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“Over 100 million children around the world work in hazardous conditions in agriculture, mining, domestic labor, and other sectors” (Human Rights Watch). At those workplaces, they are often exposed to adverse environmental influences including pesticides and extreme heat. Moreover, they are frequently abused and have excess workloads which can undermine their health and hinder sound psycho-emotional and social development. For these reasons, UNICEF considers that child labor violates the basic human rights because it is considered to deprive young individuals of childhood and good education and, in this way, condemns them to “a life of poverty and want.”
Conflict of Interests
Child labor as such is against the interests of children especially if their work is not voluntary. However, without sending their children to work, some families simply cannot survive. In many developing countries where the level of poverty is high, without work, children may have even fewer opportunities for good life. They likely may end up begging or perhaps engage in crime. Thus, it is important to remember that while in the countries with the advanced economies, it may seem like a big problem, in developing regions, it is not necessarily the case.
In the situation when there is no chance to get a high-quality education, sometimes a work may help children to acquire skills necessary to succeed in the future. Some theorists also suggest that if companies hiring young individuals would provide them with educational opportunities along with reasonable salaries and safe work conditions, the ethical dilemma and the conflicts of interests linked to it could be resolved to some extent (Mojonnier). Overall, there is still no clear-cut answer to all ethical issues associated with child labor so far. However, it is possible to say that each particular case should be approached individually.
Human Rights Watch. “Child Labor.” HRW. Web.
Mojonnier, Tim. “When child Labor is Ethical.” Business Theory. 2012. Web.
UNICEF. “Child Protection from Violence, Exploitation, and Abuse.” UNICEF. Web.