Responsibility in World Business: Managing Harmful Side-Effects of Corporate Activity

By Lene Bomann-Larsen; Oddny Wiggen | Go to book overview

14
Child labour in the Brazilian
citrus sector: The case of
Cargill's double effect

Cecilia Arruda

In 2002, Brazil's population was 176 million.1 In 1995, the United Nations Children's Fund and the Fundação Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (UNICEF/IBGE) Indicators estimated that 3.8 million children were involved in child labour.2 In 2001, analysis of the same study concluded that 1 million children and adolescents worked and did not go to school, while 4.4 million children and adolescents worked as well as going to school in Brazil.3 The problem of children working and not being in school seems to be of serious proportions and the multinational companies, as well as large national companies, have always been in the spotlight.

The purpose of this chapter is to present a case where child labour is construed as a side-effect, and to look at how multinational companies can deal with it and what means can be deployed to minimize and eliminate it. The case-study of Cargill Incorporated will be presented as an example of a positive response. The case will then be analysed in light of the framework of the principle of double effect (PDE), evaluating the usefulness of and challenges to the principle.


Background

After the Uruguay and Marrakesh Rounds of the World Trade Organization, nations in Europe and North America raised the social dumping

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