Imagine being taken from your family and being put in harsh conditions, no food, no education, no childhood. Over 200 million children are engaged in child labour. Worldwide, approximately 22,000 children are killed at work every year. Child labour is defined as the use of children in the industry or business, being used illegally and being put into dangerous inhumane settings. Many famous companies, such as Nike, use children because their sizes allow them to fit into small spaces in factories or mines where adults cannot fit. Children are also being paid very little for doing dangerous work. It deprives them of their childhood, their dignity and is harmful to them physically and mentally. Children as old as six or seven years old work 12 to 14 hours a day often low paid or unpaid. I’m going to be talking about the factors of Child Labour, sweatshops and how we as people can help make a change. We need to make a difference today and stop child labour or prevent it from happening.
There are many contributing factors to child labour. Poverty and illiteracy are widely considered as the number one reason for child labour. Children work because they have to supplement the family income and their work because their parents are poor. Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world and the extreme poverty of Afghan families forces many children into hazardous labour. In 2006, approximately 75 million children were not in school, limiting future opportunities for the children and the communities. This causes lots of poverty forcing parents to send their children to work so they have a source of income. The children are often put to work in harsh dangerous conditions and are often deprived of sleep, education and food.
Sweatshops are factories or workshops with very poor, socially unacceptable, or illegal working conditions. Sweatshops were created for companies to gain profit by driving down the cost of production. Famous companies that use sweatshops and child labour are Nike, Kit-Kat, Walmart, Apple, Disney and so much more. These companies pay their workers so little and sell the shoes for so much more. Let’s use Nike as an example, they pay the factory workers just twenty cents an hour and have them work 70 to 80 hours a week. Nike ends up selling these shoes for hundreds of dollars for doing little to no work. These sweatshops exist just about everywhere, even in developed countries like the one we live in now.
Canada is connected to child labour. Research conducted in 2016 shows that over 1000 companies operating in Canada are importing goods at high risk of being produced by a child or through forced labour. This means that the average Canadian is most likely connected to child labour through the everyday products we buy and consume. $34 billion in goods are being imported that was made by children overseas.