Child Labour: Good Business or Not?
Imagine being a 10-year old child and having to wake up early in the morning but not to go to school, instead you are going out to work. Doesn’t sound possible? Think again, over 13% of children aged between ten to fourteen years old around the world do exactly that: 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Child labour is something that has existed for centuries and still exists in today’s world. Whether work can be described as child labour depends on the age of the child, the type of hours of work performed, the conditions under which it is performed and the objectives pursued by individual countries. Depending on the country or the industry sector that answer varies. A more negative definition of child labour is work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to their physical and mental development (“What is child labour”). But when talking about business, the only goal is to make money. The age of employees is not a factor when considering who to hire, the cheaper the better. When deciding whether child labour should be ethically accepted or not, it is important to consider both sides of the argument, the causes and the factors that explain why certain people accept it and others not. Firstly, if we understand that there are over 73 million children working around the world, having children work must have some positive aspects. The places around the world where child labour is at its highest are developing countries, with the highest amount in Asia and then in Africa. The reason for this is that a great majority of people are poor and have very low levels of living conditions. Some children decide to work out of their own will because they need to bring in some money for the family. They want to be able to eat and have clothes on their backs. They want their younger brothers or sisters to be able to go to school because they weren’t able to go. Other children decide to work because they want to learn the family trade young and start generating income as soon as possible to support the family. Many children start working because they have been abandoned by their family and instead of living on the street they decide to work to keep themselves alive. If these children hadn’t decided to work out of their own willingness they would be starving, homeless or even dying. Many will argue that if a child cannot afford an education, instead of having him beg on the street, he is much better off working and making a life for himself and working towards a better economy. We also have to consider the fact that there are actually businesses and companies that hire children to work for them. If these are grown adults, then why would they allow a child to work for them? When you talk in terms of business there are no other goals than to make money. The more money you make the better it is. To make a lot of money you have to cut down your expenses as much as possible. One way of doing that is to hire children because they are a lot cheaper to hire than a grown adult. Children don’t know how much they should be paid or if there are mistakes in their pay. When working with children it is easier to control them because they do not have the knowledge or assurance to confront their employer. Children also don’t know if they are being exploited therefore they continue on working without protest. Some businesses hire children young because they have an incredible sense of adaptability and they learn a lot faster. They don’t have bad habits yet that the employer has to break. Children are little, which means they are able to compete tasks in small or narrow areas without difficulty. This is something you could never make an adult do. If employing children is not illegal in your country then there is no reason not to hire them. As a competitor in the market you need to keep your prices appealing to your clients and consumers. If all of your competitors are...
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