For archives, these articles are being stored on website.
The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.

Chlld Labor.  Child Labour.

Children balancing bricks on their heads, working with bricks at a brick factory in Fatullah.

For each 1,000 bricks they carry, they earn the equivalent of 0.9 USD. 

Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Photo by
Children balancing bricks on their heads, working with bricks at a brick factory in Fatullah
For each 1,000 bricks they carry, they earn the equivalent of 0.9 USD
Dhaka, Bangladesh
BBC — Friday, 24 August 2007
Child labour in Kyrgyz coal mines
By Natalia Antelava
BBC Central Asia correspondent

Kylych says the $3 a day he earns is vital for his family
Kylych says the $3 a day he earns is vital for his family
Sharp pieces of coal fly across a narrow, dark, airless space as a man bangs the wall of the cave with his hammer.
A slim boy sits crouched in the corner, waiting for the miner to fill his sack.
Once full, he throws it behind his back, slouches, and starts his journey along a narrow, mucky pathway back into the sunlight.
The boy, Kylych, is one of dozens, possibly hundreds of children working in the abandoned Soviet-era coal mines in the mountains of southern Kyrgyzstan.
He knows what he does is extremely dangerous.
He says he has seen his friends die and has been trapped inside himself.
But, he says, he has no choice.   The US$3 a day he makes is crucial to his family's survival.
"I'd rather go to school, of course, but I need to help the family," he says.
Frequent accidents
Like many of its neighbours, Kyrgyzstan never recovered from the collapse of the Soviet Union, which destroyed, among other things, the country's once-thriving mining industry.
The coal mines were abandoned, and the infrastructure left lying in ruins.
Mining widow Zulfia, with her children.

People are taking their children out of schools and sending them to work at mines.

There is simply no other way to make money here.
People are taking their children out of schools and sending them to work at mines.   There is simply no other way to make money here.
Mining widow Zulfia, with her children
After years of watching the government fail to revive the economy, people turned to excavating coal themselves.
But the mines they dug out were often too narrow for adults, and so fathers began bringing in their sons.
No one knows the exact number of children working in Kyrgyzstan's coal mines.
Locals say the government refuses to acknowledge the problem.   Officially these children may not even exist.
Yet we saw them at every coal mine we visited.
They work all year round, under the blistering heat of the summer and in the freezing temperatures of the harsh mountain winter.
"Sometimes in the winter the caves get flooded, and people have to dive in and swim to the end of the cave to bring a pump and get the water out," Nurbek, a local from a nearby town, says.
Accidents and deaths are common and people here are desperate for government help, but they are also reluctant to ask for it.
Nurjamal Mambetova, who has set up a local non-profit organisation and has been trying to come up with a solution to the problem, says she fears that drawing the government's attention to the issue could only make things worse.
"We worry that they will close down the mines, or blow them up, and that won't solve the problem.   People will just start going back to them and digging again because they have no other way to survive," she says.
"What we need are alternatives, other jobs, or proper conditions at the mines.   Something, just not this," Nurjamal says.
'Very dangerous'
Over a cup of green tea, 35-year-old Zulfia weeps as she talks about her ordeal.   She has five children and less than US$2 a day with which to feed them.
Her husband died in a mine accident, while trying to rescue two boys trapped inside.   He only managed to save one and died with the other.
Uluk at the opening of a mine shaft

Uluk is small enough to get through the narrow mine entrance
Uluk is small enough to get through the narrow mine entrance
After the accident, the owner of the mine, another local resident, offered Zulfia's husband's job to their 10-year-old son.
"Of course I won't let him do this, because I know what the price is, but other people do.   We are just so desperate here," Zulfia says.
"People are taking their children out of schools and sending them to work at mines, there is simply no other way to make money here."
It takes a 40-minute hike, in blistering sun, to get to the mine where Zulfia's husband died.
When we arrive, two boys are loading heavy sacks onto donkeys; two others are heading inside the mine to bring out more.
They do not even wear helmets.
Their hands are callused, and their childishly-chubby faces covered in black dust.
One of the boys, Uluk, tells us he is 14.   He looks younger, but sounds older as he says he does not approve of his little brother working at a nearby mine.
"It's very dangerous and it's not a proper place for children," Uluk says.
"We hear about tragic cases all the time.   There is gas inside the mines and you can get trapped and choke, or sometimes there is fire underneath," he says.
"And it's very bad for your health. But still people have little choice.   They come to make money, and so we come with them," he adds.
Uluk, like many children here, may not have much of a childhood, but he does have dreams.
"When I grow up I want to become a policeman, so that I can catch thieves and protect children," he says.
It seems there is no one in Kyrgyzstan to protect him.
BBC — Tuesday, 13 June 2006
Child labour — India's 'cheap commodity'
Child Labor in India

