Sometimes the machine is so high and the boys are so little, they have to climb up to reach the bobbins. If they slip they can hurt themselves badly.
What is child labour? Some types of work make useful, positive contributions to a child's development. Work can help children learn about responsibility and develop particular skills that will benefit them and the rest of society. Often, work is a vital source of income that helps to sustain children and their families. However, across the world, millions of children do extremely hazardous work in harmful conditions, putting their health, education, personal and social development, and even their lives at risk. These are some of the circumstances they face: Full time work at a very early age Dangerous workplaces Excessive working hours Subjection to psychological, verbal, physical and sexual abuse Obliged to work by circumstances or individuals Limited or no pay Work and life on the streets in bad conditions Inability to escape from the poverty cycle -- no access to education
Why do children work? Most children work because their families are poor and their labour is necessary for their survival. Discrimination on grounds including gender, race or religion also plays its part in why some children work. Children are often employed and exploited because, compared to adults, they are more vulnerable, cheaper to hire and are less likely to demand higher wages or better working conditions. Some employers falsely argue that children are particularly suited to certain types of work because of their small size and "nimble fingers". For many children, school is not an option. Education can be expensive and some parents feel that what their children will learn is irrelevant to the realities of their everyday lives and futures. In many cases, school is also physically inaccessible or lessons are not taught in the child's mother tongue, or both. As well as being a result of poverty, child labour also perpetuates poverty. Many working children do not have the opportunity to go to school and often grow up to be unskilled adults trapped in poorly paid jobs, and in turn will look to their own children to supplement the family's income.
Where do children work? On the land In households -- as domestic workers In factories -- making products such as matches, fireworks and glassware On the street -- as beggars Outdoor industry: brick kilns, mines, construction In bars, restaurants and tourist establishments In sexual exploitation As soldiers
Case Studies: Sylvia* in Tanzania worked as a domestic. Despite only being a young teenager, she worked long hours cooking, cleaning and doing the majority of household chores. She was made to sleep on the floor, was only given leftovers to eat and was not paid for her labour. When one of the men in the household severely beat her for refusing his sexual advances, she fled. A neighbour referred her to the local organisation Kivulini which provided her with safe shelter and compensation from her 'employer'. Case study: read Mohen and Nihal's story When Ahmed* was five years old he was trafficked from Bangladesh to the United Arab Emirates to be a camel jockey. He was forced to train and race camels in Dubai for three years. "I was scared.... If I made a mistake I was beaten with a stick. When I said I wanted to go home I was told I never would. I didn't enjoy camel racing, I was really afraid. I fell off many times. When I won prizes several times, such as money and a car, the camel owner took everything. I never got anything, no money, nothing; my family also got nothing." Ahmed was only returned home after a Bangladesh official identified him during a visit to Dubai in November 2002. Our local partner Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association provided him with the specialist support and help he needed to resume his life with his family. *Names changed
he Song of I’m four years young, and I only know one way Makin’ rugs for your rooms... and I don’t how to play. Like some kids in China weaving pretty colored rugs.. They slave to make toys...No kittens...or hugs. The Song of Iqbal My father sold me to a carpet man I go to his factory at 4 am I’m working all day as hard as I can I’m just a child workin’ like a man My father sold me to a carpet man Who runs a factory in Pakistan For a twelve dollar debt he could not pay I work like a slave for six cents a day Chained to my loom...Pretty rugs for your room My name is Iqbal – And my life’s full of gloom. No breaks, no lunch... do the best I can No school, no play... in Holy Pakistan.
I sit at the loom 12 hours strong I don’t know this is very wrong – Working in silence all through the day I don’t even know there’s another way. When I ran away, I would pay, be attacked With relentless beatings on my back. I had no choice, for I needed to stay And labor again for six cents a day. My name is Iqbal and I’m only five I don’t even know that I am alive. When I’m six I hope this torture will cease Or is this the way it must always be? At the age of six, I dreamt of the loom. No dreams of puppies, or toys in my room. Now I am seven, and trust God has a plan... To save the children from the factory man. I’m eight years old, And think I can say... That I do what I’m told, But I hate every day Now I am nine and BLF* set me free I escaped to a Rally from the factory.
