WASHINGTON – India, Bangladesh and the Philippines lead the world in the number of products made by child workers, a US government stock-taking of the global scale of underaged labor revealed Monday.
Some 130 types of goods – from building bricks and soccer balls to pornography and rare ores used in cellphones – involve child labor in 71 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Department of Labor said.
“We believe that we all have God-given potential … and every child should be given the right to fulfil their dreams,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis at the release of the 10th annual “Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor.”
Focusing this year on hazardous work performed by children, and relying in good part on International Labor Organization data, the report examines efforts by more than 140 countries to address the worst forms of child labor.
The International Labor Organization estimates that more than 215 million children are involved in child labor.
One-third of countries have yet to define hazardous kinds of work prohibited to children, it said. Some nations have no minimum age for such work, and still more lack the means to monitor and enforce bans on dangerous child labor.
A rundown of goods produced by child labor, issued alongside the report, underlined the degree to which youngsters in developing nations are forced to work, rather than go to school, for little if any wages.
India topped the list, with its children being used to make no fewer than 20 products, including bidis, bricks, fireworks, footwear, glass bangles, incense, locks, matches, rice, silk fabric and thread, and soccer balls.… Read the rest