Wednesday, February 14, 2007

child labour

I just read an article on child labour in a German weekly magazine. One so easily forgets and every time there's a news item on TV or an article in the paper I am just flabbergasted.
The mentioned article tells us about child labour in India, where they are held in a cellar and embroidering blouses to be sold for less than 40 Euro in Germany.
There is a horrible "Geiz ist geil" (meanness is brilliant)-mentality in Germany that really makes me angry.
Most customers have never done any embroidery and probably don't know (but should be able to imagine) how much time it takes. Even if it was done by adult workers they would not get a fair pay, not out of 40 Euro.
But the companies who order theses blouses should know! I would love to know how much money they pay the Indian company per blouse. Can't be much.
And what really makes me sad is the fact that some of the children in that cellar were sold by their parents. And they think that they can return once they've worked enough, once they've literally earned their pay. One boy said he had to work to support his family and that was why they had sold him (but they wouldn't have, had they known what awaited him). He never gets any pay but only some food and a dirty blanket to sleep. He's told that he will be paid when he has learned how to do the embroidery but he has been embroidering for months already!
The plight of these children makes me very, very sad! And there are so many and all over the world!
There were also a couple of photographs .
Did you realize that hundreds of thousands of children are being exploited in the West African cocoa farms, so that we can buy cheap chocolate? It makes me gag.
Check out this site of "The Global March Against Child Labour" which is a movement to mobilise worldwide efforts to protect and promote the rights of children:

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