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Intro: Fashion's Impact on Children

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Key Takeaways
  • The major centres of textile and apparel production are in parts of the world (Asia, Africa) and involve sectors (such as agriculture) where child labour is most prevalent.
  • 51 countries – all low- or middle-income countries – use child labour in at least one part of their garment or jewellery supply chains, suggesting that millions of children are involved.
  • Child labour stems from and reinforces cycles of poverty, as the child workers miss out on education and opportunities that could prevent them from being trapped in poorly paid work as adults.
  • Low pay and long hours for garment workers leave their families in poverty, depriving them of access to schooling, health care and decent standards of living.
  • Cross-border and internal migration is vital to garment production but migrants’ children may be left behind for months or years, leaving them with long-term adverse psychological effects. 

The fashion industry has a wide-ranging impact on children. The major centres of textile and apparel production are in parts of the world where child labour is most prevalent. Millions more are also affected by the insecurity and low pay endured by parents who work in fashion supply chains. 

Children’s lives are affected directly and indirectly by the fashion production supply chain:

  • directly, through the use of child labour in the cotton or garment and jewellery-making sectors; …
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