young as seven working in dangerous conditions to extract cobalt. This mineral is the most important component of lithium-ion batteries. The Democratic Republic of the Congo produces at least 50% of the world’s cobalt. At least 80 artisanal miners died underground in southern DRC between September 2014 and December 2015 alone. The accurate figure is unknown as many misfortunes go unrecorded and bodies are left hidden in the rubble.

International Labour Organization statistics reveal that each year approximately 22,000 children die from work accidents. In 2002, following inspections carried out by the Labor Ministry in Romania, they were found 170 cases that were employed children under 18, children were engaged in forms of work that pose a threat to the security and their health, such as work at night in the bakery, loading-unloading goods, working at heights in forestry or construction. To perform such services, it is required a mature untouched in childhood, which exposes them to all sorts of dangers.

I believe that this phenomenon is both fought and influenced by globalization. Paradoxically, globalization brings multinational companies in all states, but behind these multinationals, there are children exploited because of poverty. I do not know the financial imbalance that would be produced if we make a law to ban the import of products involving child labor. What do you think you know about this imbalance? How do you think could show such a law? Can it eliminate the work done by minors? Should we care, when we are buying a pair of sneakers 120 €, about the fact that it was done by a child who earns € 60 per month?

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