Report shows more countries use child labor

Forced child labor is still a major problem in the world today.  The US Department of Labor just released a report that is has added 6  new products a dozen new countries, 11 in Africa, to the list of countries that use child labor or forced child labor to produce goods for markets around the globe.   The department now has about 128 products from 70 countries, which have been made by child or forced child labor.  This means made by children under the age of 15.  Many children around the world work in slave or bondage conditions.

It is estimated thater are about 115 million children worldwide, that are child workers, working in dangerous conditions that are hazardous to their health.  More than 12 million children and adults “are trapped in forced labor around the world,” the report says. The list of countries fighting child and forced child labor has grown to 170, including the U.S., which has taken an active role.    Fox News

It was also found that children are either froced by governments or that the companies were ignored, that forcibly employ them, in Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand and Uzbekistan, among others.   With the froced labor system, children  produce jewels and precious metals like diamonds, sapphires, gold and silver; clothes; coal; tobacco; food items like poultry, nuts and sugar; construction materials like bricks; and Christmas decorations, electronic goods, fireworks, footwear and toys; and pornography. 

And the worst forms of child labor include slavery, forced labor, debt bondage, trafficking, illicit activities like drug dealing, commercial sexual exploitation and armed conflict, as well as hazardous working conditions, such as mining for precious metals or jewels in lakes filled with chemicals and nothing more.   

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a statement: “We consider the eradication of the worst forms of child labor to be a matter of urgency,” adding, “no human being should work under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage or be forced to work under fear of punishment. Shining a light on these problems is a first step toward motivating governments, the private sector and concerned citizens to take action to end these intolerable abuses that have no place in our modern world.”     Fox News

This Labor Department report comes from data collected by U.S. embassies, foreign governments, international and nongovernmental organizations, as well as information gathered from field research projects, academic research and the media.  And the country with the most child labor, is India.  Next in line is China.  But the Labor Department removed Brazil the list for child labor used in charcoal production. And it says India and some other countries have moved to stop child labor through anti-poverty programs and compulsory education.

Some countries with relatively large numbers of goods on the list may not have the most serious problems of child labor or forced labor. 

The Labor Department says it has spent more than $740 million in programs to help more than 80 countries combat child labor since 1995.

Iowa Democrat Senator Tom Harkin sponsored a law in the late 1990s that outlawed any company in the U.S. from importing goods made via child labor. In 2005, Congress passed the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005,” which directs the Labor Department to compile a list of goods produced by child or forced child labor. The first list was produced last year.   Fox News


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