Child labour Is Making A Disturbing Resurgence Around The World



Child labour risks are rising around the world, including in supply-chain countries, according to a new report from Maplecroft.The number of countries where entrenched underage work practices pose “extreme risks” to children has jumped 10 per cent in the year to 2012, to include 76 of the 197 nations studied. Even the US, ranked 141st, is said to represent a “medium risk”, alongside Cuba, Georgia and Kuwait.

The global hike, which Maplecroft attributes to a deteriorating security situation worldwide and increasing financial desperation in the wake of of the 2008 meltdown, could have legal and reputational implications for companies that source goods from the developing world. Major suppliers like the Philippines, India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil are some of the worst child labour offenders.

But even those nations pale in comparison to these shockers.

10. Ethiopia

Nearly 60 per cent of Ethiopian children are put to work to supplement family income, earning about a dollar a month. Most toil as domestics, farm hands and in the nation's poorly developed gold mines.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

9. Pakistan

Children continue to be abducted, rented, bought and sold in Pakistan, where Nike was famously accused of exploiting lapse underage work laws for the production of soccer balls. Most of the labour offences occur in the nation's Punjab province, which is a global supplier of stitched rugs, musical instruments and sports equipment.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

8. Burundi

Almost a quarter of all children aged 4-15 are said to be involved in child labour, including slavery, in the small East African nation of Burundi. The large number of youths engaging in heavy manual work in Burundi's agricultural, mining and brick-making industries held steady in 2011, but there was a rise in child prostitution.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

7. Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, where children make up half the population, more than 30 per cent of primary-school aged children go to work in cement, textile and food processing industries, or in the poppy fields. A growing number of underage girls are also being given away to repay debts, according to Maplecroft.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

6. Zimbabwe

A large number of Zimbabwean children work, unofficially, in the country's chrome, diamond and gold mines. A popular program dubbed Learn as You Earn has also encouraged child labour in the forestry and agriculture sectors, often at the expense of a formal school education.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

5. Democratic Republic of Congo

labour conditions in the DRC came into focus during the Beijing Olympics, when it was reported that some of the iron ore used to construct China's stadiums was mined by hand by children in the central African nation. Maplecroft says child labour accounts for about 30 per cent of mining activity in the DRC.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

4. Sudan

In the war-torn nation of Sudan, in North Africa, children are commonly recruited as child soldiers, or to be used for forced labour on farms. Young girls are also seized and put to work as underage sex workers, or even slaves.

Sudan and the following three countries are in a class of their own for child labour risk.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

3. Somalia

Close to 40 per cent of all children under 15 under are put to work in Somalia, where they engage
in the worst forms of child labour, according to the UNHCR. As well as being used in armed conflict, as bodyguards or sex slaves within militias, children frequently work with dangerous equipment in the agriculture sector and in quarries.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

2. North Korea

In North Korea there have been numerous reports of child 're-education through labour', where youths are placed in labour camps as punishment for political offences. Although the country's secretive government has officially outlawed underage work, school children can be seen working in factories and fields.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

1. Myanmar

In Myanmar (Burma), where 40 per cent of children never enroll in school, the Burmese army recruits youths as young as 12 years old. Those who don't serve as soldiers or military porters are often forced to labour on farms, run street markets or collect rubbish in the streets. Suicide is common among the worst treated.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

BONUS: Child labour In America

Ranked 141 of 197 countries in the 2012 Child labour Index

US labour laws specifically exempt farm workers from minimum age requirements that govern all other underage employment in the country. As a result of this, and lapse enforcement of the rules that do exits, a large number of Latino children are reported to be working long hours in dangerous conditions in the agriculture sector.

Ranking from Maplecroft.

Here's a map of child labour risk across the world

Can you really build a country on child labour?

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