Child labour - Condone or codemn?
There is no international definition of who a child is, so lets draw our conclusions from the definition of an adult.An adult is defined as an individual who has attained the age of majority. In normal circumstances an individual is said to be a major when he/she is of 18 years of age unless if a guardian has been appointed by a court, wherein he/she will attain majority on being 21 years of age. Lets assume 18 years of age as the cutoff point and hence anyone below the age of 18 years is a child and any work done by him/her for consideration is an act of child labour.
So if one were to go by this definition you will be guilty of employing child labour when the kid next door mows your lawn or when the local paper-boy drops your newspaper at your doorstep. But the flimsy minded hippy social workers who head international organizations such as UNICEF and ILO have ever-changing views on the age cutoff point, they sometimes opine that this cutoff point be 15 years and sometimes opine it should be 18. They also distinguish between child-work and child-labour; child-labour is oppressive whereas child-work is not; but alas these definitions of theirs are based on their daily whims and fancies and are ever-changing.
Agreed, every child should have the right to basic education which is deprived by their employers. But stopping child labour is not the answer, hippy social workers fail to realize that by picketing factories that employ child labour they are not only depriving the child of his daily bread but also the income of the factory and the society as a whole.
Protesters often voice concerns about the meager wages paid to children; but in this capitalistic piecemeal system of production, the wages are at par with the production and in most cases the production of a child is not at par with an adult and hence the variance in wages. They fail to realize that by doing away with child labour, the competitive advantage enjoyed by their local industries are neutralized which would result in poverty in the locality, which is the root cause of child labour; but then again these hippies on weed will not most probably be able to spell 'economics' so one should not expect them to understand it. Everybody talks about stopping child labour but none of them talk about rehabilitation, once they lose their jobs, who will provide the food?, who will provide the education?. In the individual hierarchy of necessities, food on the table supersedes all other concerns. Rather than protesting child labour, all hippies are requested to address the root causes such as poverty, once these causes are addressed the phenomenon of child labour will cease to exist, so till then please let the kids earn and live in peace.