Sunday, October 28, 2007
Anything that dents the massive self-righteous smugness of that odious store chain Gap is to be welcomed (and this is not the first time such discoveries have been made). However, I feel obliged to ask, What is so wrong about child labour? Harsh, yes, and undesirable, but it's an inevitable feature of all societies which haven't achieved the undreamt-of wealth that comes with widespread industrialisation - and, like it or not, it can be one of the routes out of poverty. Aren't these child workers helping to lift their families above the level of dire poverty at which they live and towards the small surplus that will enable them to get on? By this argument child labour is itself ending child labour, and our 'enlightened' intervention is - as in so many areas - serving to keep the really poor really poor, while making us, the really rich, feel good.
Posted by Nige at 11:19 am