The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Exploiters Pay Less for Child Labor

Aug 1, 2022

This article is excerpted and translated from the July 26th issue, #2811 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers Struggle), the paper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

Child labor is on the rise all over the world. The International Labor Organization reports that one of every 10 children in the world must work for a living. In parts of Africa, it is one in every four children who must work.

The economic crisis, the health crisis, and wars in different areas of the world are causing an increase in poverty. These children who work seldom get any education: they are forced to take employment, sometimes in very dangerous conditions. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, approximately 40,000 children work in the mines in southern Katanga. In South Asia, at least 17 MILLION children work, a fifth of whom are under the age of 11. Some children in India work up to 20 hours a day, chained to looms in weaving cloth. Some children are trafficked for the sex trade.

Even in rich countries, more and more young people take part-time jobs at low wages, with a worrying number of accidents.

The conditions of the world mean ever more children will be forced to work. No matter that the United Nations and the International Labor Organization oppose it, this is the logic of capitalist exploitation.