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Child Labour: Human Rights Project

Paige & Cassandra Mrs. Graham Social Studies Nine 2012

Paige MacKenzie

on 11 December 2012

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Transcript of Child Labour: Human Rights Project

Statistics What Is Child Labour? Where Does It Exist? Bibliography Child labour is a global issue and a global responsibility. It prevents growth and development and puts children at risk physically and psychologically. In the process, it denies children a healthy, well-adjusted future. Unfortunately, child labour has gone mostly unchecked worldwide due to its profitability. This is not only problematic for the children involved, but also for society at large because it ruins generations of workers. It is up to everyone to ensure that the economic factors that contribute to child labour are eliminated. This includes restraining capitalism's profit motive in favour of human rights. Roots to Results...

• Child Labour What are the consequences &
effects of child labour? Solutions & Prevention Why Does It Exist? Fast Facts Globally, 218 million children are child labourers The highest proportion of child labourers is in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 26 percent of children (49 million) are involved in work. 73 million working children are less than 10 years old Every year, 22,000 children die in work-related accidents 8.4 million children are trapped in slavery, trafficking, debt bondage, prostitution, pornography and other illicit activities The number of children involved in armed conflicts has increased to about 300,000 over the past decade. Nearly 70% are in agriculture (rural children, especially girls, usually start working in this industry when they are very young, often between 5 and 7 years of age) 22% are in services, including wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels, transport, personal services, etc 9% are in industry, including mining and quarrying, manufacturing and construction One in six children 5 to 14 years old — about 16 percent of all children in this age group — is involved in child labour in developing countries. In the least developed countries, 30 percent of all children are engaged in child labour. Worldwide, 126 million children work in hazardous conditions, often enduring beatings, humiliation and sexual violence by their employers. Children in commercial agriculture can face long hours in extreme temperatures, health risks from pesticides, little or no pay, and inadequate food, water, and sanitation. Child labour is work that harms children or keeps them from attending school. • Violates a nation’s minimum age laws Threatens children’s physical, mental, or emotional well-being Involves intolerable abuse, such as child slavery, child trafficking, debt bondage, forced labour, or illicit activities Prevents children from going to school Uses children to undermine labour standards The International Labour Organization estimates that 215 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 currently work under conditions that are considered illegal, hazardous, or extremely exploitative. Some children work in illicit activities like the drug trade and prostitution or other traumatic activities such as serving as soldiers. Child labour can be found in nearly every industry Thesis: The practice of child labour is wrong because it ignores a child's right to a safe and productive development. Although in many industrialized cultures these human rights are championed, it is their industrialized lifestyle that produces the conditions for child labour in other parts of the world. Summary: All children have the right to grow up in safe conditions that are productive to their development. When a child's safety and development are put at risk because of work, this right is denied. The conditions in which millions of children work are appalling; the severity of the situation should spur immediate action. This is especially true in developed countries, where human rights are championed. However, this is often not the case because child labour is a necessary part of the global economy. In order to preserve the economic and political status quo, child labour is allowed to exist. The elimination of child labour requires immediate global action, and implicates industrialized and developing nations alike. Child labour is usually defined as work done by children that prevents them from a safe and healthy development. Children are different from adults in that growing and learning consume a large amount of their energy. If children are put into situations where they cannot learn and develop properly, they cannot become healthy adults. This is detrimental to children as human beings, and detrimental to society, which is denied productive and healthy adults. Even though child labour is concentrated in developing countries, globalization has transformed it into an issue that affects everyone negatively. The Right to Childhood Throughout history, children have worked to support their families and communities. It is only recently in Western industrialized countries that childhood has been defined by leisure and education. For example, in Canada this kind of childhood acclimatizes children to societal expectations and norms. It allows children to grow into functioning adults who are able to contribute to society. In other countries, childhood may require different activities and forms of education to produce functioning adults. This development process may require certain kinds of work. However, nowhere should this work impede a child's ability to develop. The types of work common to child labour, such as sex work, textile manufacturing, and heavy agriculture are not necessary to a child's development. The physical and psychological damage inflicted on child workers in these industries does not help society or culture in the long run. The Reality of Child Labor Child labour should be eliminated immediately because of its harmful nature. However, labour remains a reality for 218 million children worldwide. One-fifth of the world's population is connected to child labour. Working as domestic servants, soldiers, sex workers, factory workers, agricultural labourers, mineworkers, drug vendors and throughout the informal sector, children constitute a major part of the global workforce. Children work for many reasons. For instance, they may have no parents or their parents are unable to work. Children are often involved in human trafficking and forced into slavery. In places with little or no educational or community facilities, children work because there is nothing else to do. Where there are weak or nonexistent labour regulations, children are more desirable employees than adults because they will work for less money, refrain from forming unions, and because they have certain physical features such as small hands that allow them to do detail-oriented work such as carpet weaving. In addition, the profitability of hiring children over