In pre-modern eras, there were many morally unethical acts that took place. Today many of those acts have been corrected accordingly, but as it seems to show, history never truly ends with one act. All around the Earth, majority of countries enforce laws and codes that prevents any adults from forcing children (anyone below the age of majority), to work a job, but if they choose to, it also protects them from hazardous jobs such as mining, heavy agricultural jobs, manufacturing, etc. These type of laws are commonly known as Child Labor laws. Unfortunately, nowadays these laws are undermined drastically. The reason for this is because child labor is a cheap labor source, and governments are struggling to catch employers who intentionally hire children. One of the example countries of heavy child labor is China, as there are many accusations of giant, multi-million dollar companies teaming with chinese manufacturers to use child labor and cut expenses. This means that majority of the clothing and cloth, technology, toys, books, and other everyday products are manufactured by the hard labor of children in “sweatshops’. Child labor in the large industries has negative effects in Chinese citizens as it contributes to the poverty cycle, limits the amount of education getting to children, and long term health issues for the children in question.
The poverty cycle is a economical term for a phenomenon where impoverished families stay poor for 3 or more generations. According to a article by WorldThreadTravalers, “This type of child labor also continues the poverty cycle by ensuring the children do not attend school and do not earn the skills necessary to create a better life for themselves and families”. So by working children, employers continue the poverty cycle. This renews child labor as those children who grow up probably won’t go very far and their children will work in a factory and etc, overall adding more to the cycle and dooming generations to come. Child labor isn’t helping but hurting, according to the Chinese Labour Bulletin,”In the Jiangxi study mentioned earlier it was found that all the children found working were from families experiencing economic difficulties…. there are large sections of the population who are slipping further into poverty and the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing steadily”. The Child labor is increasing the amount of poverty in China, having the opposite goal as parents or family who send their child off to work to fix that issue. This is what the poverty cycle is about, and why corrupt companies love it, this is also why the rich stay rich and the poor get more poor. Children are the future generation, and this vicious cycle will destroy all hope of an economically successful life in the long run, or even lead to the fall of the family line.
Some children tend to hate school, well children who work in sweatshops making those same phones that your child is playing on, are not getting the education they need. The website globalpartnership.org states that child labor is ruining education, “The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal for Education rests on children being free to go to school rather than working to support their families … eliminating all child labor will be impossible without quality education for all children”. By denying children the right of education, you help influence the use of child labor. Children who work in factories and farms tend to stay there while children who study tend to be able to sustain themselves and their families. In modern day society, children will need an education to help them score a decent paying wage.
Keeping children in the factories and field forever, what’s also known as modern day slavery to some people. It also effects by decreasing the attendance levels and even worse, force children to drop out, According to study by a team posted on Iza.org studying child labor in China, “A large number of studies find that child labor has adverse effects on school attendance of children… Child labor participation is significantly associated with a higher school dropout rate, and the correlation is stronger for rural children and for girls… working hours of children have a similar relationship with school dropout rate” (http://ftp.iza.org/dp9976.pdf). This study proves that the long work hours take toll on a child’s education, causing them to drop out of school, even though in China a select amount of education is mandated. Child labor influences truancy. This is another way how child labor can ruin children’s lives and harm them.
Children have to experience pain to live life, everyone has went through it, though that doesn’t mean we subjugate them to long term suffering. Children who work in these factories are usually physically abused, according to a South China Morning Post Interview,“One 15-year-old worker from Wenshan, Yunnan, was quoted as saying he works at least 28 days a month, starting work each day at 7.30am and never finishing before 10pm. The boss beats him if he “misbehaves”, he said“ Employers physically abuse children, this is against many laws, but it still happens children are worked like slaves, with little pay and are even punished like its disciplinary action. This abuse and long work hours can lead to mental issues as well. Stated by the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences Blog, “Psychological effects of child labour are as severe as its physical ones… Depression, hopelessness, shame, guilt, loss of confidence and anxiety are some of the horrible emotional effects of child labour, leading to a high risk of mental illness and antisocial behavior”. Children labor is taxing the health of poor children, not just on China’s children, but all across the Earth. This is one of the many reasons child labor is bad for everyone.
Child labor has been around for many years, though each time child labor was regulated and popular in different ways from culture to culture, for example, The industrial revolution is famously known for the extreme amounts of danger and how children were put to work very often. First, child labor seems to be at its lowest, according to statistics, child labor as of today, is higher than the amount of child labor in the industrial revolution. Child labor in the industrial revolution was unsafe, but that hasn’t changed today with current child labor, (Paraphrased from Mr.Smith and the videos in class, don’t know the exact quote). Second, Child labor nowadays is more regulated than in the industrial revolution. According to the education site, ducksters.com “The Industrial Revolution was a time of few government regulations on working conditions and hours”. Lastly, Child Labor is as dangerous in the industrial revolution as it is now. Also according to ducksters.com,“They lost limbs or fingers working on high powered machinery with little training.” and “ Children can still be found working in many dangerous places like factories, mines, quarries, on the land and other worse industries. Other children are forced to do many unskilled, repetitive jobs such as making boxes, polishing shoes, cleaning or helping in a family business to earn their keep or help to feed their family”.
Child labor is a harmful act against one’s own country and the people of that country. Its harmful to the citizens of China by contributing to the poverty cycle, blocking children from getting a proper education, and it is harming the children physically and mentally. So let’s all try to stop all child labor, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, save children from this “modern day torture” by boycotting, backtracking and looking how your product is manufactured, Just know once you find out you may never look at the classic, “made in China” tagline the same again.