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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 

The plight of certain underdeveloped countries like Bangladesh, India as well as many in Africa is something that we are all aware of. The children have barely enough food to eat, let alone the fancy clothes, toys and other things that children of more developed countries are lucky enough to have. Instead of going to school to gain a good education, children in underdeveloped countries set out to work from as young as four or five years old. By the age of twelve, most of them are given the responsibilities of looking after and supporting their parents who are often weak from hunger and ill health.

Deprived of any form of education from such a young age, these underprivileged children are forced to take up illegal odd jobs which often have hazardous and unsuitable working conditions. Since it is illegal for young children to work, the corporations or factories that do hire these children hide them away from the main working areas. The children are thus trapped for long stretches of time in dark and dirty rooms. In India, for example, there are children who work in factories which manufacture matches. The working hours in these factories are long and the work tedious, but what is most significant is that such factories are potential fire hazards. Not only do these children risk their lives by working, but they are also exploited as they are paid minimal wages.

Children in third world countries have also been found to be working in garment factories which supply jeans and other modern wear to the rest of the world at a price that can be ten times the wage paid to each child monthly. In 1990, the United Nations encouraged countries to prohibit the import of products made by children under the age of 15. This threat led to great panic in the Bangladesh garment industries which immediately dismissed child workers. However, once the attention disappeared after some time, it was back to business for some companies, but more discreetly this time.

We may think such measures will stop the problem of child exploitation, but the truth is they may lead to other problems. Even though the garment factories may be exploiting children by paying them low salaries, they do nevertheless provide them with a more or less safe working environment and proper jobs. Dismissing children from work does not necessarily mean that children will no longer work. In fact, they may end up in the hands of drug pushers or other criminals and lead a life of vice selling drugs or steal for a living.

The problem of child exploitation is one which is difficult to resolve, but it can be done by a sincere government willing to help the poor and members of the public playing their part to help.

     
  1. According to paragraph 1, ______ is not a problem for children in underdeveloped countries.
       
    (A) a scarcity of jobs
    (B) a shortage of food
    (C) a lack of education
    (D) starting work at a young age
       
  2. Corporations which hire young children 'hide them away from the main working areas' (paragraph 2) because ______.
       
    (A) they have to comply with the law
    (B) they do not want to break the law
    (C) it is against the law to hire children
    (D) it is illegal to let children work in the main working areas
       
  3. The writer uses the word 'exploited (paragraph 2) to suggest that ______.
       
    (A) children are paid low wages
    (B) the treatment of child workers is unfair
    (C) children face many risks when they work
    (D) the corporations are hiring the children illegally
       
  4. Why do you think 'the United Nations encouraged countries to prohibit the import of products made by children under the age of 15' (paragraph 3) ?
       
    (A) They felt that the products made were unsafe.
    (B) They wanted to increase the wages of child workers.
    (C) They wanted to stop corporations from hiring children.
    (D) They felt hat children could not make the products skillfully.
       
  5. 'We may think such measures will stop the problem of child exploitation, but the truth is they may lead to other problems.' (paragraph 5) The other problems refer to ______.
       
    (A) the exploitation of child labor
    (B) the low wages of child laborers
    (C) the alternative ways children find to earn money
    (D) the terrible living conditions of the poor in underdeveloped countries
       
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  Answers : 1A   2C   3B   4C   5C
 
 
 
 

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