1/09/2009

Save Asia from child labour

Asia must act to prevent growth in child labour: expert 12 hours ago SINGAPORE (AFP) — Asia must act quickly to prevent millions of children dropping out of school to go to work as the global economic crisis worsens, a rights expert has warned. June Kane, an independent adviser to the United Nations and national governments on child rights, told AFP the crisis was a chance for authorities in the region to tackle child labour by giving parents incentives to keep minors in education. But she warned that authorities in Asia -- the biggest employer of the world's estimated 218 million child workers -- must act now to provide help to parents who might otherwise be forced to send their children out to work.... I happen to see the above posted in the TOC. It is a noble cause to push for, to help the children of poor countries and poor families from being made to earn a living at a tender age when they should be in school. But this is well said than done. Many are staring at poverty in their faces and helping out to earn a living is their way of getting an education in life. The country is poor and so are the parents. I was a child labour before. There were child labours in Singapore at one time. At one time many of our womenfolks were maids too. And getting a job as a labourer in the construction site was good jobs and good money. We have progressed over the years. We cannot mismanage and slip back to those days when everyone was poor. When aspirations of parents were for their children to become clerks. Even before I was in primary school, I was helping my mother in a godown, sorting coffee beans, picking out the debris and rotten seeds and repack them. The work was simple. Just sat on a large piece of mat, coffee seeds poured into the centre of the mat and the whole family sat around it, picking seed by seed, to earn a few cents a day. Quite comfortable actually. No sweat and not under the sun. No torture or abuses. Just working. And many parents were very happy when their wards failed the PSLE. They could start work earlier, working as kopi kia or walking the streets knocking on a piece of bamboo, kock kick kock, to peddle bak chor mee. It was a phase of our development and our social history.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

We must prevent chlid labour in this time around more because we have the history behind to guide us and we must prevent this. Let me spin this way, when the economics is good we(asians and african and 3rdworld childreen)are behind due to circumstances of unfortunate nature such as education,politic... etc and at this down turn we cannot fall back or we will be Slave to bloody masters with their illegal gain and manipulation of market.

Anonymous said...

It is one thing to make education compulsory, it is another to forbid children from working. I'm not sure why the obsession with having a job - no one would want a job if they can live without having one. No parent would put his children to work if they had an alternative.

To ban child labour is to ban people from making a living.

Anonymous said...

Not all child labour are wrong.

When children help out in their parents' works in the family farm, shop, stall and whatever with their parents giving them(children) the best they(parents) can afford, I do not see any sin in it.

However, if it is forced labour and exploitation, then I do not see a need to differentiate the age of the exploited. Any exploitation, including sexual, racial and religious ones are sin, no matter where they happened.

Hope my layman opinion is acceptable.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Interesting article:

Whites may be more racist than they think: study

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Most white people say they would react strongly to racism, but don't do anything when they actually witness prejudice, Canadian and U.S. researchers said on Thursday.


They said white college students who heard someone make racist remarks in a study failed to confront that person, and this may be part of what perpetuates racism.


"People do not think of themselves as prejudiced, and they predict that they would be very upset by a racist act and would take action," said Kerry Kawakami, a psychology professor at York University in Toronto, Canada, whose study appears in the journal Science.


"However, we found that their responses are much more muted than they expect when they are actually faced with an overtly racist comment," Kawakami said in a statement.


For the study, the researchers evaluated 120 white students in Canada who were exposed to racism while waiting for what they thought was the real experiment to begin.


A white student posing as a study participant makes a racist comment about a black participant when he briefly leaves the room. The remarks ranges from moderate to extreme racial slurs. When the black student returns, the actual participants are asked to choose partners for a subsequent exercise.


They found 63 percent of study participants chose the person who made the racist comment as a partner.


"We were all surprised at the discrepancy between what people thought they would do and what people actually did when they were put in that situation," John Dovidio of Yale University in Connecticut, who also worked on the study, said in a telephone interview.


"They didn't shun the person who made an obvious racist remark, and in fact they showed a slight tendency at wanting to work with this person," he said.


Those who actually experienced the encounter were less distressed than those who read about or watched a video of the encounter. The latter were much more likely to say they would not work with such a person.


"Some of this may be due to the situation. We don't have a lot of practice about how to respond," Dovidio said.


Ironically, he said, many other studies have found people who are confronted after making racial comments are far less likely to repeat the behavior.


"By not doing anything you are actually contributing to a society that will be racist in the future," he said.


(Editing by Xavier Briand)

redbean said...

there is not much difference in counting coffee beans and playing legos. no pressure and not much of an exploitation. a little play and earning some money.

life then was quite carefree and children had a lot of time to play or to help out. farmers and peasants rely a lot on their children to help out in the farms and fields.

patriot said is true. there is a world of difference between exploitation and helping out. child labour in sweat shop with regimentation and unhealthy conditions are not acceptable. children should be in school which is an ideal state. but in many poor societies, there were no schools even for the children.

we have reach a certain level of affluence today to spoil our children by defending them from any kind of work. washing car for the parents is child labour in a way.

in poor societies, when the stomach is hungry, many things are part and parcel of living. organised child labour to exploit their labour is of course a serious thing to avoid and do away with.

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