Fair trade and child labour

Fair trade organisations try to make sure that small producers get the maximum profit out of their products. People have always been oppressed because they are small scale manufacturers and they don’t get the full benefit of their products, because they sell their goods to retailers who in turn sell these products at a higher price. Organisations have been put forward to fight against this system, where producers get to sell their own products, limiting middlemen. Fair trade is an open way to cease poverty, allowing poor producers to use their skills and knowledge to climb out of poverty. Fair trade helps small farmers and workers to earn a decent living and if you think that you can do nothing to help them, you are wrong! Even you can start to buy fair trade products! HOW? Just look at the Fair Trade mark on the products you are buying! This will help these small planters, because you are securing a better future for them, it is not much to ask of you, but you will be doing them a favour, at no price! And in the UK, by shopping at the BAFTS retailer (The British Association for Fair Trade Shops), you are sure that your money is being spent on Fair Trade goods, because 70% of their products are from recognised fair trade sources.

Fair trade does not allow child labour, that is a child below 12 years old has no right to work, and most customers in affluent countries tend to think that their clothes or household products are products of child labour, thus they tend to buy fair trade products to support producers in developing countries. There are about 218 million child engaged in child labour, they either work in fields, factories or do hazardous works like mining or handling chemicals. The reason for such a high rate of child labour is poverty, and the demand for cheap and flexible workforce. India is such an example, where children below the age of 12 start to work because they live in too desperate conditions, their families don’t send them to school but on the contrary send them out to work in fields so that they can contribute to the house’s expenditures.

There are numerous laws to fight against child labour, like the 1973 Minimum Age Convention 138 which permits only 15 years old to start working and the Convection for the worst elimination of child labour which insists that a country identifies and qualifies the reasons for child labour. Almost every country has laws banning the employment of child below a certain age, but they don’t always follow this, because if they did, there wouldn’t have been such a high rate of child labour almost everywhere in the world! If people are poor, why do they send their kids to work? If they educated them, send them to school, they would get a better job, they would be better paid, this would have been helped them more to eradicate their poverty!