adults leads to more child labour, and often places the burden of supporting the family on the child, and not the parents. In most of these situations, working children gain few skills that will prepare them for adulthood. More importantly, in addition to stunted growth, they may also become injured, making them less employable as adults and thus ensuring that the vicious cycle of exploitation continues. Dangerous Drudgery Every day, 126 million children work in hazardous conditions and 22,000 children die in work-related accidents. The health and safety of children is constantly put at risk by the poor working conditions associated with child labour. Children are often employed in hazardous industries where they are more vulnerable to accidents and illness than adults. For example, they are often forced to transport heavy loads, use toxic chemicals, crawl into tiny spaces, engage in unprotected sexual activity, and use dangerous machinery not designed for their bodies. Additionally, child labourers are at risk for physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their employers. Many also suffer from malnutrition. Considering these issues, the contribution children make to the economy is not worth the cost of such work. Beyond Safety Outside of the abhorrent safety conditions, child labour can negatively affect the physical, emotional and psychological development of children. It has been proved that when children work long hours at grueling tasks, their physical development is stunted. If they work in isolated areas or on the street, children are denied acculturation to normal societal institutions, like the law and education. As a result, child labourers suffer socially and intellectually. Many children cannot attend school or enjoy leisurely activities because they do not have time or are too exhausted after working, thus allowing them to grow up without normal social interaction and development. As a result, many become adults with severe psychological problems. This interferes with the child's right to develop in a healthful and supportive environment. It also creates a global society with a large portion of the adult population that is scarred and unproductive. A Global Issue Child labour affects the whole world. Despite the fact that international organizations like the United Nations (UN) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have condemned child labour, its existence and influence is widespread. In developed countries like Canada, consumers benefit from goods cheaply produced by children. In emerging countries such as those found in Africa, Asia, or Latin America, economies benefit from taking advantage of children. Although industrialized countries advocate the existence of human rights, they continue to import goods produced as a result of gross human rights violations. How can this happen? At an international level, a good deal of responsibility from the mistreatment of child labourers can be placed on economics. In a global economy, countries must be able to produce goods as cheaply as possible to compete. As a result, they place their resources into trade and economic development rather than education or social programs. Even in Canada, child labour exists. Immigrant children, especially if they are in the country illegally, may look for unregulated work in the sex trade, domestic service, or the construction and manufacturing industries. This type of cheap labour helps keep industrialized countries competitive economically. In order to eliminate child labour, leaders everywhere have to recognize that the rights of children are more important than economic gain. Our Responsibility Child labour is simply repulsive. Canada must recognize how terrible the situation really is and realize the role our country plays in its existence. By constantly buying consumer goods and demanding them at cheaper prices, Canadians support the conditions that create child labour. Moreover, by providing international incentives for cheap labour through trade agreements, Canada sends the message that money trumps human rights. In order to fight child labour, all industrialized countries must limit their economic gain and advocate for the rights of children. If they do not, any dialogue about human rights will be hypocritical. Conclusion Ebsco Article Counterpoint: Preventing Child Labour is a Globsl Responsibility "Child Labor Statistics by World Region [Chart]," in Children and Youth in History, Item #349, http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/primary-sources/349 (accessed December 4, 2012). "Child Labour: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty." Child Labor: Breaking The Cycle Of Poverty. 10 May 2010. YouTube. YouTube, 10 May 2010. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1cZFgJwzYM>. Lambrick, Melanie. "Counterpoint: Preventing Child Labour Is A Global Responsiblity." Editorial. n.d.: n. pag. Canadian Points of View Reference Centre. Web. 4 Dec. 2012. <http://web.ebscohost.com/pov/detail?vid=4&hid=7&sid=5ad973bf-a178-4ec5-8747-9cc67dd9e038%40sessionmgr13&bdata=Jmxhbmc9ZW4tY2Emc2l0ZT1wb3YtY2Fu#db=p3h&AN=28674848http://>. Gold in Colombia
Charcoal in Brazil and El Salvador
Chrome in Zimbabwe
Diamonds in Cote d’Ivoire
Emeralds in Colombia
Coal in Mongolia An estimated 60% of child labour occurs in agriculture, fishing, hunting, and forestry. Children have been found harvesting: Bananas in Ecuador Cotton in Egypt and Benin Cut flowers in Colombia Oranges in Brazil Cocoa in the Ivory Coast Tea in Argentina and Bangladesh Fruits and vegetables in the U.S. About 14 million children are estimated to be directly involved in manufacturing goods, including: Carpets from India, Pakistan, and Egypt Clothing sewn in Bangladesh; footwear made in India and the Philippines Soccer balls sewn in Pakistan Glass and bricks made in India Fireworks made in China, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, and Peru Surgical instruments made in Pakistan "What Is Child Labor?" Continue To Learn. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://www.continuetolearn.uiowa.edu/laborctr/child_labor/about/what_is_child_labor.html>. Gerri. "Business Pundit." Business Pundit RSS. N.p., 1 May 2012. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://www.businesspundit.com/5-giant-companies-who-use-slave-labor/>. Of an estimated 215 child labourers around the globe: approximately 114 million (53%) are in Asia and the Pacific; 14 million (7%) live in Latin America; and 65 million (30%) live in sub-Saharan Africa. Children as young as 6 or 7 years old break up rocks, and wash, sieve, and carry ore. Nine-year-olds work underground setting explosives and carrying loads. Children work in a range of mining operations, including: Child labour exists because of these causes: Poverty and unemployment levels are high
-poor children and their families may rely upon child labour in order to improve their chances of attaining basic necessities
-more than one-fourth of the World’s people live in extreme poverty

