Global Research Paper
It has been reported that there is an estimate of about 250 million children all between the ages of 5 and 14 are child labor workers and are working in developing countries. A shocking 61% of that 250 million comes from Asia. It may shock many that that modern times does not change that fact that we still have helpless children working basically as slaves. Many of these children work in sweatshops. “A sweatshop is a workplace where workers are subjected to extreme exploitation, including that lack of living wages or benefits, poor and dangerous working conditions, and harsh and unnecessary discipline, such as verbal and physical abuse (Grau, 2005).” Being paid less than their daily expenses makes it impossible to ever save anything to have a better future. So it’s basically like that are in this never-ending cycle.
Although we know there are many, the exact number of child workers will never be known. Due to China’s political system, it is impossible to gain any information regarding the information. Since there are no Chinese NGOs, non-governmental organizations, it is impossible to judge how or if any of the Chinese government is enforcing the child labor laws and their efforts to put to an end. Many have come to the conclusion that child labor workers are steadily increasing, especially in Hong Kong. The conclusions are based on the fact that the school drop out rate has increased and how fast foreign investment is growing. In fact, the CML (Chinese Ministry of Labor) has confessed that the employment of child workers in China was an extremely serious situation. “Although no specific Chinese industry is identifiable as a significant violator of child labor regulations, they involve a range of export industries including garments and textiles, fireworks, and toys (Grau, 2005).” CML stated that child labor has even become common. In particular areas such as Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Hubei, and Sichuan: there are reports to be about 4 to 5 million child workers under 16 years of age. To make matters worse, there are child laborers found in Whenzhou who are under the age of 12. These children work anywhere from 10 to 14 hours each day with only about half of the wages that of an adult.
It has been proven that this child labor exists and data has been taken from Shenzhen. Children ranging from 10 to 16 years of age are working in these factories for 10 to 14 hours a day. It was recently recorded that even young girls are working 13 to 14 hours a day in these terrible conditions with only one-hour breaks throughout their shifts. “The China Youth News said that 44 of the 206 foreign-owned companies or joint ventures in Shenzhen employ children less than 16 years of age (Grau, 2005).”
Pyrotechnics and explosives, which the United States imports from China, are now about $1 billion. These children are now even working in the fireworks industry, which is obviously extremely dangerous. It has been recently reported that there was an explosion at a inside one fireworks factory in Hebel that actually killed one child and seriously injuring 34 girls all whose ages range from 11 to 13 years old. It was later discovered that the children were actually forced by their teachers to work for practically nothing, to make fireworks. Investigators learned that if the children made one firework they would earn 2 cents, but in actuality they were only paid 0.3 cent. There was another instance in March of 2001 where 42 people, mostly children only in the 3rd and 4th grade, were killed in an explosion at a school. Just to keep the prices low, the Chinese used students to make the fireworks because they know they did not have to pay them as much as adults. The younger students were to make about 1,000 fireworks each day, and the other students who are about in the 5th grade, are required to assemble about ten times that amount.
“Newspaper and journal reports indicate that children are also