Lessons

Child Labor

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Image by Jason Motlagh. Thailand, 2012.

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Workers load finished bricks for transport out of the kiln in Dhading district, Nepal. Despite a national law that bans children under the age of 14 from working, many work alongside their families in the country’s brick making industry. Image by Ann Hermes. Nepal, 2016.

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Women pick green beens in a field in the Imperial—a district a couple of hours outside Lima, Peru's capital city. Image by Anna Spoerre. Peru, 2016.

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On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, thousands of miners hack apart mountains in the Poboya Paneki Grand Forest Park and use mercury to process the ore. In the Hampalit area of central Borneo, an army of miners clear-cuts the swampy rain forest and dredges up the soil in the hunt for gold, poisoning the environment and themselves with mercury and leaving thousands of acres of wasteland. The two neighboring Southeast Asian nations, made up of some 25,000 islands, officially ban child labor, the burning of mercury and most small-scale gold mining. But in both countries, pervasive corruption, payoffs to local officials and weak central governments make it difficult to curb these practices, especially in remote areas. “That’s the problem in developing countries,” said Halimah Syafrul, assistant deputy for hazardous substance management in Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment. “Our government can be bribed. Money can talk.” Image by Larry C. Price. Indonesia, 2013.

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A gold miner uses heat to soften rock in a tunnel on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Tunnel collapses are common. Image by Larry C. Price. Indonesia, 2013.

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A young boy carries a pan of ore at the Kollo mining village in southwestern Burkina Faso. In the background is the denuded landscape that surrounds the village. Image by Larry C. Price. Burkina Faso, 2013.

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As demand for the substance grows, thousands of child workers toil in the palm fruit trade. Image by Jason Motlagh. Malaysia, 2013.

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Image from the film by Stephen Sapienza. Borneo, 2012.

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Men, women and children load and unload finished and unfinished bricks at a kiln in the Dhading district, Nepal. Image by Ann Hermes. Nepal, 2016.

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Brigida Quispe, a worker from Imperial, said she works in the fields to support her family. She only received one year of primary education. Image by Anna Spoerre. Peru, 2016.

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Tasya Sutisna, 12, stacks 60-pound bags of ore after emerging from a mine shaft near Cisitu, Indonesia. Image by Larry C. Price. Indonesia, 2013.

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A worker smelts gold in a shop near Poboya, Indonesia. In a number of cases, the gold is mixed with hazardous mercury. Image by Larry C. Price. Indonesia, 2013.

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Nine-year-old Karim Sawadogo stands on bracing timbers inside one of the many gold pits at the Kouékowéra mining village in southwestern Burkina Faso. Image by Larry C. Price. Burkina Faso, 2013.

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Young men and boys stack bricks inside a kiln in Dharke Bazar in the Dhading district, Nepal. Image by Ann Hermes. Nepal, 2016.

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A man picks green beans in the heat of the summer sun at a field in Imperial, Peru. Image by Anna Spoerre. Peru, 2016.

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Near the mountain village of Cisitu on the island of Java, where mercury levels are acutely high due to large concentrations of gold mining activity and pollution of groundwater, a miner uses a glass plate to check the gold content of a sample of ore pulled from a nearby tunnel. Image by Larry C. Price. Indonesia, 2013.

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Processors pour sluice into large, shallow pans. Image by Larry C. Price. Philippines, 2013.

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Mining shafts and ore-sampling pits dot the landscape at Fandjora. Image by Larry C. Price. Burkina Faso, 2013.

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Homraj Acharya helps a young girl with a writing lesson at an early childhood education center next to a brick kiln in Dharke Bazar in the Dhading district, Nepal. As the director of Better Brick Nepal, a program aimed at eliminating child labor in brick kilns across the country, Mr. Acharya hopes to provide a better future for the children who call them home. Families are paid per brick, which incentivizes them to recruit their children to make as many as possible. BBN set up the education center last year in Dhading to offer them an alternative. Image by Ann Hermes. Nepal, 2016.

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Half a dozen workers dressed in long sleeves and colorful hats pick green beans in a field about two hours south of the city of Lima. Image by Anna Spoerre. Peru, 2016.

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Miners use their hands to squeeze a ball of mercury through a piece of nylon cloth to form an amalgam of gold and mercury. Mercury binds tiny particles of gold when added during panning or crushing stages. The mercury is then burned off using a torch to reveal pure gold. Image by Larry C. Price. Indonesia, 2013.

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Yoyo, 10, and his friend Duku, 8, hammer on rocks to break them up. Image by Larry C. Price. Indonesia, 2013.

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A young boy shovels ore near Tiébélé. Image by Larry C. Price. Burkina Faso, 2013.

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Dorje Lama loads bricks with Ajmal Hasan, a mule owner, at the Rakta Kali brick kiln in the district of Dhading, Nepal. As many as 60,000 children work in brick kilns across the country. Image by Ann Hermes. Nepal, 2016.

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Brigida Quispe, a worker in the field, said the weather can be harsh. “There’s a lot of heat,” Quispe said. “The field is sad." Image by Anna Spoerre. Peru, 2016.

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Ibu Mary, a mercury seller, weighs bottles of the metal in her shop in Cisitu, Indonesia. Image by Larry C. Price. Indonesia, 2013.

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Miners use their hands to squeeze a ball of mercury through a piece of nylon cloth to form an amalgam of gold and mercury. Mercury binds tiny particles of gold when added during panning or crushing stages. The mercury is then burned off using a torch to reveal pure gold. Image by Larry C. Price. Philippines, 2013.

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The terrain at Fandjora is dense with holes dug to contain water for panning and deep shafts to excavate gold ore. Image by Larry C. Price. Burkina Faso, 2013.

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Dorje Lama eats lunch outside the hut he once shared with the Hasans and 14 other boys at the Rakta Kali brick kiln. Image by Ann Hermes. Nepal, 2016.

  1. Child labor and human rights abuses

    1.  Define child labor in an international sense (where it happens often, some stats) and pick some examples of child labour cases.

      "The only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919 that brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States , to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men."

  2. Policy and child labor 

    1. Talk about international labour agreements, and which countries are involved, and which countries aren't
    2. Talk about the International Labour Organization

      "Bonded labor, also known as debt bondage and peonage, happens when people give themselves into slavery as security against a loan or when they inherit a debt from a relative"

  3. Bonded labor

    1. Relate to U.S. history on slavery, and the opressions of people in context to the international level
    2. Emphasize that bonded labor is still prevalent in today's society
  4. US-specific child labor violations 

    1. Emphasize, give examples and explain how the U.S. isn't free of child labor (I would say that this is the main driver of the presentation... we can't only focus on other countries without realizing the existence of child labor within our own boarders) 
    2. Not in the open/hidden as opposed to other countries 
  5. Useful links:

    1. http://www.ilo.org/ipec/facts/lang--en/index.htm
    2. http://www.endslaverynow.org/learn/slavery-today/bonded-labor
Educator Notes: 

In the Oxford Dictionary, child labor is deemed as the employment of children in an industry or business, especially when illegal or considered exploitative. This is considered a huge humanitarian issue, as children are taken advantaged of for the economic gain of others. Socio-economic circumstance is usually the main cause of children's participation in the work place, and this needs to be discussed in order to develop a deeper understanding of the intersectionality between poverty and child labor. 

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