Monday, 15 September 2008

DW TV report on child labour

Today I watched a report on Deutsche Welle TV on child labour.

DW TV had billed it as a report on child slavery, but after watching it, I got the impression that the report was more about child labour than it was about child slavery.

Two DW TV reporters, Rebecca Gudisch and Tilo Gummel travelled to India posing as potential buyers and took video recordings which showed how some children are being taken from their families and are being made to work very long hours in stone quarries, with very little protective gear and for very little or no money at all. The report also shows how some families are working in the mines with their children.

None of the children who are featured in the report appear to be going to school or to have access to medical care.

On returning to Germany, the reporters confronted German wholesalers and companies that use paving stones imported from India. The reporters showed that children were involved in quarrying and processing the stones -- and most companies responded by cancelling the contracts they had with the Indian wholesalers and mines that supplied them.

Job done.

Excerpt the poverty -- which makes it possible for families to encourage their children to work very long hours for very little money -- remains. Also, I suspect that as the mines lose German contracts and revenue, this poverty will worsen for those families that work on the mines and who rely on the income that the mines provide.