Child labor is defined as all those work that affect children’s life in terms of health and their education. Other instances where children help their parents in running errands at home do not qualify as child labor. When the activities involved is positive then we cannot say it is child labor rather it enhances the skills of the child. Child labor has a long historical background dating back to the colonization time when there was slave trade. Industrial revolution contributed to the relocation of people to urban areas where child labour was preferred in many factories because of being cheap and that children would not lead strikes.
For a work to qualify as child labour, it should fulfill the following factors:- interferes with the education whereby it makes children to leave school or simultaneously work as they attend school and also interferes with their health; physically, mentally and even socially. This essay discusses the extent and effects of child labour putting into consideration the case of Cocoa producers.
Should Labor Practices in another Country be a Relevant Consideration in International Trade? Why or Why Not?
The labor practices put in place in one nation should be a consideration in the international trade involving that country and others . The international trade should have guidelines to be followed by the participants to ensure a fair trade is observed. The main reason for emphasizing for the introduction of laws governing the conduct of international trade is to ensure that the traded commodities meet the minimum standards. There should be a body charged with the responsibility of counter-checking the applicability of the guidelines in individual countries.
Another compelling thing in considering the applicability of guideline in the international trade is to ensure that no child labour rule is violated. The most affected areas of the economy are in the production of Cocoa especially in West Africa where most of the laborers are children who have been dropped from school. The labor practices in these countries should be considered in the international trade so as to ensure the safety of children.
The end products of cocoa are consumed mostly by developed nations and this should also be among the principal reason for advocating for fair trade practices. The internal labor governing organization should trace the products being sold to their origin and investigate for the application of the labor rules. Traders of Cocoa products in the international market should have certificates of compliance with the labour law so as to ensure there is no violation of child labour laws.
Options available for the Government, Businesses and Consumers of Products like Cocoa in Relation to Child Labor or Slave Labor
All the participants in the trade involving products such as Cocoa should apply all the necessary measures to ensure a fair trade is in existence. The governments of the affected nations should implement proper labour laws that are in line with the international standards. Generally, the government should abolish all the slave labour and also child labour so as to trade in harmony with the International world. Other measures that government should apply are imprisonment for those who violate child labour laws. It is also the work of the affected government to seek for international help in relation to formulation and implementation of the standards.
Businesses should also not be left aside in addressing the issue of child labour. They should ensure proper certification for their products which will guarantee them those farmers never violated the child labor law. The consumers on the other hand should make sure they buy only the certified products and thus promote the elimination of child labour practices. There should also be a protocol established to eliminate the child labour practices.
Implications of the Options
The proposed options to eliminate child labour practices face a lot of challenges from those who violate the laws. The introduction of certification rule in Cocoa products will raise the cost of production to the farmers. Another implication is the introduction of the subsidies to farmers who apply the international standards so as to cushion them from incurring losses as compared to their competitors who do not follow the laws. There has also been resistance from adopting the labour laws due to the traditional cultures in the nation affected and also long periods of civil war.
How an International Trade Theorists View the Fair-Trade Movement
Fair-trade movement was enacted as a way of rewarding all those farmers who follow the labour guidelines. From an international trade point of view, imposing the fair-trade rule is of great help and will curb the farmers from violating the labor practices. Some of the guidelines include:- the introduction of price floors in the international market to cushion farmers from the fluctuation in the prices of their commodities and also certification which ensures farmers pay the right wages to their employees. A trade theorist will argue that, prices of commodities are determined by the forces of demand and supply and even also the price for labour will also be determined by the supply of it.
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