By Gary Wiener
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Extra resources for Child Labor (Global Viewpoints)
2. Why is the notion that children gain skills, and thus benefit later in life, from working at an early age incorrect? 3. According to Global March, are children significantly cheaper to hire than adults? “Resource Center: kNOw Child Labour,” Global March Against Child Labour, 2008. org. Copyright © 2008 Global March International Secretariat. Reproduced by permission. 41 Child Labor M yth 1: Children have to work because of poverty. Admittedly, most child laborers come from poor families. However, poverty is not the only reason children work, nor is it as central as many people think.
Global March Against Child Labour is a movement to promote worldwide efforts to defend the rights of children. As you read, consider the following questions: 1. According to Global March, what other factors cause child labor besides poverty? 2. Why is the notion that children gain skills, and thus benefit later in life, from working at an early age incorrect? 3. According to Global March, are children significantly cheaper to hire than adults? “Resource Center: kNOw Child Labour,” Global March Against Child Labour, 2008.
The incidence of child labor can be relatively low even at fairly low levels of national income. For example, in 1999 an estimated 15 percent of children ages 5–14 worked in Sri Lanka—a low-middle-income country. 42 The Global Problem of Child Labor Thus, the relationship between economic development and child labor is not necessarily linear. While economic growth facilitates the reduction of child labor, the reduction of child labor contributes to development. Thus, the connection between child labor and economic development runs both ways.