Labor Issues Around the World Child Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1338 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

Labor Issues Around the World

Child labor is one of the worst social problems that exist in modern society (Yan, 2002). The term Child labor brings images of exploited and uncared children. In the many areas that child labor exists, Indonesia is one that has an especially large percentage of children working at a young age. Government statistics reveal that 2.08 million children between the ages of 10-14 works in Indonesia are employed at dangerous places. Among these children, half work full time. The amount of work and hours these children have are the same as adults. Many children work under hazardous conditions as scavengers, garbage pickers and fishing platforms. For obvious reasons, this is one of the greatest labor issues faced by the country.

In Indonesia, many factory and garment industry workers receive very low wages. The minimum wage is well below what the government estimates is needed to survive (Ellis, 2000). In addition, many employers do not pay even the minimum wage, and women workers are paid less than the men. Typical working conditions in this country include long hours, abusive environments, unhealthy conditions and restrictions on labor unions.

According to Ellis: "A recent study at a Bandung textile and garment factory found that the workers worked 12-14 hours each day. Another study of a Nike factory in Java found that women workers were permitted to have only two days off a month. In many factories, overtime is compulsory and paid erratically."

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The workers' low wages results in them having to live in very poor conditions. Some factories have accommodation for their workers, usually housing compounds consisting of large brick buildings that are overcrowded (Ellis, 2001). At one Nike housing compound, a single room houses 12 women.

Term Paper on Labor Issues Around the World Child Labor Assignment

In Nepal, reports indicate that over 90% of citizens work in the informal economic sector where they are likely to face poor working conditions due to gender discrimination, lack of social protection, low productivity and hazardous work (Mercantile Communications, 2003). The National Planning Commission (NPC)'s Dr. Yuvaraj Khatiwada said, "The conditions of work include non-recognition of work performed, very low incomes, long hours of work, insecure and unsafe work, no benefits, no leave or holidays, no accident or other benefits, sexual harassment and no unionization to protect their rights."

In addition to these labor issues, child labor in Nepal is a common practice (GEFONT Paper, 2001). However, a major part is in the form of unpaid family workers and wage-based child labor is small in comparison. The proportion of unpaid family workers is larger in the sense that approximately 80% of Nepali population is in agriculture, of which an overwhelming majority is engaged in subsistence farming. Therefore, unpaid child workers are even more vulnerable as they are deprived of the opportunity of education, health care and their childhood.

In China, child labor may not be as serious as other countries, such as Indonesia and Nepal, yet child labor issues cannot be overlooked (Ka Wai, 2004). There is significant evidence that child labor is increasing in China. To date, there is no formal figure on child labor in China. The Chinese government repeatedly uses this excuse so that concerned parties cannot get hold of the situation on time. However, there is no good excuse as to why this information is unavailable.

Recent research reveals that more than 10 million children between the ages of 6-15 are out of school in China (Ka Wai, 2004). Many researchers say that it is a conservative assumption that half of these children are working in Chinese factories. In recent years, there has been an increase of kidnapping children. Authorities believe that the majority of them are sold to work in factories.

In addition to child labor issue, reports show that workers in China work more than 12 hours a day, seven days a week (Ka Wai, 2004). Some get only one or two days off per month. This is illegal, as Chinese Labor Law states that workers should work only eight hours a day, no… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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