Critical Response


Child labor is a problem that continues to affect many underage persons across the globe. The children have to leave their role as the consumers of income to become the providers of money. The problem is more rampant in the developing countries, where the businesses hire underage employees because they are paid much less than their adult counterparts. The only method that is currently being utilized by the developed countries is consumer boycotts. A firm using child labor in the production cannot access the developed countries’ markets. However, the problem is present in the modern world, which is a clear indication that additional strategies to eliminate it are required. In the same spirit, Brazier provided an in-depth analysis of approaches to defeat the vice. The current paper’s role is to give a critical response to the insights provided by Brazier in his article.

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Article Summary

The article sheds light on child labor, a vice that needs more attention than it currently has. Moreover, the author asserts that elements of child labor exist in the developed countries. The newspaper delivery service is one of the forms of child labor in the industrialized world. However, delivering newspapers is not defined as child labor because “it is not harmful”. Brazier indicates that the same phrase can apply to the children working in developing world. Therefore, the author argues that the matters of child labor are more complicated and complex than they seem for many people. The article states that child labor in the developed countries is on the rise today. The phenomenon occurs primarily in the ethnic groups, where the immigrants’ children perform the tasks that qualify as child labor. For instance, Hispanics children in the USA complete the agricultural chores in many cases.

The article affirms that one of the most severe forms of child labor is child prostitution. According to Brazier, the campaigns against the phenomenon have sidelined underage prostitution. Moreover, Brazier stipulates that prostitution is as prevalent in developed countries as in the developing countries. He further contributes to the claim by sharing Paula’s story, a child prostitute in Middlesbrough, England. 

The author states that the only way to eliminate child labor is to create awareness and understating of what is child labor. Moreover, the combating efforts should concentrate in areas that allow hiring children as laborers. A good illustration is the fact that many children in the third world countries are willing to work, and they wish to remain breadwinners without western force interfering.

Based on the child labor facts, the call is for the anti-child labor initiatives to pay attention to the kids work issues and formulate the practical solutions. The primary reason for the children to involve in child labor is extreme poverty. Brazier argues that the reality is that the actions taken to counter child labor are doomed to fail if they just aim to stop the issue. Instead, the program should offer a solution to the causal reasons, as the corresponding reasons to participate in the labor force have direct effect on the children. According to the author, the only feasible solution to the problem of child labor is education. The knowledge-increasing education programs should be tailor-made to reflect the respective realities of children in different societies. The article demands more investment in the education sector to ensure that the system is sensitive to the needs and interests of the children. Moreover, the education programs should create a supportive and enjoyable environment that does not remind of a prison. Contrary to the suggestion, students are interested in attending school as indicated by Assane, a good example of child from Senegal who argues he that he ready run away if anyone tried take him in a school. The example proves that the education system and the schools in developing world should offer skills that avail value to the children and their parent. As a result, parents will be motivated to take their children to school rather than exploit their labor. The improvement in education is a good platform of starting eliminating child labor.

Critical Response

The author’s discussion is well calculated and balanced. The author covers the child labor issue from different perspectives to ensure a more expanded platform to support his thesis. The evidence is reflected in the author’s intention to discuss the issue from the perspective of the developed and developing countries. The balance of the discussion is also visible in the nature of debate approach, which clearly outlines the problem and offers potential solutions. Moreover, the insights provided by the victims incorporate effectively in the story where the demand is to come with solutions that reflects the views availed by the victims. The method brings the face of the victims into the discussion. Besides, the author demonstrates a command on the complexity of the child labor phenomenon. The writer indicates that the definition of child labor is far much complex than the world believes. According to the author, the standard argument that the delivery of magazines by minors in the developed countries is not harmful can apply to the children doing harder jobs in the developing world. This is the basis for the author arguing that indeed the child labor is a more complex matter than it considered.

Brazier’s approach to the matters child labor is practical because the discussion is centered on the understanding of the vice better in order to identify and outline the most appropriate solution. He utilizes the approach of having clarity on the issue and thus coming up with an appropriate solution to the case. This is evident in his assertion that indeed just shutting down child labor without accompanying the shutting down with an alternative engagement solves nothing but makes it harder for these children. The approach is also very realistic since the assertion that the issue requires a tailor-made manner is the initial step to finding the feasible solution. The countermeasures need to reflect the realities of the concerned victims. Additionally, the author calls to avoid employing the approach of “blanket condemnation” for all jobs undertaken by the children. He states that the single definition of child labor would undermine the fight on exploitative child labor.

Incorporation of Paula’s story is relevant to the discussion since it affirms two assumptions made in the discussion. The first one is illustrating the presence of extreme child labor in the developed countries, as Paula is a child prostitute in Middlesbrough, England. The second goal is to demonstrate the need to have an education system that interests the children and parents. Paula informed the author that she did not in any way find the school interesting. She could be out of school since the institution “chased her up”. The response provided a clear indication of the lack of interest for her. Therefore, the story is a complementary aid used to support and illustrate some fundamental assertions made in the discussion. However, the author gives contradicting views as part of a solution to child labor, where the demand for child workers is to be decreased. He suggests raising the wages for underage workers to deter the employers from perceiving them as cheap labor. With the agenda being the total elimination of child labor, supporting child labor institution contradicts the goal of fighting the vice. In fact, even in equal pay conditions, children might be preferred due to their flexibility, availability, and quick adaptation to a new role as compared to adults. Thus, the primary solution to combatting child labor through education is not only tenable but also sustainable. The reason is that through education, the potential child laborers will be better placed and have a chance to exploit better opportunities in life.


Child labor is a problem that needs a countermeasure strategy that is sensitive to various issues affecting different victims of the vice. Moreover, elements of child labor still exist in the developed countries. Thus, the factor necessitates creating a robust campaign against the problem across the world. Additionally, in many instances, children subjected to child labor are more than willing to continue working. The aforementioned phenomenon demonstrates the complexity of the problem and challenges possible solutions. It is, therefore, evident that the only way to address the problem of child labor is to solve the primary causes that lead the children to choose work instead of taking up regular activities that the majority of their age mates are doing in the developed countries. Therefore, the article suggests that the only solution lies in the improvement of the education system to make not only relevant but also appropriate for the different children’s way of lives around the world.

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