Introduction 1 Jan. 2015, Lamarque, Hannah. “10

Introduction     Many children in parts of Asia are strongly encouraged to work to make a wage for the purpose of sustaining their family’s needs. However, the meager working conditions in which these kids work, the age at which they start working, and the horrible pay they receive is very unethical and harmful to the children. In Asian countries, 0.5-8% of children — depending on their location — are working for a wage. Female children working in Asian countries work an average of 30 hours per week, while male children work an average of 38 hours per week!¹ This occurs despite the Multinational Codes of Conduct law adopted in the 1990’s that, “obligate them many corporations and their supplier factories to respect labor rights”. Part of the terms of this law means to prohibit child labor.² This is highly due to the need for children to make a wage to sustain their family and employers need for cheap labor. Children who live in poverty are often times encouraged to work by their parents to pay or help at home along with — if they have younger siblings — sending their younger siblings to school for an education.³ This demand for money causes parents to send their children to work for wages illegally. Despite the Multinational Codes of Conduct law, child labor seems to continuously be a pertinent issue in Asian countries; it must be considered to legalize the use of child labor under certain restrictions and requirements as an alternative solution.Companies Perspective: America     Major corporations, such as H&M, have been known to purchase from factories that employ children with very cheap wages so that they may receive their materials for very cheap.? According to the United States Department of labor, 62.1 million children are ¹ Webbink, Ellen, and Jeroen Smits. “Child Labor in Africa and Asia: Household and Context Determinants of Hours Worked in Paid Labor by Young Children in 16 Low-Income Countries.” ProQuest, 1 Jan. 2015,² Caraway, Teri. “Labor Standards and Labor Market Flexibility in East Asia.” Proquest, 1 June 2010,³ Webbink, Ellen, and Jeroen Smits. “Child Labor in Africa and Asia: Household and Context Determinants of Hours Worked in Paid Labor by Young Children in 16 Low-Income Countries.” ProQuest, 1 Jan. 2015, Lamarque, Hannah. “10 Companies That Still Use Child Labor.” CareerAddict – Kick-Start and Advance Your Career, 30 Oct. 2017, in child labor in Asia and the Pacific.? Therefore, it is a major issue in Asia and the Pacific. Focusing on the issue in Asia, as mothers make less money children work harder and thus make more money.? This fact is pertinent due to Asia’s poverty rate being one-third!? This high poverty rate causes a greater need for their children to work, as families need enough money to sustain their needs for food, water, shelter, education and other necessities. Unfortunately, in the worst cases, children working in child labor can make only 20 cents a day, or 1.28 yuan (a common currency in Asia).? This is not a sustainable amount of money and would not even buy a meal. This cheap labor allows factories to produce material for very cheap, allowing major corporations such as H&M to purchase material for very cheap to make a greater margin of profit.? This unfortunate, yet blatant use of child labor regardless of laws supposed to prevent such action prove the solution of making child labor illegal to be ineffective and the alternate solution of legalizing child labor under certain restrictions and requirements to be a good alternative.Children’s Perspective: Asia     Children in Asian countries are being forced into labor by their parents in order to pay for their family’s necessities, but the working conditions as to which they work and the way they are treated are horrible and unsafe. One 15-year-old worker from Wenshan, Yunnan was quoted explaining how, “The boss beats him if he “misbehaves”, he said, adding that he and his co-workers don’t get paid until the end of the year, and ? 2016 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor – Asia & the Pacific.” United States Department of Labor, 20 Sept. 2017, Maio, Michele. “Consumer Boycott, Household Heterogeneity, and Child Labor.” 23 Apr. 2012, “Poverty in Asia.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, 30 Aug. 2014, “Children Pay High Price for Cheap Labour.” Children Pay High Price for Cheap Labour, 1 Oct. 2011, Lamarque, Hannah. “10 Companies That Still Use Child Labor.” CareerAddict – Kick-Start and Advance Your Career, 30 Oct. 2017, not be paid at all if they leave before then.”¹? This abuse is illegal and unethical, even more so as the person abused is a child. Not only are the children affected by their employers, but also by the objects they are working on. In India alone, 1.76-3.3 Lakh tonnes of e-waste is generated per year! This e-waste is recycled by workers in recycling centers, some of which being children — who, among women, are the most vulnerable to the hazards of e-waste. The vast majority of these people are very poor and have low literacy rates and are therefore unaware of the hazards of e-waste.¹¹ To prevent such hazards, the “Basel Convention” came into force in 1992 to prevent such hazards to human health, but it was proven difficult to monitor due to unreliable data regarding the amount of e-waste exported and therefore was ineffective on reducing the hazards to human health.¹² The dangerous conditions as to which children work are unacceptable and illegal making legalizing child labor with restrictions and requirements a valid solution.Child Labor Activists: WTO’s Role     The WTO, World Trade Organization, is an organization attempting to restrict or prohibit the import of goods manufactured with child labor. The WTO helped establish the GATT under the non-discrimination principle which states, “the products of the territory of any contracting party imported into the territory of any other contracting party shall be accorded treatment no less favourable than that accorded to like products of national origin in respect of all laws, regulations and requirements affecting their internal ¹? Zuo, Mandy. “Under 16 and Working 16 Hours a Day … Chinese Clothes Factories Import Cheap Child Labour from across China.” South China Morning Post, 22 Nov. 2016,¹¹ Pinto, Violet. “E-Waste Hazard: The Impending Challenge.” ProQuest, May 2008,¹² Heacock, Michelle, et al. “E-Waste and Harm to Vulnerable Populations: A Growing Global Problem.” May 2016,, offering for sale, purchase, transportation, distribution or use,”¹³ meaning that, in the most simplistic terms, in order to distribute these products, they must be manufactured following all the local laws: including those of child labor. Since being signed in 1947-1995, child labor levels have dropped from 27% – 13% and they have been expected to drop to 8% in 2010.¹? Although all may not have been due to the signing of GATT, it definitely made a contribution to the reduction. Unfortunately, this act did not eliminate child labor or reduce it to a more acceptable level and did not reduce it significantly enough more recently because as previously stated child labor levels are at 0.5-8% in Asian countries. This lack of sufficient results suggests the need for a new alternative, such as the legalization of child labor with restrictions and requirements.Recommendation     Although employing children may be unethical and wrong, for some families it is their only option. Child labor can not be completely prevented. In attempt to prevent it as much as possible, we can legalize child labor under certain restrictions and/or with requirements. Although WTO is against it, legalizing child labor with the requirements that they must be given minimum wage — possibly adjusted slightly due to being underage — only allowing them to work under 21 hours a week with no more than 5 hours a day to allow time for an education, and to be given a healthy work environment — including a lunch break and a clean, non abusive environment — monitored by the state government would allow a healthier solution for the children. This may reduce child labor due to companies not wanting to meet the payment requirements needed, so they will employ adults for a slightly higher wage to gain better results for nearly the same amount of money. The companies still willing to employ children will be forced to give the children a healthy work environment and a decent wage. The government will monitor all of this, and give consequences to the companies that do not comply such as a large fine or shutting down their factory.