There are so many horror stories of kids being forced to work to survive and help out their families. Below are stories of children's lives during these hard times.
A girl, 11, from Tamil Nadu became the latest victim of child labor and torture when she succumbed to her injuries at Kolenchery Medical Mission Hospital in Hyderabad, South India.
It was reported that Dhanalakshmi was in a coma when she was admitted to the hospital on Thursday.
She had sustained injuries like multiple burns and a hemorrhage in her left eye.
Pediatricians and physicians found several burns on her body and informed the police.It was reported that her employer, Jose Kurien, who claimed to be a lawyer residing nearby, brought Dhanalakshmi to the hospital.
The hospital authorities said they were told that she was doing domestic work in Kurien’s house and attending to his sick wife. It is suspected that Dhanalakshmi was tortured in his house.
Twelve-year-old Alejandra is woken up at four in the morning by her father, Don José. She does not go to school, but goes to collect curiles, small molluscs in the mangrove swamps on the island of Espiritu Santo in Usulutan, El Salvador.
In the rush to get to work, Alejandra does not take time to eat breakfast. It is more important to make sure she has the things she needs to make it through a workday that can mean spending up to 14 hours in the mud. These items include about a dozen cigars and at least four pills to keep her from falling asleep. A good part of the money that she earns goes to buy these things.
In the mangrove swamp without shoes, Alejandra has to face bad weather, mosquito bites and cuts and scrapes from having to pull the curiles out from deep in the mud. The cigars help to repel the mosquitoes, but when she runs out of cigars Alejandra has to put up with the insects as she moves from branch to branch and from one area to another in search of shells.
When she returns from work, her body is nearly always covered with bites. She earns very little. If she is lucky in one day Alejandra manages to collect two baskets of curiles (150 shells), worth little more than 12 colones, or $1.40. Alejandra, who has seven younger brothers and sisters, has no time to go to school or play with other children. Anyway, she prefers not to play with other children because they say she smells bad and exclude her from their games for being a curiles worker
Even though he is only 11 years old, Hamisi already has had a career as a miner. He dropped out of his third year of primary school and left his home village of Makumira in Tanzania after his father was unable to pay for his uniform and school fees. Although Hamisi's parents have their own half-acre coffee farm, their income fell sharply because of the decline in the market price for coffee throughout the world. Hamisi had heard stories of people making money from mining and decided to try his luck. He asked his mother for a small amount of money to buy some socks and other items, but instead used this for the bus fare to Mererani, a town in northern Tanzania about 70 kilometres from his home. Personal Stories International Labor Office In Focus Programme on Promoting the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work "Work in freedom." When he arrived at the village, he approached a boy and asked him where the mining site was located. It was very difficult for him to get work right away because he was a newcomer and had no relatives there, but he managed to make friends with some children who knew the place and could help him. After several days of hanging around the mining site, he was hired by one of owners to work as an assistant "errands" boy. The following day, he and another child of his age were sent down into the pit, where the gemstone Tanzanite was being mined, to deliver tools and bring up used bottles of drinking water. From that day, he worked as a service boy, going back and forth between the surface and the pits. "You have got to get deep into the mining pit by a rope, take what you have been ordered and then go back to the surface," Hamisi says. The inside of the mining pit, which can be as deep as 300 metres, is totally dark and extremely hot. Those who go into the mine need to wear a special torch (or flashlight) on their foreheads to find their way around. Their skin turns to black because of the humidity and heat as well as the mud, Hamisi says. "I nearly suffocated inside the pits due to an inadequate supply of oxygen," he adds. At the mining sites and in the township children like Hamisi are called "nyokas", or "snake boys", because they crawl along the small tunnels underground just like snakes. The health of the snake boys is very poor, as they breathe in the harmful graphite dust found in the mines and they do not have enough to eat. Hamisi often worked up to 18 hours a day with only one meal of buns and boiled or cooked cassava. Children working in the Mererani mines earn the equivalent of between 60 cents and $1.20 a day when they are given tasks to do. Some children look through the gravel left by the pit owners in the hope of finding a gemstone. When they do, which is only very rarely, they can earn between $24 and $122. It is because of stories of finding gemstones that children like Hamisi are attracted to the mines.
Child labor doesn't just happen. There are people behind the scenes. Someone has to hire the kids. Someone has to turn a blind eye to it. But why do they do it? Large companies like Nike and Reebok use child labor. They do it so they can have cheap workers and save a lot of money for themselves.
Where it Happens
Child labor occurs mostly in Eastern European countries and Asia. But it is all over the globe.
Below is a pie chart of the estimated percentage of children working in different countries around the world.