Bonded Labour Liberation Front (in Pakistan) Postscript: Iqbal had the dream to read and help other boys and girls. After being freed at ten years old, Iqbal Masih became an outspoken advocate for working children and was awarded the Reebok Human Rights Award in America at the age of 11. Back in Pakistan, he rallied and set over 3,000 children free. Then, at the age of 12, he was murdered on Easter Sunday in 1995. The papers were sent when I was just ten... I’ll never return to the loom again! My story can now be told to more – We no longer owe the factory store The school of knowledge Fed my spirit a feast – And then my light went out, When I was shot near a beast. Do not buy pretty rugs or toys, That are made by children -- girls and boys. Watch for the “Rugmark” that makes this decree: “I’m made by a worker that’s grown-up and free”!
'We, the working children of the Third World, propose...' The Right to Respect by Kadiatou of Conakry, Guinea 1 We want recognition of our problems, our initiatives, proposals and our process of organization. 2 We are against the boycott of products made by children. 3 We want respect and security for ourselves and the work that we do. 4 We want an education system whose methodology and content are adapted to our reality. 5 We want professional training adapted to our reality and capabilities. 6 We want access to good healthcare for working children. 7 We want to be consulted on all decisions concerning us, at local, national or international level.
8 We want the root causes of our situation, primarily poverty, to be addressed and tackled. 9 We want more activity in rural areas so that children do not have to migrate to the cities. 10 We are against exploitation at work but we are for work with dignity, with hours adapted so that we have time for education and leisure. In any conference we want representation on an equal basis (if there are 20 ministers present, we want 20 working children also to be present). We will have discussions with our ministers but we do not want them to represent us. Internationalist The people, the ideas,the action in the fight for global justice (http://www.newint.org)
'I am a fruit of nature - I must preserve and value it' by Idrissa Goudiaby of Ziguinchor, Senegal. Young daughter of Mali (excerpt) It is through working that we gain our dignity It nourishes our survival, our future What will become of us without work? A generation of parasites! Working children, let us take action in our work and generate the hopes of future working children. Working children, let us persevere in the work we do, for the future of our country, our environment, our family and the people we are. Rise up, working children, walk hand in hand and together we will build our future and toil for the development of all our countries. Georges Traoré and the working children of Kayes, Mali
Plan possible pour une préparation de cours I- CHILD LABOUR cf N°1&N°2: children at work What are they doing? What kind of work? Work of anticipation Conditions of work Reasons for working Can you imagine what their lives consist in (school? / friends / family life..)
Plan de cours (suite) II- Why do children work and where? List all the reasons why children are made to work. Case studies (Sylvia and Ahmed) What countries? What kind of work? Conditions of work Other examples: research work on the Internet: Other examples of children at work in developing countries & developed countries
Plan de cours (suite) III- The song of Iqbal 1- Iqbal’s work - Where? - What sort of work? - Conditions of work - What do we learn about his employer? - Why does he have to work? 2- What sort of life does he lead? (Any rest? / Any school? / Any friends?....) Conclusion: comparison with other cases (kids working in India, China, Peru…)
Plan de cours (suite) IV- Should children work? cf. « We, the working children of the Third World, propose… » Read the proposals What are the main problems working children want us to recognize? Why is the boycott of products made by children important? Why are working children against the boycott? How can the root causes of their situation adressed and tackled?
Plan de cours (évaluation) V- « We are for work with dignity » cf. « We, the working children of the Third World, propose » article 10 cf. Young daughter of Mali: « It is through working that we gain our dignity » Explain what « work with dignity » means.
Origin of documents The documents above come from the websites: http:// www.newint.org http://www.hrw.org/children/labor.htm
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