The issue of child labor is a global one and it is not something limited only to the smaller industries. Unfortunately a number of well-known brands have been guilty of using child labor to manufacture their products. Government policies have banned the use of child labor all over the world, but the battle to ensure a normal childhood for children is a constant one. Parents should also work on it through looking for new ways to bring money to the household. One of those opportunities, called Option Robot, has proven its’ efficiency at late.
Child labor takes away the right to education that every child is entitled to. Children spend hours working at factories in deplorable conditions and they are paid low wages. As they miss out on the opportunity to go to school, they do not get a chance to develop physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically.
Attending school is even more important for children in developing countries. Doing so will give them a chance to learn skills such as English literacy. This can help them get jobs with higher pay later in life and thus they can leave their life of poverty behind.
Government regulations are not enough on their own to keep children safe from child labor. Consumers and companies need to fight this together by refusing to conduct business with those suppliers who employ children.
Here we look at some ways in which companies can help stop child labor:
By engaging their consumers:
Consumers today are extremely socially conscious. Most of them would not mind paying a slightly higher price for goods that are produced in a responsible manner.
When a company commits to manufacturing their good without using child labor, they can instill trust in their consumers. When a consumer is made aware that their brand of choice is socially responsible, it can lead to higher revenues and a relationship based on trust.
By being transparent:
Companies regularly conduct audits as an operating practice and many times these audits also involve some kind of social auditing. Most of the time these social audits are confidential.
Today consumers, shareholders as well as NGOs are working towards getting companies to make the information about these audits public. There may be times where the company may violate their code of conduct. Even if they are at fault disclosing information about it can make the consumers feel that the company has the intention to make things right.
By listening to the problems of their workers:
No organization can be successful if its employees are unhappy. The workers of any company need to feel that their voices are always heard.
In fact, the best way to find out about the issues that workers face is by listening to the workers themselves. No outside auditor will give you a better perspective than the workers.
Listening to and addressing the grievances of their workers is the best way for a company to keep track of its supply chain. This is an effective way to eliminate any form of abusive labor in their supply chains.
By giving children alternate options:
The main reason why children are forced to take up employment over school is the money. Companies must ensure that if required they should help a child identify safe options to earn money. They should also monitor the work and schedule of the child.
The government and NGOs like us give children various opportunities to education and development and the company must link the child to them.
Child labor cannot be stopped unless the large business community gets involved. The collective power of consumers and suppliers can be effectively used to pressurize violators. Corporations may need to take tough decisions but these decisions would only help the children lead a better life in their future.