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HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES CHILD LABOUR Child labour is intolerable Though definitions vary, child labour means work that is done by children under the age of 15 (14 in some ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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The change starts within each one of us, and ends
only when all children are free to be children.
Craig Kielburger
  • Families with normal lives and a steady income
    have parents who go to work and children who go
    to school and have time to play.
  • This is not the case for the 218 million child
    labourers who daily find themselves working long
    hours under harsh, dangerous and exploitative

Child labour is intolerable
  • Though definitions vary, child labour means work
    that is done by children under the age of 15 (14
    in some developing countries) which restricts or
    damages a child's physical, emotional,
    intellectual, social and/or spiritual growth.

Why is this a human rights issue?
  • Children who work are subsequently subject to
    abuse, both physical and sexual, from their
  • They often work under conditions that are both
    unhealthy and potentially fatal. This scenario
    cannot continue.

Globally the majority of child labourers come
from the poorer sections of society.
  • Social exclusion and discrimination are important
    factors that keep children out of school and
    force them to work. Ending poverty and
    increasing access to education are therefore
    crucial tools in the fight against ending child

Why should we care?
  • "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of
    our children." - Walt DisneyBecause of their
    unique and vulnerable position, children are
    denied the basic working rights and wages given
    to adults.

Reduce poverty
  • Improving access to education and attacking
    poverty head-on would go a long way to solving
    the challenges children face. We must help them
    in their struggle. Child labour is an issue is
    closely connected with poverty,

Most people agree that when we speak about child
labour, we mean labour which is intolerable or
harmful to children, or which denies them their
right to fully develop, to play or to go to
school. Child labour includes Work
performed by children under the age of 15 Long
hours of work on a regular or full-time basis
Abusive treatment by the employer No access,
or poor access, to education
What is bonded labour?
  • There are 3 types of Bonded Labour
  • The first is when a child inherits a debt
    carried by his or her parents.
  • Another form of bonded labour occurs when a
    child is used as collateral for a loan. For
    example, a parent facing an unusually large or
    urgent expense would use this method to obtain
    necessary money.
  • Finally, a child worker can enter into
    bondage to their employer by requesting an
    advance on future wages they expect to earn.

  • In all of these cases, the debt is consistently
    increased, through interest, to a sum beyond the
    capacity of the worker to repay. Expenses and
    interest consume all wages and also cause the
    debt to grow.
  • Essentially, the child labourer becomes the
    property of the debt collector.


Globally, 218 million children are child
labourers. 126 million of these children are
engaged in hazardous work. 73 million
working children are less than 10 years old .
Every year, 22,000 children die in work-related
accidents. The largest number of working
children-122 million-are in the Asia-Pacific

9 are in industry, including mining and
quarrying, manufacturing and construction
  • The highest proportion of working children is
    in sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly one third of
    the children aged 14 and under (48 million
    children) are in the labour force.
  • Between 40 and 50 per cent of all forced
    labourers are children.
  • 1.2 million of these children have been
    trafficked (bought and/or sold).

Where do children work?
  • 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

Kumar, child labourer
  • "It was like a prison, we were locked inside. We
    worked from 5 a.m. until midnight making carpets
    and we slept among the machines."

Some causes of child labourPoverty
  • Poor families need to keep as many family members
    working as possible to ensure income security and
    survival. This makes it very difficult for poor
    families to invest in their children's education.
    In fact, educating a child can be a significant
    financial burden.In many instances "free" public
    education is in fact very costly to a poor

  • Poor families are expected to purchase books,
    school supplies and uniforms, and sometimes even
    pay teachers' wages.
  • Many poor families weigh the cost of sending
    their children to school against the cost of the
    income lost by sending their children to work.
  • Many children live in areas that do not have
    adequate school facilities, so they work. Many
    countries do not have free compulsory education
    for all, which is an obstacle to sending working
    children to school.

  • Poor households tend to have more children,
    and with large families there is a greater
    likelihood that children will work and have lower
    school attendance and completion.
  • Some employers hire children because they can
    pay them less money. They also offer poor working
    conditions because children are less likely to

Why not make child labour illegal?
  • In countries all over the world, countless
    laws and policies against the exploitation of
    children already exist the political will to
    enforce them however, does not.

  • 191 countries (almost every country in
    the world) agreed to recognize the right of
    children to " protected from economic
    exploitation and performing any work that is
    likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the
    child's education, or to be harmful to the
    child's health or physical, mental, spiritual,
    moral or social development."

