Child Labor Around the World
Child Labor in Mexico
Eight to eleven million children under the age of fifteen work in Mexico. There is a small number under fourteen. The children are employed in export oriented maquiladoras, or assembly factories between Mexico and the United States. Maquilas are affiliates of American owned companies that assemble goods for export, transportation equipment, electrical and electric products, toys , sporting goods, textiles and furniture. The work force is made up of mostly young females. The maquilas like to use children because it is really easy to get underage work and the owners do not have to pay the children that much.
Most of the girls start just between minimum age, between tweleve and fifteen years old. They either lie about their age or provide a false birth certificate. There are very harsh conditions- overtime, night shifts, exposure to hazardous material, mostly in glue used to attach the soles of shoes.
Child Labor in India
India is the largest number of urban and rural workers in the world. Seventeen and a half million child workers are acknowledged by the government of India. The estimation of child labor is between forty four million and one hundred million children. The export industries are hand- knotted carpets, gemstone polishing, brass and base metal articles, glass and glassware, footwear, textiles, silk and fireworks.
Hand Knotted Carpets
The hand knotted carpets are exported mostly to the United States and Germany. The children work in almost every stage: sorting, knotting , cutting, washing and dying. Rear sheep, roll yarn into balls, string looms and bind carpets are some of the things that the children do. Carpet weavers have four categories: Unpaid children working on family looms, unpaid children working with adult family wage earners, unpaid apprentices and wage earners. Ninety one percent lived and slept in weaving sheds without things like light, ventilation or toilets.
During professional weaving, three to six children and adults sit shoulder to shoulder in a damp pit where the loom is located. Health related problems include over ninety percent of children complained of lower body swelling and pain in the joints. Constant skin problems form from the woolen fluff. There is extremely bad lighting and many children have developed bad eyesight because of it. At many places the children are beaten if they try to leave.
In a bonded labor system, parents are given a cash advance or "loan" by recruiters. The child is taken to work off the family debts. Debts never paid off, the child is a servant.
Gemstone polishing is the largest export to United States. Six thousand to one hundred thousand children work in the diamond industry, cutting and polishing. Suart, Gujart is a major diamond exportand also has the largest amount of child labor.