Debate on Child Labor

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Pro: Child Labor
The majority of people’s opinion on the idea of child labor is derived from the images in the media. They are only exposed to the horrible images of adolescents working very dangerous and degrading jobs and from this they are quick to side with the elimination of child labor. What many people are not aware of is the necessity for child labor in many developing countries. Our paper outlines the causes of child labor and the need for children to work in many countries, the unseen benefits of these children working, and the action that our company intends to take. Two of the main causes of child labor throughout developing nations are poverty and a limited access to education. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory developed by Abraham Maslow. The theory is portrayed by a pyramid that illustrates the basic needs of a human being. The most important and basic needs are shown on the bottom of the pyramid and all the way to the top the most complex needs are displayed. The needs you see on the bottom of the pyramid are vital to survival and include food and water (Cherry). Poverty is defined as a lack of the basic human needs, including the ones stated before, and in developing countries poverty is a primary cause of child labor. Children are forced to work out of the need for survival. Poverty is the lack of basic human needs, such as clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter, because of the inability to afford them. Studies have shown that 1.1 billion people in developing countries do not have access to water, 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation (Shah). Shah also states that close to half of all people in developing countries are suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits. In addition to this poverty can contribute to the cause of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. So, how do these countries flooded with poverty attempt to combat these horrible circumstances? One widely practiced solution is the use of child labor to provide an income to families that are impaired by poverty. Data collected from studies done by University of Iowa on Vietnam, Pakistan, and Peru defend the notion that the majority of children that are working come from families in poverty. The children of these families need to work in order to bring their families sufficient funds for survival. This need is prevalent in areas such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America where poverty affects a vast percentage of the population. “Based on enrollment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 percent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimistic numbers” (Shah). These statistics perfectly illustrate the fact that there are not adequate schools and teachers in these areas to provide schooling to the children. Child labor is not preventing children from getting an education; it is simply the most beneficial thing for these children to do because they are unable to attend school. Although it is not a formal education, working at least gives these children some sort of skill that can be used in their future. For the well off, educated population, living in America, it is very easy to forget that some of the everyday basics we are so accustomed to, such as clean water, food, and education, are luxuries that many people in less developed countries are not so fortunate to have. In a country with nearly a 99% literacy rate (World Factbook), almost every child in the US has the opportunity to attend school rather than work. It is very easy to criticize the idea of child labor from the outside but for these families and countries it is a reality and necessity. It is not due to a lack of human rights it is due to human need. Children in America do not work simply because they do not have to. They have the opportunity to be educated. So, while critics can look down on the practice of...
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