Ibrahim Kakwan’s rationalization for child labor betrays a lack of imagination about how to protect children and ameliorate poverty (‘Fair trade’ tragedy, 03/26/2009). Surely Kakwan recognizes that it’s the money and not the job that is the answer.

He and we ought to be fighting harder to keep children out of harm’s way by ensuring that parents in vulnerable societies don’t face the choices he assumes are unavoidable. If he sees no real problem with any of the abuses he catalogs in his column, he should get out of the way so those of us who don’t like it won’t step on him.

But if he finds exploitation of children objectionable, let him contribute to the solution by spending future column inches condemning the practice wherever it is found and offering up an idea or two in the way of progress.

Michael Madill

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