Child labor is never justified regardless of economic circumstance. Parents forcing their child to work based on financial need or companies hiring child labor for profit driven motives are wrong.
A young child has yet to develop a substantial set of life experiences to allow for mature choices and decisions. Thus, children depend on the support of adults to steer them through life to ensure an adequate existential development. Forcing a young child to work is wrong because the decision is made for the child by someone else who is responsible for his or her being.
Financial despair is undeniably a difficult burden on a parent. Indeed, such a desperate condition may push a parent to force or encourage their young child to work because of the perceived benefit from the additional income provided by the child’s labor. However, that choice is exploitative and can be hurtful to a young child. A young child who is forced to work may forego going to school for instance. The perceived benefit from the extra income will never compensate for the lack of learning and social adaptation gained from the school environment. Such a child could grow up to be an illiterate and asocial adult because of a decision made by someone else even if it is his or her parents.
In addition, a company might be justified in pursuing profit motives. However, profit at all costs is detrimental to the long-term success of any business. In particular, a company that hires child labor to increase the profit margins will risk a backlash if their customers discover that the products sold by that company were manufactured using child labor. A recent example of a company experiencing a commercial backlash occurred when Nike was allegedly thought to have used factories in china that employed children. The company suffered from a tarnished image and has since worked hard to correct that negative image.
In conclusion, it is wrong for parents or companies...
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