Ending child labor | AspenTimes.com

Ending child labor

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:

Do you know a kid, 10 years old, who has never gone to school and works in a shop pulling apart used hypodermic needles? Most likely not.

Unfortunately, kids in that situation do exist. How can we complain about the price of gas when a kid in India could be working in a shoe factory? Who are we to complain about corrupt businesses and low-paying jobs in America when, in Asia, companies demand that a family in debt make their children work for them for less than 3 cents a day.

Around 9 million children in Asia are working. These kids go through unimaginable hardships. So, the most important question is how can we help? If we boycott items made by kids in a third-world country, we are denying that kid his or her next meal, because that company will eventually go out of business, and the kids will lose their jobs.

However, there is also a good side to that method. The companies will be forced to change their ways if they want their customers back. What happens if we do buy the goods? Then we are encouraging these companies to keep doing what they are doing.

These kids are forced into this situation because their family owes a particular company 600 to 1,200 rupees; that is equivalent to $17 to $34. If we send that tiny amount to the people who need it, we would set them free. But even this suggestion has a setback. The people in Asia would become dependent on the money for food, and if there weren’t any food in years to come, they would die.

I suggest boycotting the companies who use children to make their products. I suggest this because it has shown real results. A little while ago Nike was accused, and as a result, the number of the customers dropped and they stopped using kids and moved back to the United States.

Hank Myers

Colorado Rocky Mountain School

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