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Child Labor in Second and Third World Countries

            Child labor continues to be a problem in many Second and Third world countries today. Multiple products produced by children as young as 13 and 14 years of age are on the market in the United States, as well as other countries around the world. Although child labor may seem barbaric to some, it is actually a necessity for survival in many Second and Third world countries. Some Americans assume that child labor in these countries is harmful; however, in reality, children in these countries are responsible for contributing to family income and are an integral part of the workforce. Whereas the American government is trying to fight child labor in Second and Third world countries, impoverished countries are willing to fight because it is a way of life for these families and their survival depends on it.
             It seems that many Americans are narrow-minded when it comes to child labor in Second and Third world countries. Because of the luxurious circumstances, or at least the contentment, in which many Americans live, they are always ready to jump on a boycott of companies that utilize children in the workforce. However, many do not realize that because of the lack of jobs, impoverished countries have very different work ethics than those in the Unites States. Children are viewed as a part of the workforce and are expected to work in order to make some sort of living. Nadira Faulmuller explains it this way in her article "This Company Is Employing Children?" It is imperative for children to work in these poverty-stricken countries just to make ends meet. In fact, "the cause for children doing work in poverty- their survival, and that of their families, depends on it" (Faulmuller 112). Most Americans do not realize that many workers in impoverished countries do not make a dollar a day; therefore, everyone must work to increase the family's income. According to Faulmuller, "Until we have tackled the problem of general poverty, rather than forcing companies to fire children- may it be via product boycotts or regulations- we might think about enforcing safe work condition for them" (113).

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