Children without school education later have little chance of building a good, independent life. Employers mostly use children for hard but unskilled work.
That means that they never get a proper education to get or learn a craft. It has been proven that former child laborers often send their own children back to work, meaning that entire generations remain trapped in this cycle of poverty.
But it is no solution to stop importing or buying such goods. If boycotts and punishments are not accompanied by other positive measures, they often hit the wrong people: the children and their families depend on their income.
Child workers who are simply laid off get no help and end up on the streets or in worse exploitation conditions. Children from the textile industry in Bangladesh who were fired because of a boycott, for example, then had to work in quarries or became prostitutes.
Aid organizations such as Unicef or terre des hommes therefore reject undifferentiated boycott campaigns. On the other hand, it makes a lot of sense to support restructuring measures.
Every aid project for child workers must be accompanied by extensive social and educational measures. Successful projects against child labor offer compromise solutions with flexible schools so that the children do not have to give up their work entirely and can still go to class.
In such projects, employers commit to improving the working and health conditions in their companies. It is also important to provide credit and improve wages for parents so that they can no longer send their children to work.
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