Presented at Utah Council for Undergraduate Research, February 28, 2014
In many instances, child labor is a way to exploit the cheap labor a child has to offer. Although in many situations, the exploitation of child labor is not normally the case, such as families living in a developing country. What individuals raised in Western cultures fail to realize is that in some nations and for some families, child labor is a necessary resource to survive, children act as an exceptional resource in these situations. Without the extra income a child could make working in the fields, on the street, or the diamond mines, the family would suffer. Families in developing countries do not have the same luxuries that already developed countries can afford. Without the full knowledge of the detrimental effects, developed countries attempt to superimpose child labor restrictions on countries. Western societal norms differ from countries around the world; our parental views of childhood are far from the reality of parents in developing nations. Furthermore, children face difficulties outside the exploitation of labor, such as slavery, prostitution, malnutrition and low educational standards. The dilemma to send their child to school or work is an ongoing daily battle for parents, even though the families are aware that the schools are an ineffective way of educating their children. All of those situations are the reality of the lives of children living in a developing country. Even though, the money that they make on a day’s wage is small, and generally smaller than that of an adult, it is still more money than they would have been able to make on the street, selling drugs or sex trafficking.
Lagasse, Caitlin, "Child Labor - Moral Choice" (2014). Presented at Utah Council for Undergraduate Research, February 28, 2014. UCUR. Paper 10.