Thursday, December 6, 2012

MERRY XMAS !!! SKEPTICS? need more proof???


Newsmakers

Enslaved Children Freed After Being Forced to Make Christmas decorations



Police and child advocates broke padlocks and busted down doors in a surprise raid of a sweatshop in India, only to find a group of children imprisoned who had been forced to make Christmas decorations.
The children, as young as 8 years old, were kept in rooms approximately six feet by six feet and had been forced to work up to 19-hour days making the decorations, which advocates believe may have been intended to be sold on the cheap in the United States.

Human rights group Global March for Children led the raid, but also got help from former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who now serves as the United Nations special envoy for global education.

The 14 children who were freed are now in the process of being reunited with their families, who are scattered across India.

Brown released video to ABC News and Yahoo! News revealing what he says were the illegal conditions in which the children in Delhi were discovered.

"There is no parent in the world who would ever want their child to be subjected to conditions that you see in these films of children in dingy basements, without air, without food, without proper care, being forced into child labor for all these hours of the day. I think every parent who sees these films will want this practice brought to an end as quickly as possible."
Child advocates say American consumers would likely never know the origin of goods made with child labor, which Brown says has become a global epidemic that needs to be solved.
In a push to garner more attention on the issue worldwide, Brown’s office released a new report today, "Child Labour and Educational Disadvantage – Breaking the Link, Building Opportunity," which says 91 million children in the global workforce are younger than 12 years old.
In the case of the children rescued in Delhi, he says they were both injured and scared.
"Some of them are lacerated because they’re working with glass. And we found these children in this basement. They were not being paid,” he said. “They had been trafficked themselves. And they were making these Christmas decorations that were being sold in our shops and our web sites in the West."

Priyanke Ribhu of Global March says many children in India are often lured away from their parents by gangmasters who befriend their parents in the remote villages where they live. The gangmasters reportedly promise parents their kids will be taken to a better place where they will be provided a real education and many great opportunities they could not receive in their villages. Parents are also often told the children will be able to send money back home to help their families.

Far too often, Ribhu says, the children simply end up locked away behind padlocks only to work 17-,18-, even 19-hour days with no one to help them. Ribhu says holiday decorations similar to those discovered in the recent raid can be found on eBay and in other marketplaces online or in stores.

In addition, she says, the items are often sold off into a sophisticated network of suppliers that make it nearly impossible for retailers or consumers to know whether the goods they are purchasing have been made by child labor.
Ribhu warns, however, there are some tell-tale warning signs American consumers can be on the lookout for if they wish to avoid purchasing products made with child labor. First, she says, if the holiday decorations you are purchasing are not labeled with the country they are made in you might want to be concerned. Next, she says if they have an unusually low price and are marked as "hand made" it is another red flag.
Ribhu also warns to be cautious when examining "hand made" items that are also marked as being made in India.
While child labor was largely outlawed in the United States following the industrial revolution more than 100 years ago, Brown told ABC News and Yahoo! News that India has yet to ban child labor itself. He says currently, the country only has a ban on hazardous working conditions, but he wants to pressure the government to immediately take action to protect children there.
"I want the pressure on these employers, the gangmasters, the slave employers. But I also want the pressure on governments so they make sure the police are there telling employers that if they are caught hiring child laborers, they will be prosecuted," he said.
Consequently, Brown is pushing the Indian Parliament to immediately pass something called the Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill, which would ban all forms of child labor for children younger than 14 years old in India. Through his role with the United Nations, Brown also plans to deliver a petition to the Parliament calling for the passage of the bill.
"One of the things I want to see happen in the next few days, is the Indian Parliament take the action that is necessary to outlaw all forms of child labor, but at the moment, thousands of children are being trafficked, thousands of children are being sold into what is effectively slavery," he said. 
In addition, Brown is calling for an international summit to address the issue of child labor. The goal of the summit is for world leaders to develop a roadmap to eradicate child labor everywhere by 2020. Additionally, he wants to see a $13 billion increase in funding to address the issue. Last year, the Department of Labor released a report stating 71 nations currently produce items made with child labor. 
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced $32.5 million in grants at the time, intended to combat child labor around the world."These reports provide an overview of international efforts to protect children from hazardous work and identify critical gaps in policy and enforcement that leave them vulnerable," she said in a press release.
By this September, the department added another three nations to the list of nations said to be using child or forced labor to make goods. The Department of Labor says more than 215 million children are engaged in child labor, and cites the International Labour Organization as saying more than half of those children are also performing hazardous work.
Some large companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. and Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. reportedly have specific policies that monitor suppliers to make sure no child labor is used in their products. Brown says regular members of the public can help too by adding their names to the petition he plans to personally deliver to the Indian Parliament.
"Sign the petition asking the Indian government to take action immediately … so that another year does not go past with the complacency about child labor," he said. "(The holidays are) a time when we should be celebrating, but we’re actually unfortunately exploiting young children."
The public can add their voice to the petition by visiting www.educationenvoy.org. If you have specific information about where goods made by children are sold you can email mark.p.greenblatt@abc.com with that or other stories to investigate.

