Child slavery becomes world's third popular problem

The distribution of child slave labor is one of the main problems of the modern world. According to the International Labor Organization, to date, more than 250 million children are illegally exploited in various industries, whereas child slavery comes third after arms and drugs trafficking in terms of profit.

The problem of modern society

No matter how insane it may sound, child trafficking is one of the most serious problems of modern society. Every year, tens of thousands of minors around the world find themselves in the hands of slave-owners, who force them to do hard physical labor, work as prostitutes and commit other illegal acts. Analysts from the United Nations say that more than 12 million people worldwide currently live and work in conditions of slavery. All of this happens in the modern society that lives in the 21st century. According to international experts, child traffickers make about $ 10 billion annually.

The problem of illegal child labor is also a highly serious issue. The popularity of this kind of labor is growing at an alarming rate. According to the UN, more than 250 million children had to work in very difficult conditions in 2011. Interestingly, child labor is more popular in Asia - more than 153 million children are exploited there illegally; in Africa - 80 million and 17 million - in Latin America.

Not long ago, the police of a small country in West African - Burkina Faso - conducted a campaign with the help of Interpol to release children who were forced to work in a gold mine. During the operation, more than 400,000 children and adolescents working in the mine were released. The children were forced to work in very difficult conditions - in narrow mines, at a depth of 70 meters, with no fresh air. The children were not paid for their work. All of them were put into foster care centers; the local authorities began searching for their parents. Seventy-three people were arrested on the case. Last year, the Ghana Police freed more than 250 children during such raids, who were forced into prostitution.

The causes of child slavery

According to the International Labor Organization, more than 120 types of goods produced in the world are made by children. World famous company Nestle has recently found itself in the center of a scandal. Analysts from the International Labor Organization claimed that there were many minors involved in the chocolate production of the corporation.  

At the request of the UN, the main reason why children end up in the hands of slave-owners or those who force them to illegal employment is poverty. In China, for example, especially in the southwest of the country, where the population is characterized by extreme poverty, the child labor market is very extensive. One can meet even seven or eight-year-old children. All minors work in extremely hazardous industries in exchange for very little money. Of course, none of them are officially listed in production, and the mortality rate among them is very high. In fact, many parents sell their children to pay off existing debts or improve their financial situation.

For slave owners, children pose quite an interest for a number of reasons. First, forcing a minor to perform a job is much easier than doing the same with an adult. Secondly, children are less demanding, and their labor is cheaper. For example, in Ghana, many children, who are illegally exploited in heavy and dangerous work, receive only one-sixth of the minimum rates for wages in the country.

The fight against child slavery

The world community has long been sounding the alarm: the problem of slavery affects not only the countries of the Third World, but also highly developed countries.

Not so long ago, in the summer of this year, the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs raised the issue of the problem of child slavery not just anywhere, but in the U.S. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in his speech that child trafficking was quite well developed in the U.S. today. However, he added, the State Department does its best not to disclose the information. The States, he said, was very concerned about the problems of human trafficking around the world, but the country deliberately turns a blind eye on quite serious problems in its own region.

He said that according to the Polaris Project, more than one hundred thousand minors in the United States are involved in prostitution and pornographic industry against their will every year. Orphans or foster children often become homeless and fall into the hands of human traffickers.

Russia, according to the official, actively combats child trafficking. In addition, Russian forces actively cooperate with authorities in many countries, especially neighbors - Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Belarus. Such actions, said Lukashevich, are more efficient than compiling world rankings of the countries where the problem of child slavery is most severe.

The chairwoman The Bar of Pavel Astakhov, Victoria Danilchenko, told Pravda.Ru that she would not say that there is slavery in Russia.

"That's rather overstated. Based on the publicly available data of slave owners allegedly using our children, I would not put such a problem in the Russian Federation. There is no such problem," she said.

According to Danilchenko, there is another problem associated with child labor in Russia. "The problem is that when children get employed, employers do not sign a work contract with them. If a would-be entrepreneur understands that it is profitable to use child labor, but the labor is insignificant, the entrepreneur often does not consider it possible to hire a child under the work contract." According to Viktoria Danilchenko, eventually it leads to negative consequences, such as the non-payment of wages. "We have all this, unfortunately. But I would not say that this is rampant," said the expert.

The problem of child slavery, according to the International Labor Organization is a prerogative of the Third World. For example, in Asian countries, child labor is actively used in tobacco and cotton fields. North Korea, Sudan, Cuba and Iran are also problematic countries at this point.

However, experts of the International Labor Organization say that it is possible to fight child slavery. One must actively develop backward regions, improve their socio-economic situation and support the struggle of local authorities with illegal child labor. Such measures should be applied to all countries in the risk zone, such as the states of South and West Africa, and Latin America. Otherwise, this shameful problem of the modern world will continue to remain the most popular one.

Sergei Vasilenko


Read the original in Russian 

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov