What is child labor, and how do we effect it?
What is Child Labor?
Child Labor is when a child, (someone two to eighteen years of age) is forced to do work that s/he doesn't want to do. This definition comes from the article, "So You Want To Save The World". You work in horrible conditions, with no food and water given to you, or anyone else. You sit there working your butt off, while there is no air conditioning in the summer it gets even worse because of the heat. In the winter, you freeze. This doesn't happen to every brand, but some very popular ones. For example, Nike, Hershey, and many many more. These things could have been made from a child forced to do this work, which is not right. Don't say no to these people, they will beat, hurt, and starve you. They don't care what you have to say, or what you have to think is fair or not. Another way of punishment would be to cut their pay. You might get payed, and you might not, but if you are of the very few people who do get payed, then it is very little, and you cannot afford to lose it.
What is a Restavek?
By the information given to you so far, you might consider slavery a type of child labor. Child labor is considered legal, while slavery is considered illegal. There is a form of child labor that is very close to slavery for children. " A restavek is a child servant who does domestic chores for a family who is not there own", this definition came from the article, "Labor Shortage". How this is very similar to slavery, is because a restavek does these chores for the family that they are sold into, for life. You never stop working for these people. As it also says in, "Labor Shortage", paragraph three, "Restavek children are found in 44% of homes". That is almost half of the homes in Haiti! The worst part about children being used as restaveks in almost half of the country, is that these children are beaten uncontrollably, and that they have no say in what they want to do and how they do it. These children are sold at very young ages, and for very little money. Most of these children could be found in the richer homes, more than the poorer homes. It's not like they're doing simple tasks, they can fetch water, get food for the family at the market, and scrub their laundry.
What about chocolate?
All of these things are very terrible, but could you imagine using a machete, to cut cocoa beans,that you cannot eat, off there vines? Or at least that is what the article, " Is it fair to eat chocolate?" has to say about it. Now when I say cocoa beans , I don't mean like five or ten, I mean hundreds. In horrendous conditions, for 14 hours a day, every day, all the time. As is says in, "Is it fair to eat chocolate?". "You wake up at six in the morning, and go to bed at six at night", food and drinks are not included. You cannot sleep in, and complain. If you do so then you are severely punished, and beaten. There is no play time, or fun time. If you ask to do so, then you are punished very badly. The worst part about this is that it is a very dangerous job. You are using very sharp tools to cut plants sprayed with poisons, which are dreadful for your health, and can really hurt you if you were to get a cut, and have the poison into it.
How about carpets?
In child labor, everyone has it hard. For example, carpet makers have it very hard for them. In the book, "Iqbal", it would talk about how you had to tie tiny knots to make a pattern into a carpet. If you were to make a mistake, you would be sent into a tomb like place, that was dark and you were not fed anything, or given anything to drink, as a punishment. As an every day life of one of these kids, it would be horrendous conditions, and with no air conditioning, in a brick building. With the lucky chance of having one meal a day, which most likely was lunch. You had a master, who you obeyed every day, and if you were to disobey him/her, you were punished in the most harshest punishment that they could come up with. Another thing that happened in the book, was that you were sold into child labor. You could even be sold into another masters area, in which by then you had to master all of there rules and orders, or else you were punished as well. The reason that you were sold from master to master, and even into this, was because you were trying to earn a very large debt that your family had to pay off, the debt could get larger and smaller based on the way that you behaved and acted. The more carpets you made, the more money you were to have.
What are Fakes?
It is not just cocoa beans and carpets that these children have to make. They can make anything from shoes to kitchen appliances, from sinks to bed rooms. Anything in the world can be used as a child labor product. But, what happens and what is wrong, is when you make items, saying that they are someone else's, when they are not. Believe it or not, this happens everywhere, not just the Unites States, but it can be worse in places than in others. As it says in the article, "Fakes", "According to LVMH, the luxury-goods that includes Vuitton, Givenchy, and Celine, 90 percent of the Vuitton and Dior items offered on eBay in the first half of 2006 were counterfeits". That means that almost all of these items sold off of eBay, were not the actual brand. It also states in the same article, "Fakes", "Two dozen sad tired, dirty children, ages 8 to 14, making fake Dunhill, Versace, and Hugo Boss handbags on old, rusty sewing machines". So, basically, you are working as hard as you can, and being tortured. Yet, you are doing something illegal and you don't even know it, and can't do anything about it. This might seem absolutely bonkers, but we help by purchasing them. How we persuade fakes, is by giving the fakes money. When you give these people money, it makes them feel in power, and as if they are happy because they have more money. Which is wrong because money is not the key to happiness when you are leaving other people in danger.