Every product or food that pass through the hands of exploited labors, be it from any part of the globe, will have the wetness of their sufferings. Giving an opportunity to sell those products in United States is also a kind of encouraging those exploiters. United States do not want to encourage such exploiters. This is what President Barack Obama did when he signed a bill on this Wednesday that includes a provision banning U.S. imports of some of those products.
Fish caught by slaves in Southeast Asia, gold mined by children in Africa and garments sewn by abused women in Bangladesh are just some examples. Child labor and bonded labor are still prevalent in many societies. While the West was successful in eliminating this evil to an appreciable level, many countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe still struggling. The profit-hungry owners employ exploited workers, bonded slaves and children in manufacturing locations. Even in this 21st century, exploitation is continuing. The United States is now closing a loophole in an 85-year-old tariff law that has failed to keep products of forced and child labor out of America.
Exploitation is a social evil still prevalent in our society. In one way or other, a section of society is made submissive in order to subject them for exploitation. American history was not different. Exploitation and discrimination were at its peak in American society. The colonial rulers and their followers had done enough sin to the generations of Native Americans and people from African countries. The stains of the slave trade are still visible on the walls. The great thing is that the United States could evolve as a matured society to show or lead other nations. American society was able to correct the mistakes and come out of the sin that was done by their ancestors. U.S customs law banning imports of items produced by forced or child labor had gone largely unenforced until now. U.S law allowed importers to buy things regardless of how they were produced. With the new law implemented, importers cannot find the loophole to justify demand by importing products without verifying the origin.
Legislation all over the world prohibit child labor and exploited labor but in practice, it is not implemented. Exploited labor has existed to varying extents through most of the history in every civilization. Before World War II, many children worked in agriculture, home-based industries, factories and mining industry in countries including Europe and American continents. Passage of strict laws helped to reduce child labor in Europe and North America, some East Asian countries etc., but nothing much changed in Africa and South and South-East Asian countries. High poverty levels and poor school accessibility are said to be some reasons for child labor. However, exploitation, atrocities towards women and bonded labor are also high in these countries.
The social evil of exploitation of children in labor market has been reducing globally, thanks to the efforts made by Governments and NGOs. Over the past fifty years, child labor had decreased from 25 percent to 10 percent, but still around 168 million children are involved in child labor worldwide according to UNICEF.
When child labour was common in Europe, certain cultural beliefs have rationalized child labour and encouraged it. Many people thought that work is necessary for the character-building and skill development of children. In many cultures parents inherits a particular trade to their children. In those cultures, child labour was a means to learn and practice that trade from a very early age. That is a different side of the story. Forced or exploited labor by children is a social evil. In Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines, child labour is a serious problem. Macroeconomic causes encouraged widespread child labour across the world, over most of human history. They suggest that the causes of child labour include both the demand and the supply side. By rejecting the sin-stained products, the new U.S law is going to put control on the demand side.