Switch headers Switch to TIGweb.org

Are you an TIG Member?
Click here to switch to TIGweb.org

HomeHomeExpress YourselfPanoramaLittle working hands
a TakingITGlobal online publication

(Advanced Search)

Panorama Home
Issue Archive
Current Issue
Next Issue
Featured Writer
TIG Magazine
Short Story
My Content

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Little working hands Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Mar Lupis, Mexico Jun 25, 2010
Child Labour , Health   Opinions


Do you like to dress fashionably? Do you like go to shopping in GAP´s stores? Many of the clothes in the fashion industry are made in Asian factories where most of workers are women or children. For example, brands like GAP, Nike, and Primark have textile factories there. According to the United Nations children should be aged 15 years and above to work, but there are a lot of countries where that recommendation does not matter such as India. In this essay, I will talk about child labor which is harmful to children in two ways: physically and mentally. We need to stop it.

According to Jeremy Seabrook, who visits young garment workers in Dhaka, “The workshop is a plain, windowless room, about 12 or 15 meters square. There are 45 workers… about half of them under 14. A boy is at a machine sewing buttons. Girls stand at a table, trimming loose threads and checking that the buttons are firm”. Child labor is a common activity in India because the poverty makes children go to work in factories. Multinational companies prefer children´s hands because they pay them very low wages, and children are also easily intimidated.

In Kashmir, GAP has been subcontracting child labor. In 2004, they admitted that they used physical punishment and coercion among other abuses against child workers. If $50 is the price for a trendy blouse, a nice jacket or beautiful pants, how can you explain the fact that children earn $22 to $30 dollars per month, which they send to their parents in little villages around Bangladesh, Delhi, or Dhaka (Seabrook)? According to the UNICEF, Children living in the poorest households and in rural areas are most likely to be engaged in child labor, so tyrannical companies look in these areas for little working hands. Child workers suffer mentally because labor interferes with their normal growth and development as children.

Most of the factories are clandestine, so the conditions are unsatisfactory, dark and dreary work-places. Most of the children had to work 12 or more hours per day and they have to work 7 days a week without recreation time and leisure. This scene sounds like slavery, and it is happening right now. In India 45 million children work, in Brazil 10 million work and in the United States 15,000 work. As The Observer puts it, while Madonna, Lenny Kravitz and Jessica Parker are wearing nice shirts, a child from Dhaka is sewing buttons. Most of these children die young, because of their living conditions. The health issues that factory labor exposes them to include eye problems, joint and body aches, headaches, breathing problems and tumors. Also, the United Nations recognizes India as the world's capital for child labor, which is a shameful ‘accomplishment’. We need strong legislation against it.

Daily, we continue to allow this exploitation of our future adults to continue. What kind of future leaders we are forming today? Children need to play, go to school, discover cobwebs, scratch their knee, lose a red balloon in the park and eat ice cream. But wrong adult decisions and treatment are hurting them. In recent years India has grown into a powerful economy because of acts like this. Tyranny without scruples is damaging our children’s minds and bodies. Surely we are not too young to help them?

Works Cited
  • Costin, Lela B., and Rapp Charles A. Child Welfare Policies and Practice. New York. McGraw Hill. 1984

  • “The Carpet Industry in India”. Jammu, Kashmir. 18 Feb. 2008. 8 May 2010 http://www.karmayog.org/library/libartdis.asp?r=152&libid=249

  • “Why children Work?” Seabrook, Jeremy. 1 Sep. 2009. 8 May 2010. http://www.newint.org/columns/essays/2009/09/01/why-children-work

  • The Observer. “New Delhi Indian 'slave' children found making low-cost clothes destined for Gap”. McDougall, Dan. 28 Oct. 2007. 8 May 2010 http://www.observer, guardian.co.uk

  • UNICEF “Children Living in the Poorest Households and in Rural Areas”. 1 Jan. 2009. 8 May 2010 http://www.unicef.or/childlabour.html



You must be logged in to add tags.

Writer Profile
Mar Lupis

This user has not written anything in his panorama profile yet.
You must be a TakingITGlobal member to post a comment. Sign up for free or login.