Travail d'enfant (anglais)

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General Information

➢ The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as anyone below the age of 18.

➢ The International Trade Union Confederation defines Child labour as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.”

➢It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children and/or interferes with their schooling, that is, they are not able to attend school, must leave school prematurely, or have to combine school with long hours of work

➢ So, when determining whether work is child labour, you need to look at the child’s age, the work that is performed, theworking conditions, as well as the objectives of the worker.

➢ The International Labour Organization (ILO), a UN specialized agency, reports that in 2004 there were 218 million child labourers between the ages of 5 and 17, with 126 million performing hazardous work.

➢ UNICEF estimates that there are 158 m children working between the ages of 5 and 14, that is 1 in 6 in the world.➢ Many children are victims of forced or bonded labour (trafficking and debt arrangement)

Where do we find child labour?

➢ We can find child labour probably in all countries, but it is prominent in certain regions.

o The Asia-Pacific region has the largest number of child labourers (122 million)
o Sub-Saharan Africa (49.3 million)
o Latin America and theCaribbean (5.7 million).

➢ The highest proportion of children working is sub-Saharan Africa

On a positive note, the ILO reports that between 200 and 2004 there has been an 11% decrease in the working children between the ages of 5 and 17. In hazardous work there has been a decline of 26%. The greatest decline in child labour has occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean, but Asia hasalso experienced a decline. Sub-Saharan Africa is only region where there has not been a decline.

➢ Most child labourers work in the agricultural sector (69%). Only 9% are in the industrial sector.

➢ Girls often face are more vulnerable and experience more risks because often the work they do is in isolated environments. What also differentiates girls from boys is access toeducation, girls are less likely to go to school than boys

➢ This lecture will look at three sectors that involve child labour – primary (agriculture and fishing), domestic labour, and manufacturing (Garment and toy) in the Ivory Coast and Guinea in Africa, Haiti, India, China.

Why child labour?

1. Families are poor. Sending children off to work means there is one less mouth to feedand their work can be an essential source of incomes that help families survive

2. School is not an option. Parents cannot afford to send their children to school, and parents also feel that education does not reflect the reality of their lives

3. For employers - children are attractive workers because more vulnerable, cheaper to higher, less likely to demand better wages andworking conditions, which allows employers to be competitive in a global market

4. In some countries Child labour is the norm. It is part of their culture. Children need to work as conflict kills breadwinners and AIDS has created millions of orphans. A 2002 study in Zambia, by independent researchers for the UN, found that AIDS had increased the number of child labourers by 30%. In Indiachildren are also expected to work and are sold so the rest of the family can survive.

Some of the key problems that surround child labour

➢ Children who work full-time at an early age have little access to education

➢ Children perform dangerous work

➢ Long hours

➢ Abuse – psychological, verbal, physical and sexual

➢ Low or no wages

i) Primary Industry –...