Sunday, June 12, 2011


IN HAZARDOUS FORMS OF LABOR - A new report by the International Labor Organization warns a staggeringly high number of children still are caught in hazardous work.  In the lead-up to the World Day Against Child Labor on June 12, the ILO is calling for urgent action to halt this risky practice.  The International Labor Organization reports more than one half of the world’s 215 million child laborers are trapped in hazardous work.  Every day, it says a child laborer somewhere in the world suffers a work-related accident, illness or psychological trauma.  The report says the most hazardous work includes agriculture, fishing, domestic service, mining and quarrying and street and service industries.  Constance Thomas, describes the brutal and risky conditions under which children work, all of which jeopardizes their health and their moral and psychological development.

“We are dealing with a complete range from exploitation, physical, psychological, sexual in some areas to carrying very heavy loads, to being exposed to chemicals…to working long hours…to working in repetitive tasks, to working in isolation…young children require that brain stimulation, that social stimulation and if they are isolated in mind-numbing repetitive types of work, it stunts development,” said Thomas.  The study notes children are engaged in hazardous work in all countries.  This problem is not confined to developing countries.  It also exists in industrialized countries.  Evidence from the United States and Europe show young people are very vulnerable to workplace accidents.

Child labour and slavery are among the worst forms of human rights violations.  Greedy employers looking for a vulnerable, docile and cheap workforce, use child labourers engaging them specially in agriculture and allied activities.  Some are used for prostitution and pornography.  Many are forced into beggary and into committing petty crimes for their bosses. Still others are drafted as child soldiers.  In the age of Kali, the women and the children, along with brāhmanas and cows, will be grossly neglected and left unprotected. 

In the glorious days, or before the advent of the age of Kali, the brāhmanas, the cows, the women, the children and the old men were properly given protection. ... The protection of children gives the human form of life its best chance to prepare the way of liberty from material bondage. Such protection of children begins from the very day of begetting a child by the purificatory process of garbhādhāna-samskāra, the beginning of pure life. ... In the age of Kali they are not properly protected, and therefore the duration of life of the present generation has shortened considerably.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam - Canto 1: “Creation”
Chapter 8: “Prayers by Queen Kuntī and Parīkshit Saved”
Verse 5 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

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