Sample Term Paper

Words 1,573

Introduction

Children have worked for as long as families have desired all hands to pitch in. Beyond defining work as a means of survival, however, defining what work is suitable for children and what to do about inappropriate work engage more complex judgments particularly for firms doing business in the global economy.

Child labor is associated with global business directly and, more frequently, indirectly. Critics blame increased trade and financial flows for increased child labor and those criticisms have destabilized the legitimacy of further trade and financial liberalization. Unless business responses ease the worst forms of child labor, the legitimacy of continued trade and financial liberalization will persist to be undermined by perceptions that liberalization disproportionately hurts children, particularly child workers.

The International Labor Organization estimates that around the world 250 million children between the ages of five and fourteen work, about 120 million of them fulltime. ILO (1999) Some of these children work in factories and other workplaces in the strict economy, but the vast majority work in informal enterprises, agriculture and in homes. International firms are part of this economy not only if they hire children, but also if they buy goods or services from children or from companies that make such purchases. International business has come under bigger pressure from social activists, trade unions and others to help find new solutions to end exploitative work for children and to help them get the education and training they require to become productive adults. Companies in the spotlight comprise respected multi-national corporations as well as many other lesser-known businesses.

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