Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Child Labor

By Mary (new team member)
Article published in Wisdom Blow

Few issues are as layered with obscurantism and deceit as child labor, beginning with the estimated number of child workers worldwide. The most commonly cited estimate from the International Labor Organization (ILO) is 215 million while UNICEF estimates there are 250 million. Others estimate as high as 500 million. Both UN agencies agree that millions of children as young as 5 to 14 years old work full or part time, with nearly half working full-time, every day, all year round; 70 per cent work in agriculture; 70 per cent work in a dangerous environment, with many sustaining extreme violence and coercion; child labor is common in most countries, including Europe and the US, especially in agriculture and sweatshops.

It’s not clear how these agencies determine their estimates since the figures have remained relatively stable for many years when every economic indicator suggests significant increases. In December 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor added a dozen new countries to the list of those that use child labor, including forced labor. Governments are unlikely to accurately report child labor because they use it themselves or turn a blind eye to companies that do; they are unable to accurately report because there are no functioning monitoring agencies or inspectors established in any countries. IMF structural adjustment programs imposed on countries since the 1980s mandate destruction of labor laws and worker protections so it is highly unlikely money is expended to monitor child welfare and child labor. The UN agencies also acknowledge that millions of child workers are not included in their estimates, particularly domestic workers and those in the informal economy (i.e., under the table, off the books, and not regulated by government). What is known is that the problem is rampant in almost every country in some form or another, including children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, military conscription, bonded labor, sweatshop labor, mining, manufacturing, farm work. There is no monitoring or reporting of accidents, health problems, and deaths as a result of children doing dangerous work.
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  1. Great article Mary, thanks for posting it. It's an issue of a particular concern.. One of the the hidden, or maybe not so hidden, cost of savage capitalism so very dear to our crackpot in residence.

  2. Capitalism benefits poor people.

  3. <span><span>Why don't you address the issue in the post which is child labor instead of repeating your tiresome and tired inanities? Why can't you stay on topic for once, for goozesake? And you wonder why you disgust me?</span></span>

  4. India's problems are caused by <span>capitalism.</span>

  5. The illusion is that child labour contributes to a price drop of products, merchandises . Obviously the big co-operations are the beneficiaries from this practice. Some big offenders (although  they deny it) are big names fashionable consumer products e.g.: Sport shoes etc... what causes the price of a simple pair of brand name shoes to be in the hundreds of dollars , if low wages contribute to the cost . 
    There is plenty to take in in this essay , although i'm a bit optimistic that awareness is high especially amongst school kids "my kids can even list offenders " 
    Bring back the unions. 
    Thanks mary , there is plenty food for thoughts 

  6. Unions, certification bodies, confederations of collusion, etc. generally increase income inequality, reduce competition, increase unemployement, increase poverty and increase unfairness.

    For example, a lot of harm has come to America because of the American Medical Association [doctor's union], lawyer associations [laywer unions], and teacher unions.

    Children labor will take care of itself with rapid economic growth, improved education and good social services to protect children from their parents and guardians.

    Let us say that someone is good at big data analysis [pattern recognition and business intelligence using large data sets and data flows] and is 9 years old. Why shouldn't they be able to work and earn some money? Why discriminate against young knowledge workers?

  7. Should we assume, since you haven't addressed the issue, that you're indifferent to the misery of child labor? That's it's just a fair cost to pay for being a good capitalist whose concern is to "benefit the poor"?

  8. anan
    You're such an imbecile  If you want to comment on a subject , you're obliged to read the post furst not never nor later 

    <span>"9 years old. Why shouldn't they be able to work and earn some money? Why discriminate against young knowledge workers?"</span>
    What the F..k read ..read..read the post retard. 

  9. Anan, your arguments have no relationship whatsoever to capitalist reality and betray not even an ounce of human solidarity. To be so detached from the realities of small children (many of them homeless) being exposed to danger, health risks, developmental delay only suggests you are a person of privilege who sees working people as servants. Please don't continue to make a fool of yourself by defending the exploitation of small children.

  10. Where do you stand on child prostitution, Lal Bhujjakar? Do you agree with Milton Friedman, that making a profit is all that matters, how it's done is irrelevant?