13 comments:

Gary Kelly said...

Shades of Charles Dickens and the bad old days in Britain during the industrial revolution. It also draws a parallel with ivory poachers and that kind of sick mentality. Cruelty for profit. Good on ya, Gordon for bringing such atrocities to the attention of the "civilized" world. And you too JustinO.

JustinO'Shea said...

As I've mentioned before, Gary, there is something deep in my soul that won't allow me to be silent in the face of such cruelty and injustice. I am "not able NOT to speak".

That kind of greed and cruelty raises my ire strongly. I think about what it must be like for those little kids treated like that. . . the horror, fear, despair,. . .all of those strong passions visited on innocent kids.

I hold that I am a 'non-violent' guy. . . except for men like these monsters and I know I'd need to struggle not to act like them and threat those bastards as they are treating kids all over the world. .
I kinda think all humans have a capacity for violence in certain situations. . .don't you think?

JustinO

JustinO'Shea said...

There. . .I guess the photo id has been restored. . . .

RADICALJOE said...

Justin, what runs deep in your soul
is veins of pure Gold. You have a
heart that is much larger than your
whole body. We all know that you
give so much to everyone of us. Never will you change, for God has
Given you a Talent that never goes
away.

J said...

Interesting observation, Justin. My first job was as a newspaper reporter. I had a pacifist colleague on the staff who adamantly maintained that he couldn't inflict violence on anyone. Then he was married and had a baby daughter. One day he came to work and expressed his astonishment when he discovered the previous night, as he was playing with the baby, that he would kill anyone who tried to harm her. So it's there in all of us. And lest we forget, Jesus couldn't bring himself to turn the other cheek to the moneychangers.

JustinO'Shea said...

J. . .I never noticed that. . Jesus and the moneychangers. Hmmmm, did he do the same for all the temple leaders? Something to think about.

J said...

If the accounts are to be believed, he wasn't unpleasant to the Sanhedren or to Pilate,even during the trials, probably because they held all the cards. It was the moneychanger demonstration that led to his arrest. Pilate didn't play around with massianic seditionists; he made examples of them.

Coop said...

I can't remember the last time I bought a cheap, "handmade" Christmas decoration. And I'm happy about it.

And I've been around the American west enough to think twice before buying anything "native American."
I always want to meet a real native American. And even their ancestors wandered over here. That issue is a whole other tin of sardines.

Justin, there's enough injustice and cruelty, too much, going on here... in this country. So can we/ should we be worried about India and places like that.
I'm not justifying anything, you know. Just wondering.



JustinO'Shea said...

COOPS. . .I see your point. . .but, ask your friends if they know that Americans own slave factories; children chained to a work place/machine near a common slop bucket producing clothing to sell in the USA, often the kids are not even paid. . .DO they even KNOW stuff like that is going on. . .

YES, I know stuff like that- human trafficing is going on here. . hotels, asian food restaurants, etc etc. . .DO we care? DO we speak up?
I put that stuff on my blog so if even ONE person becomes aware of such crimes/sin . . that is one more potential voice to SPEAK OUT.

We DO have a responsibility, not just about GLBT stuff. .but about dehumanizing treatment of others. . .and we do not have to purchase these slave-produced products.

That's why I put such info on my blog. . .so we have no excuse to do nothing. . "I didn't know. . realize. . . .or worse: "I don't care!"

cheerios, babes. . .;-)

Stew said...

I've said it before.
Each day, we vote. When making purchases we vote for how and where the products are made.
Be informed and be responsible for your own self.

JustinO'Shea said...

CERTAMENTE! Right on, STEW. . thanks for wording the message so simply and directly. Huuuaaaaaahhhhhh! ;-)

Coop said...

There are sweat shops here too, Justin. At least they are illegal.
And there's human trafficking, exploitation, etc. The migrant workers, even the legally documented ones, don't have an easy time.

When I was in college 10,000 years ago and helping out at soup kitchens in places in Camden and Philadelphia, I got the idea into my head that maybe, just maybe, the US needs to take care of our own.
How can we solve other people's problems? Or scold other countries for their short comings?

As it is, the UN has been practically hijacked by two bit three block authoritarian regimes with abysmal human rights records.

Coop said...

There are sweat shops here too, Justin. At least they are illegal.
And there's human trafficking, exploitation, etc. The migrant workers, even the legally documented ones, don't have an easy time.

When I was in college 10,000 years ago and helping out at soup kitchens in places in Camden and Philadelphia, I got the idea into my head that maybe, just maybe, the US needs to take care of our own.
How can we solve other people's problems? Or scold other countries for their short comings?

As it is, the UN has been practically hijacked by two bit three block authoritarian regimes with abysmal human rights records.