stories of the city stories of the streets
Thursday, June 12, 2008
World Day Against Children Labour
12 Ιουνίου, μια ακόμη θλιβερή μέρα να μας θυμίζει αυτό που ξεχνάμε κάθε μέρα, την παιδική εργασία. Υπολογίζεται ότι γύρω στα 165 εκατ. παιδιά ηλικίας 5-14 εργάζονται, πολλά από αυτά κάτω από άθλιες, απάνθρωπες συνθήκες, που θυμίζουν προηγούμενους αιώνες, αντιμετωπίζουν πολλές απειλές και κινδύνους που περιλαμβάνουν την ανάμειξη, το χειρισμό και τη χρήση τοξικών ζιζανιοκτόνων, τη χρήση επικίνδυνων κοπτικών εργαλείων, την εργασία σε ακραίες θερμοκρασίες και το χειρισμό ισχυρών και βαριών μηχανημάτων και οχημάτων.
Νιώθω ντροπή και ταυτόχρονα πόνο που υπάρχουν σ'όλο τον κόσμο παιδιά να βρίσκονται σχεδόν σε κατάσταση δουλείας, σε χωράφια, σε ορυχεία, εργοστάσια, στους δρόμους...
Τα δικά μου όμως λόγια είναι περιττά, διαβάστε μερικές μαρτυρίες παιδιών, είναι στα αγγλικά, όμως αξίζουν την προσοχή σας. Και μη νομίζετε ότι δεν συμβάλλουμε όλοι μας σ'αυτήν τη μεταχείριση των παιδιών. Αυτό είναι το μεγάλο μας λάθος. Είμαστε καταναλωτές σε μια παγκόσμια αγορά, γι'αυτό την επόμενη φορά που θα αγοράσουμε κάτι ας είμαστε λίγο πιο προσεκτικοί από πού είναι, από ποιον κατασκευάστηκε, ας πετάξουμε τον στρουθοκαμηλισμό στο καλάθι των αχρήστων και ας κοιτάξουμε καλύτερα στον καθρέφτη. Η Unicef και το International Programme on the elimination on child labour συμφωνούν ότι η μόνη λύση είναι η εκπαίδευση αυτών των παιδιών και πρέπει όλοι μας να βοηθήσουμε. Αν θέλουμε έναν καλύτερο κόσμο πρέπει να πάρουμε την απόγνωση από αυτά τα παιδιά και να τους δώσουμε πίσω την ελπίδα και την αθωότητά τους. Μπορούμε!
Τα παιδιά τα λένε με τα δικά τους λόγια
Senegal: How Awa dreads “salt season” wa, 9-year-old girl, said “Look at my hands, my palms are cracked. My skin is so dry and my eyes sting all of the time. That’s because of the salt. We have to work during the dry season when it’s very cold. From morning until dusk, we work under the sun without any protection. When it’s salt season, the schools are practically empty; ever yone goes to harvest salt because it’s the only way to make money to buy clothes and school supplies. My parents can’t manage otherwise. We need the money that I earn. With it I can help them with family expenses.” A “I would like to go to secondary school like my brother, who is one of the rare students from our village to have passed the entrance exam. Now he is in town and he is going to continue his studies. School is my biggest worry – it’s difficult to both go to school and harvest salt.” “No one forces me to go to work. I started when I was very little by accompanying my mother. I have seen the slogan “Red Card to Child Labour” on TV; I know that children are not allowed to work. But no one forces us. We have grown up working in salt and we don’t know anything else. “
Mongolia: D. Jargal rediscovers childhood . Jargal, now a 7th-grader, started work in Mongolia’s gold mines in 1997 in order to help his family. “Personally I do not like to work”, he says. “However, I didn’t have a choice. Life was hard then, I had headaches and torn clothes – my family is so poor.” The informal gold mining sector in Mongolia is large and increasing, involving 20 per cent of the rural workforce. At least 10 to 15 per cent of these workers are children. The situation stems from reduced rural income opportunities, decimated livestock herds, and rising unemployment in both rural and urban areas, as well as popular expectations of high income through gold mining activities. Children in this sector work in hard rock, and half of them work with mercury to extract gold. They work underground, in water, and at blasting sites. Many of them have no access to schools or health services. In 2004, International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour supported a comprehensive pilot project to prevent and eliminate child labour and improve the situation of informal gold miners. One of the priorities of this project, implemented by the Mongolian Employers’ Federation (MONEF), was to improve educational opportunities for working children. D. Jargal quickly learned how different life could be. “When I worked, the food was bad and I often felt sore and sick. I couldn’t take breaks to eat or drink properly, I always needed to hurry. Now everything is different, I can rest, my body and mind are fresh and I feel that I am learning every day.” “When I worked, I was very busy all day breaking rocks and panning gold. I don’t work anymore, I have a good time studying and playing with friends and classmates. When I wasn’t going to school, I didn’t have time to play. I worried about whether I would find any gold, and I had headaches due to worrying so much.” DAs his life has changed, so have his hopes for the future. He says, “When I worked I wished I was a rich person with freedom. I dreamed about that when I worked. But now I dream about being a smart person, who can do something good for my country and the world.”
