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Child Labour

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Aneta Kozub

on 29 November 2012

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Transcript of Child Labour

Child Labor Today Child Labor: A Human Security Perspective History Although children had always worked in areas such as farming, the industrial revolution changed the nature of child labour. As factories sprang up in England and the United States, owners used children as a cheap source of labor. School aged children, and many who were under the age of 7, worked long hours and performed hazardous jobs. Young children worked in textile
mills, coal mines and as servants.
Poor families sold their children
to factory owners. The children
were overworked and suffered
various health problems. In the United States, the movement against child labor began with unions and organizations led by women and the middle class. In 1904 the National Child Labor Committee was formed and began an aggressive campaign for reform. After two failed attempts, in 1938, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated minimum age and work hours for children. According to the International Labour Organization, there are nearly 215 million child labourers around the world, 115 million of them perform hazardous work. Almost 114 million child labourers are in Asia and the Pacific. Around 14 million are in Latin America and the Caribbean. Just over 65 million are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Only one in five child workers is actually paid.
Examples of Modern Day Child Labor In 2007, it was found that an Indian vendor
employed by retail giant GAP Inc. used a subcontractor who ran a sweatshop with unpaid
child labourers. Parents of the children were
tricked into selling them to the contractor with
false promise that they would be taken care of
and that wages would be sent back home. Domestic servants are among the most invisible of child labourers. They often reside where they are employed. Domestic servitude can be one of the worst forms of child
labor as it is akin to slavery. Domestic servants are at a disadvantage with respect to education. Many domestic servants do not attend school which further inhibits their opportunities for other employment in the future. Although it is difficult to count domestic workers due to the covert nature of their job, the ILO estimates that 175,000 girls under 18 are domestic servants in Central America. In Indonesia the number is a staggering 688,000. Child Labour as a Security Issue Child labour has important political and economic implications. However, it is most devastating on the individual level and is undoubtedly a human rights violation. Therefore, the concern over child labour fits well into the human security paradigm. Many child labourers lack nearly
every facet of human security. Many children are forced into labour due to economic insecurity. Some children,
having been sold into the labour force are never paid their promised wages. Poverty is one of the main causes of child labor. Many children work in order to eat. Of those who labour, many suffer from malnutrition and exhaustion. Child labourers often become ill from their strenuous and dangerous work, which can sometimes be fatal. They rarely have suitable access to healthcare. Child labourers often live and work in unsanitary conditions. Child workers are subject to abuse from their employers or owners. Children are beat, sexually abused and even imprisoned as punishment. Child workers lack community security when their families are tricked into selling them into what is essentially slave labour. Despite the existence of anti-child labour laws in most countries, many are not enforced perpetuating an endless cycle of insecurity for child workers. Traditional security studies is concerned with providing security at the state
level. Under traditional security approaches
the subject of child labour receives little attention. Yet this issue has important security consequences. The
human security paradigm defines security in a broader manner that is
able to shed light on child labour and the impact it has on an individual human level, What are potential security consequences of child labour? Child labour
perpetuates poverty. Denying children access to quality education prevents them from gaining the knowledge and skills necessary for better employment opportunities as adults. Child labour is damaging to the physical, social and mental development of the youth. Lack of emotional and intellectual development forces children into a life of poverty. Child labourers may be vulnerable to physical injuries, sexual transmitted diseases, drug addiction and mental illness. Child labour is a cause of poverty, but it is also a consequence. And poverty has serious consequences for both individual security as well as state security. For this reason, the human security paradigm is best suited to give the issue of child labour attention it deserves and seek out solutions to alleviate human suffering. What is being done? Initiatives to end child labour:
The United Nations unveiled a plan to eradicate child labour by 2020. An important feature of the plan is making education compulsory. Conditional cash transfers, where poor families are paid on certain conditions, such as sending their children to school have been successful at lowering incidences of child labour. Under the United Nations Social Protection Floor Initiative, populations vulnerable to child labour are assisted with education, health, water and sanitation services. Job creation for adults is integral to solving the issue of child labour. The ILO Decent Work Agenda as well as the Global Jobs Pact aim to create jobs and put in place policies that will protect poor families and help keep children out of forced labour. Project by: Aneta Kozub December 3, 2012 WORK CITED:
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