Child labour essay
Title: International business
International social responsibility is the approved framework that draws a line between business purposes and moral, ethical and social commitments on a global level. There is a variety of international social responsibility concerns, and child labour is high on the contemporary multinational agenda. For the time being, the number of child labourers exceeds 250 million worldwide. In fact, child labour is defined by the International Labour Organization (2008) as types of work performed by children under 18. For instance, the internationally acclaimed clothing retailers like Nike and Gap conventionally build up their global businesses on contracting factories and suppliers in the developing countries. Therein, local employers apply unethical and illegal practices to the workforce while benefiting the abovementioned global retailers. For a number of times, these organizations were reported as such that are exploiting child labour disregarding set ethical norms and legal regulations. In all cases, the traditional response from the corporate management is limited to the lack of awareness of such unfair instances and injustice applications. This indicates that despite the impacts of pressure groups and advocacy organizations these global brands are unwilling to bear either ethical or legal responsibility for their dishonest employment practices. Fortunately, owing to the enormous efforts of various international pressure groups, the companies like these have recently taken adequate measures to cease unethical applications, particularly those associated with child labour (Gorgemans, n.d).
By placing such enforcements, pressure organizations invaluably contribute to the expansion of civil society based on ethical principles of respect, justice and human right priority. In such a way, various pressure groups, media, and youth rights groups are fighting against dishonest companies and their suppliers to protect children from illegal exploitation. Fact is, it is almost impossible to reveal the truth since suppliers are operating in the areas that are difficult to monitor, which enables the latter to conspire their unethical and illegal practices. Whenever the unethical scandals addressing child labour exploitation are revealed, the corporate managers tend to deny their awareness of such illegal happenings allowed in the contracted factories or suppliers.
Ostensibly, the global problem of child labour is immense and in most instances falls beyond any reasonable ethical or legal control of the responsible authorities. Considering this, it is a common knowledge that legal regulations have always been based on the ethical principles reflecting social morale. Therefore, primarily it is a question of ones ethics and morale to intentionally accept and apply child labour for low pay and in appalling conditions. Nevertheless, in practical terms it seems that many suppliers actually do not mind unethical and illegal exploitation of child labour solely caring about enlarging their profits, expanding consumer markets and winning competitive advantages owing to cheap workforce that consists of ethically and legally unprotected children from Mali, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Liberia, Pakistan and many other destinations worldwide. To this end, according to International Labour Organization and the United Nations, the child labour is considered exploitative (UN General Assembly, 1989).
Gorgemans, A. n.d., ‘Addressing Child Labor: An Industry Approach’, [Online] Available at:
UN General Assembly “Convention on the Rights of the Child”, Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989 entry into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49