The effect of child labor on the world’s economy will not be evident so much now, as later. While child laborers do make items that are exported to other countries, and affect the world’s economy currently, many child laborers to not work in the export sector, so the overall economic effect is negligible.
Later, however, child labor’s effects will become more noticeable.
By the year 2020, 730 million new workers will have joined the adult workforce, 90% from developing countries, where child labor is most common. Some of these new workers who will be the new builders of the world’s society will have been child laborers growing up. This will likely render them crippled, unhealthy, an, most importantly, uneducated. Many child laborers will have died before reaching the age of 18, and not even have made any impact on the world’s future. These new former child laborers who are now formal workers will almost certainly affect the world’s economy – in a bad way – because job positions that require an education may go unfilled, and manual labor jobs may also see vacancies due to the fact the new workers are already crippled.
While child laborers may not have much of an effect now on the world’s economy, they will play a role in shaping the world when they grow up. This is a key reason why we should try to solve child labor now. Entrusting the world to uneducated and crippled people has never been desirable. In order to have educated, healthy, contributing members to the world’s economy later, it is necessary to eliminate child labor now, before the economic effects start to show up.
Read what Sally Bachman has to say on this subject.