Child Labor Problems
Imagine you are 9 years old, still oblivious to the world you are living in and you wake up early yet again. You get dressed while you are half asleep and after a few minutes you are ready for work. The fields are dark when you begin but you’d take the dark over blazing heat from the sun any day. You’ve done the same thing everyday for years and a way out is starting to look farther and farther away. Children all over the globe wake up early everyday to go to hazardous jobs that pay pitiful amounts of money. An intelligent plan needs to be put in action in order to help the children and not unknowingly punish them. Economic sanctions specifically should not be used to punish countries that continue to use child labor because of the negative effects sanctions can have on citizens and because some countries have regulations that are already effective.
There are other solutions that don’t involve the possibility of hurting the children who are victims of child labor. First, author Tracey DiLascio explains that “Sanctions typically include prohibition of exports to the offending countries, and either outright prohibitions or heavy taxes and tariffs on goods imported from those countries”(DiLascio). Admittedly doing this may put pressure on countries to give into terminating child labor, however if the country decides to not give in there will be heavy taxes put on important resources. Also, although this may not seem like a problem that we have to worry about in the United States, it is actually estimated that “…there are approximately 148,000 child laborers illegally employed each week in the US”(Walter). Americans often think that the United States is very progressive and there are no moral problems that are concerning, but that is not the case. This is not only an issue of helping other countries, we also have to stop this problem on our own soil. If the United States, one of the most developed countries is the world, cannot stop this problem then less developed need our help to prevent this problem. This problem needs to be solved quickly and effectively.
By using economic sanctions one may cause more harm to citizens then good. For instance, one can see the benefits of not using the sanctions by looking at a country who decided to get rid of them after using the sanctions for years:
In the 1990s, a study was conducted in Vietnam, a country with many working
children, to observe what happened to these children as Vietnam lifted its export restrictions and started to participate in the global export of its rice. As a result of Vietnam’s participation in the free market, the price farmers were able to obtain for their rice increased by about 30 percent between 1993 and 1998, resulting in an increase in rice farmers’ overall income. During this same time period, there was a nine percent decrease in the number of children working in Vietnam.(DiLascio)
This proves that there are benefits to not using sanctions. These countries just need to gain their footing and then they will be able to have an economy that is not supported by children. The sanctions will just put more pressure on business owners to make their employees work more.