eabstracts.png

THE CHILD LABOR QUESTION AND OTHER SAD STORIES


Within the framework of La Salle University, the "Environmental Management and Control" seminar was held for a group of scholars from the University of Quindío, Colombia.

The objectives were:

• Analyze the theoretical bases of the sustainability sciences.

• Arguing the reasons that justify sustainable behavior.

• Professionally apply the fundamental concepts in sustainability.

• Identify corporate social responsibility



The concept of sustainability emerges, to define an alternative for humanity, from the so-called "Ecodevelopment", that is, the consideration of "the economic" and "environmental" by society.

For this, it is essential to understand "The Paradox of Technology, Wealth and Poverty", that is, how should our society act and act to achieve sustainability in a population, community, entity?

How to do to have a sustainable social and economic development?

These questions require endless studies on how society acquires its benefits, without harming society itself and the environment.

With the intention of answering these questions, PwC, gave us his study "Towards a Fourth Basic Financial Statement" that is worth reviewing and understanding.


The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that over 250 million children are employed throughout the world, with ages ranging from four to fourteen. A large percentage of these children are employed full-time and do not attend school.


Child laborers can be found in large numbers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. One country known for its child labor is Pakistan. In Pakistan, carpet master, Sadique, recruits boys ages seven to ten to weave his carpets. Sadique states: “They make ideal employees. Boys at this stage of development are at the peak of their dexterity and endurance, and they’re wonderfully obedient” The carpet master can hire a child for about one fourth the cost of an adult carpet weaver.

Critics of child labor, which includes many international organizations, argue that these children are exploited by their employers, forced to work long hours in poor and dangerous conditions, and are deprived of an opportunity for a better life.


They argue that a universal standard should be agreed to by all 291 nations that ensures that no child will be subjected to full-time employment before the age of fourteen.

Others argue that while child labor is never a country’s first choice, it is necessary for the survival of some less developed countries. Critics of international standards argue that what is unethical in one country may not be unethical in another.



This relativist perspective maintains that child labor standards cannot be applied globally because the economies of the world are not equal. While prosperous countries can afford to keep children in school for a long time, it is necessary that children work in poorer countries. They point out that rich countries today, such as the United States, had children working during their less prosperous times. It is further argued that without employment, many of these children would be homeless and subject to even greater exploitation on the streets. The families of the working children depend on them in many cases for money for food. The question is not education or work, but rather, work or starvation.


THE GLOBAL PROBLEM OF E-WASTE

A growing problem in the developed economies of the world is what to do with outdated or unusable electronic equipment. Electronic waste, or e-waste, is created when people discard old computers, monitors, printers, televisions, and other electrical equipment. E-waste contains hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. Public landfills generally prohibit the disposal of such hazardous materials due to the potential to cause harmful environmental conditions. Toxic chemicals from the discarded e-waste can seep into underground water and contaminate drinking supplies. With millions of electronic devices such as old computers, cell phones and television monitors, discarded each year in the United States alone, a strong need exists to find a place for these potentially harmful devices.


Computer recycling requires that low wage employees disassemble old computers by extracting the valuable and working parts for reassembly.


The so-called “white box” computers are reassembled computers that are sold in developing countries at a much lower price than new ones. By reusing existing computer parts, resources are saved and consumers who might not otherwise be able to afford a computer can purchase one.


Given the labor cost differences between the United Sta