World Day against Child Labour

Today is World Day against Child Labour, a subject close to my heart. First and foremost I’d like to make clear that I think it’s most important that children are able to be children, to be able to play and learn. But how do we get there?

In Bangladesh child labour unfortunately is very common. The sad truth is that lots of families can’t survive without a child’s income. The garment industry in Bangladesh is huge, a lot of our clothes from western brands are manufactured there. These garment factories producing for western brands offer relatively good working conditions, and child labour is uncommon. We as western consumers don’t want our clothes produced by children, and rightly so. So these factories are regularly checked and provide decent conditions.

Unfortunately they pay their workers a pittance, women garment industry workers in Bangladesh earn $48 a month, for working 60 hours a week. That is not enough to live on. This means their children are forced to work in the factories that produce for the local market, working under considerably worse conditions.

A solution to this problem is paying more. We pay more for our clothes, the big brands pay more for production, and the factories pay more to their worker. But the problem lies with us, as we don’t want to pay more, we want to pay less. We’ll need to realise if we are against child labour and want to stop this, we have to pay a fair price for the work of their parents. We’ll have to trade fair and buy fair trade.

If you’re interested to read more about this subject, take a look here:

The Wallstreet Journal. H&M want better working condition for Bangladeshi suppliers.
The Guardian. Tackling the root causes of child labour.

Read more about Tulsi Crafts & fair trade here.

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