What needs to be done?
  • The international community has the funds to
    provide free primary education-a necessary tool
    to combat child labour.
  • Better access to education
  • Social awareness and activism
  • The rehabilitation of child labourers.
  • Legislation and proper enforcement child
    labour laws
  • In turn, governments need to devote resources to
    education so that Schooling is compulsory, of
    good quality and relevance, and is of little or
    no cost to poor families.
  • Success Story In 1994, Malawi made primary
    education free. From one academic year to the
    next, enrolment increased by roughly 50 percent,
    and more of the new students were female than

Some initiatives that can be effective in
combating child labour
  • Improving child labour legislation and laws
  • Enforcement of child labour legislation and laws
  • Increasing quality, relevance and access to
  • Vocational training
  • Equality for women and girls
  • Replace child workers with adults
  • Am I wearing a childs work?

How do you know if what you are buying was made
using child labour?
  • Consumers should check if labels state that the
    product is union made.
  • Watch for the labels of campaigns such as Rugmark
    who is working to end child labour in the carpet
    industry and Fairtrade Mark.
  • These types of labels provide a guarantee that
    children were not involved in the production of
    the item.
  • If you don't know ...ask! The sales staff may be
    able to provide you with the information you
    need. Then contact the company explaining your

The Situation Today
  • there are 28 million fewer child labourers than
    there were four years ago!
  • This means that the work being done to stop child
    labour is truly creating positive change.
  • But there is still much more to be done.

  • 300,000 children in India, Nepal and Pakistan are
    spending long days working in poor conditions.
  • Through independent certification and educational
    programs, RugMark is working to end child labor
    in the South Asian carpet industry, but they
    cant do it alone they need your help.

The Carpet Industry
  • Join a growing group of socially responsible
    consumers who are sending the powerful signal
    that they will not support products made with
    child labor or through inhumane working
  • Know someone who may be in the market for a
    handmade carpet? Tell them about the RugMark
    label- their peace of mind that no child labor
    was used to produce their carpet or rug.
  • An estimated 14 percent of children in India ages
    5-14 are engaged in child labor activities,
    including carpet production. (The State of the
    Worlds Children 2006, UNICEF)

There are many children who live near a garbage
  • Their families cannot support them so they
    search the dumps for something to sell.
  • The children collect the materials and recycle
    them for a small amount of money.
  • The children are at high risk as they are being
    constantly exposed to harmful gasses that come
    out of decomposing trash.
  • They also may cut their feet on glass and sharp
    objects since many of them cannot afford proper

  • Of the 250 million child laborers worldwide, it
    is estimated that at least half of them work in
    agriculture alone.
  • There are many different types of agricultural
    work. One of them is picking fruits and
  • The work is physically demanding because the
    children must bend down, kneel, climb ladders,
    carry heavy loads of fruit, and other things.

  • They also are exposed to dangerous tools and have
    to use unsafe machinery they don't know how to
  • They also are exposed to dangerous tools and have
    to use unsafe machinery they don't know how to
  • Children who work in agriculture often experience
    back pain from bending over so much, and also
    have blistered and callused hands from operating
    machinery and using tools such as rakes, hoes,
    and shovels all day long.

A child working in the agricultural sector
This must be prevented
What is to be done?
  • Creating international laws that countries can
    adopt in order to stem child labor.
  • - the minimum age for employment for
    children. Many
  • accept this is 15.
  • national laws
  • - banning the import of some
    child-labor-made items.
  • - laws that ban child labor under a
    certain age,
  • actually enforcing these laws. Laws do absolutely
    no good when not enforced,
  • Governments should have a minimum family income
    that would be used to support poor families.
  • Special Programs

Special Programmes
  • In Mexico and Brazil, two programs give parents
    an incentive to invest in their childs future.
  • by giving families money if their children attend
    school regularly instead of working for.
  • In Brazil, for example, families receive 24, and
    the program reaches 11.4 million people (a fourth
    of Brazils population).

Naravan Tiwari
  • Naravan was a child labourer for about eight
    years in the carpet industry before he was
    rescued and placed in a special programme.

The achievement of human rights is an on-going
  • Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are
    organizations dedicated to its development.
  • but there are many more players on the local
  • For example citizens, communities, grassroots
    organizations, and governments.
  • to prevent human rights violations, raise
    awareness of human rights and responsibilities,
    secure respect for all human rights, and promote
    international cooperation to protect human

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