Existing laws or codes of conduct are often violated
-extensive subcontracting can intentionally or unintentionally hide the use of child labour
-the manufacture and export of products often involves multiple layers of production and outsourcing, which can make it difficult to monitor who is performing labour at each step of the process

Laws and enforcement are often inadequate
-labour departments and labour inspection offices are often underfunded and understaffed, or courts may fail to enforce the laws

National laws often include exemptions
- Nepal : Minimum age of 14 for most work
- Kenya : Prohibits children under 16 from industrial work, but excludes agriculture
- Bangladesh : Sets no regulations on domestic or agricultural work

Workers’ rights are repressed
-attacks on workers’ abilities to organize make it more difficult to improve labour and living standards in order to eliminate child labour

The global economy intensifies the effects of some factors
-the corporations competing sometimes slows child labour reform by encouraging corporations and governments to seek low labour costs by resisting international standards
-some U.S. Legislation has begun to include labour standards and child labour as criteria for preferential trade and federal contracts

Debt and Child Welfare
- Malawi : spends 40% of its GDP to repay foreign creditors, 15% is spent on healthcare and education combined Child labour is found in nearly EVERY industry in some form or another. Some industries may not even be aware that the child labour is taking place. Hershey's however, pays for the child labourers to collect all the cocoa beans. "How Does Child Labor Affect The World's Economy?" ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012. The effects of child labour in society and specifically the economy will not be as noticeable now as it will be in the future. By the year 2020, 730 million new workers will have joined the adult workforce, 90% from developing countries, where child labour is most common in the world. Some of these new workers will have been child labourers growing up. This will most likely leave them crippled, unhealthy, and uneducated. Many child labourers will have died before reaching the age of 18, and not even have made any impact on the world’s future, which is the ultimate goal in life, is it not? While these children who work as labourers may not have that much of an effect now, they will play a role in shaping the world when they grow up. This is the main reason why child labour needs to end now, not just for the children living and working in these unimaginable conditions but for the future of the world we share with them. By employing child labourers we are leaving the world to uneducated and crippled people who’s idea of labour is all wrong. If we want to have educated, healthy, contributing members to the world, child labour needs to be eliminated now, before the economic effects start to really show up. Paige & Cassandra Eliminate Poverty: Encourage Education: Enforce Labour Laws End Child Trafficking Promote Fair Trade Replace Child Workers With Adult Workers There are 800 million unemployed adults in the world; and yet, the number of working children is estimated to be at over 300 million.Replacing these child labourers with their mostly unemployed parents would mean higher incomes in the family (since adults are generally paid better), consumers would be more likely to buy products which they know come from a safe working environment with no child labour, and the rise in cost would have such little impact on trade and export its a win – win situation. There is a worldwide rise in consumers wanting products which guarantee basic human rights and respect. Implementing these fair trade rules helps prevent child labour. Fair trade practises guarantee a fair price to workers, buyers, and small businesses. Fair trade provides goods to 5 million people and because of it, the money is often reinvest profits in the community, where the money is used to build schools, medical clinics, wells, etc. Everywhere in the world, there are adults who earn a living by buying and selling children. The governments of all countries need to make laws against this and take harsh measures against child trafficking. Most countries have laws against child labour; however, some governments support child labour (regardless of existing laws) as a way of getting a competitive market advantage. Governments need to rehabilitate and protect working children, sometimes though preventing children from working is not necessarily the best solution; children may end up in worse situations and their families may become even poorer. Some fight to protect working children by providing them with information on their rights or by guaranteeing them safer working conditions. Children need to learn how to read and write. They need social and professional skills that only school and a nurturing environment can provide.Some countries have mandatory schooling and some provide free public schooling. However, in many countries, particularly for those who’s citizens live in poverty, school and the cost of teaching, books, and uniforms makes it impossible for children to get an education. Education must be free and mandatory until the minimum legal age for employment goes up. Government organizations and industries should be pressured to act in a socially responsible way to put an end to child labour or to provide children with better working conditions. Boycotting is not the solution because it forces children, who have no education or any other specific training, to quit their jobs and return to the streets or to more dangerous activities. More schools need to be built, teachers need to be trained and school materials need to be made available for these children. Companies That Use Child Labour Video:
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