Saturday, May 14, 2005

Chinese Child Labor Tragedy

Grieving: Wang Shuangzheng holds a photo of daughter Jia Shiwei, one of five workers who died after burning coal in their room for warmth. The girls, some underage, worked every day for 12 hours.
(Photo: Xu Qiang / The LA Times)

See related report at:

And while most of us believe that child labor was finally ended in the late 19th century by liberal progressive activists, the fact is that it is still practiced in some parts of the world where adults feel that they have no real options. One of those many places is Iraq:
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"Baghdad - Eleven-year-old Mahmoud al-Obaidi walks seven km every morning to get to work at a carpentry factory in Baghdad so he can save his bus fares.

Al-Obaidi is the only male in his family of four, as his father disappeared five years ago and he works to support his family. On average he spends nearly 10 hours a day in the factory earning a living.

"I didn't have a choice. Work was the only option. I cannot deny that I would like to be at a school, learning like other children. But I know the responsibility that I have to carry," al-Obaidi told IRIN, as he walked to work.

He boy is only one of thousands of Iraqi children forced by poverty to work at an early age.

More than a million youngsters work often enduring hazardous conditions, as well as being vulnerable to sexual abuse and violence, according to a report released at the end of 2004 . . . .
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See complete article here:


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