Indonesia: A boy from a mining family W anto, 16-year-old, comes from a mining family. His grandparents and his parents were miners, both in the mechanized units and as ngerébo’s. Wanto has to work because he is the oldest son, which means he has an obligation to help the family. He can do no other jobs besides mining because his parents never farmed and thus never taught him how to farm. For a while his parents owned their own sedot kering unit but eventually were bankrupted by lack of sufficient gold finds and sold the equipment to repay debts. His father has a mining job in Benggalon and lives in Bontang, around 550 km away. The third of five children and the oldest boy, Wanto finished elementary school despite sometimes being absent in the dry season when he with other classmates would join a mining unit. He currently works with a dry suction mining unit in Nangon, 30 minutes walk from his home. Wanto no longer cares to continue his education to junior high school. He thinks that continuing education will result in losing time to mine gold. Pointing to his long-time friend sitting next to him, Wanto said that his friend is continuing his education and recently entered high school in Samarinda. Wanto said that his friend receives money from his parents. Though he wanted at first to continue with his schooling, Wanto’s family couldn’t afford it and so he had to find work. Wanto’s eldest sister, now 18, was able to complete the third year of junior high school with financial help from an aunt, but then she couldn’t afford to let the girl continue to higher school. The sister currently lives with her aunt in Samarinda, 400 km away, helping out with chores in the house. A younger brother was among the 33 miners who died in the Bilit mining accident in 1997. The boy was 11. Wanto’s youngest brother is 5 years old. When his family still owned their unit, Wanto was in the fourth grade and worked only during the school holidays. Although the work is tougher in the gold striking (mopo’) period, Wanto acknowledged that workers are happier because of the potential income. Once, when he was 11 and working in his family’s unit, Wanto earned between 4 million and 5 million rupiah (US$460 and US$575) in the mopo’ period. He used a portion to buy new clothes and shoes and gave the remainder to his mother to save. He wants to buy a motorcycle with his savings. No longer in school, Wanto took a full-time job in a sedot selam unit as a diver when he was 12. But when he dived for the first time, his ears and nose bled. He switched to removing the debris. Later though, when a friend asked, he tried diving again so he wouldn’t be seen as a coward. His ears and nose did not bleed that time and he remained working as a diver. He lasted less than a year; the work was too hard, he explained. He’s been working in a sedot kering unit with six other workers for the past three years. The unit is owned by the uncle of a friend. His duties are to spray and remove stones. He considers these duties lighter than diving.
ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) June 2006
The unit has changed locations three times in three years. “Many workers have stopped working because the dam keeps breaking. They cannot keep removing water and ambuh, since they would have to work hard, but gain little,” Wanto said. If the dam breaks, the workers have to repair it, otherwise water will enter the pit and has to be removed before gold can be mined. The collected gold is calculated daily. The calculation of how much one worker earns is done at the end of the carpet washing, but the money is paid after the gold is sold, which is done once a week. (Carpet washing can be done two or three times in a day and different people might be involved in the carpet washings.) In one day, the unit can get at least 6-11 grams of gold that sells for up to 68,000 rupiah per gram. In the wet season, however, each worker gets between 30,000 and 50,000 rupiah per day. In mopo’ times, they earn up to 200,000 rupiah (US$24) per day. In his job, Wanto holds the hose and directs the stream to the wall, similar to a firefighter. The spray will gouge the pit walls, bringing stones and soil down. The workers in a pit might be buried alive if the whole wall falls. The sprayer will be the first one to die because he’s closest to the wall. Wanto is haunted by his brother’s death and has fears of dying. Wanto often suffers from skin and respiratory ailments. The workers in his unit have to pay for their own medical treatment. Glossary: Ambuh: brownish-yellow sand and soil from the river bed, containing no gold and usually disposed of. Mopo’: successful (gold) strike Ngerébo’: panning gold from sand that has been panned by others before (sand from sedot kering units or washed welkoms from sedot selam and sedot rujak units) Sedot kering: The method of mining gold on dry land but without tunnelling introduced in 1999. In this system, a 4- to 8-m-deep pit is dug, as far as 50 m from the river. An engine and a pump are located next to the river and used to suck water to the pit to make the soil “suckable”. That watery soil is then pumped to the platform through a second set of engine/pump and then channelled back into the river through a carpet that will catch the gold ore. Sedot selam: Mechanical devices began to be used by divers in 1984 to suck the sand from the river bed.
Nepal: Sudha udha began work as a stone crusher at a quarry when she was 12 years old hoping to raise some extra money for her family. Although the stone she produces is used for road building in her area, it has not paved the way for an education for Sudha. This is something she regrets every day, as the local school is just a short walk from her home. When asked if she would prefer to be at school, Sudha sighs and responds that it's too late for her to start now. Her wages from crushing stones, though small, are now an important part of her family's income, supplementing their small earnings from farming livestock along the banks of the river near where they live. Searching the nearby forest, the family gathers firewood, which they then sell at the market, providing another source of much needed money. Sometimes, Sudha's brother, sister and her parents also work as stone crushers in an effort to supplement their meagre earnings from farming. Their combined efforts earn them 1,400 rupees a week (around US$20 or €15). When asked why she continues to do this back-breaking and dangerous work, S Sudha simply sighs and stares at the sky. "There is no alternative", she says. For her, this is her destiny, her pre-ordained role in life.
ΥΓ. Και αν όλα αυτά σας φαίνονται τόσο μακρινά, έρευνα της Τράπεζας της Ελλάδος δείχνει ότι 450.000 παιδιά στην Ελλάδα ζουν κάτω από τα όρια της φτώχειας
Σύμφωνα με την κοινωνική οργάνωση ΑΡΣΙΣ 150.000 παιδιά κάτω των 18 ετών εργάζονται στην Ελλάδα.
Αν θέλουμε να βοηθήσουμε η ΑΡΣΙΣ ΠΡΟΤΕΙΝΕΙ:
1. Μην επιδοτείτε την παιδική εργασία δίνοντας χρήματα στα παιδιά που δουλεύουν στο δρόμο.
2. Εάν θέλετε να δώσετε κάτι φροντίστε τη διατροφή τους ή προσφέρετε ένα προσωπικό είδος μόνο για παιδιά (τετράδια, χρώματα, παιχνίδια).
3. Το πιο σημαντικό, όμως, που μπορείτε να κάνετε είναι να δώσετε την προσοχή σας. Παρατηρήστε και καταγράψτε τα στοιχεία για το σημείο, την ώρα και τη συχνότητα με την οποία βλέπετε ένα παιδί να εργάζεται και ειδοποιήστε μας (τηλ: 210 8259880-Αθήνα, 2310 526150- Θεσ/νίκη).
4. Ενημερωθείτε για το έργο μας και υποστηρίξτε τη δράση κατά της παιδικής εργασίας και εκμετάλλευσης ανηλίκων στην Ελλάδα