Campaigners say that many children work in appalling conditions
Campaigners say that many children work in appalling conditions
BBC — Friday, 24 August 2007
Emma Jane Kirby
By Navdip Dhariwal
BBC News, Tamil Nadu
Farm workers toil long hours in the fields in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu for little reward in the intense heat.
But it is often their only means of survival.
Cheap labour is one commodity India has in abundance.
Hidden from public view though, is another workforce.
In an isolated spot, miles from the nearest town, is a thriving matchstick industry.
Here inside makeshift straw huts — and in the small dwellings that neighbour them — we found some of India's youngest workers.
Rows of exhausted young girls — up to 20 and as young as five are working alongside their mothers.
For 16 hours a day their tiny blistered fingers skilfully turn out matches for export.
218m aged 5-17 in work
126m in hazardous work
Almost 50m work in Africa
122m work in Asia
70% of workers in agriculture
Estimated cost of ending child labour: $760m over 20 years
Source: International Labour Organisation

Ordered to leave
The toxic smell of sulphur is overwhelming in the windowless room.
Twelve-year-old Sindhu dips the tips of the sticks into hot sulphur.
"I start work early but don't finish until late into the night.   I get paid less than two dollars a week."
Our presence was clearly not welcome.   As we were speaking to the girls the owner came in and ordered us to leave.
Within walking distance are other factories.   But again, when we arrived, the youngest workers were quickly led away.
While the factory owner denied he was employing underage workers, almost every single household in this part of Tamil Nadu has one or more children working long hours in appalling conditions.
Campaigners say over 11 million children are forced to work in India.
Lighting a fire for a rare family meal, Sarojama gathers her five grandchildren around her.
She has barely been able to feed them, so she was forced to borrow money from a local factory owner.
Child labor worker in Indian match factory
Campaigners say over 11 million children work in India
Unable to pay back the loan she sent her young grand-daughter to work.   Parimeeta was taken out of school and has been working 12 hour days for two years.
The debt is less than $20.
Campaigners fear that as India's economy continues to boom, children are increasingly being exploited to meet the country's hunger for global success.
In a recent raid in the capital Delhi, police rescued a large number of boys from local sweatshops.
Agents had lured them from India's poorest regions, promising the children that they would be taken care of and paid well.
They were found hidden on the top floors of garment factories — held captive in filthy cramped rooms under lock and key.
They painstakingly spent hours applying crystals to garments.   Many of the clothes end up being sold in shops in the UK.
These are places the authorities say are difficult to close down.
But Swami Agnivesh of the Bonded Liberation Front says that hundreds of children are kept hidden from public view in the buildings of crammed alleyways.
Child labor trends
"They are kept in the most appalling conditions and not enough is being done to help them," he said.
India has laws in place to protect children and bans the use of young workers, but they remain pretty ineffective.
The United Nations Children's' Fund says that the sheer volume of children engaged in work is living proof of the world's failure to protect them.
That is the reason why the agency's work is focused on building a protective environment which safeguards children from exploitation and abuse.
In Tamil Nadu local charities have helped pay off families' debts so that at least some children can be released from the matchstick factories.
Finally freed from the shackles of work, they now have some hope of reliving their childhood.
Bu it is often a dream that is short-lived.
Charity workers admit most of the children are likely to find themselves forced back into a life of bondage.
Chlld Labor.  Child Labour.

17.5 percent of children in the aged 5–15 are engaged in economic activities.

Many of these children are engaged in various hazardous occupations in manufacturing factories. 

Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2006.

Photo by
17.5 percent of children in the aged 5–15 are engaged in economic activities
Many of these children are engaged in various hazardous occupations in manufacturing factories
How can gifts that bring so much happiness have come from so much pain?
Valentine’s Day: Labor Conditions at US-Owned Plantations Show Hidden Realities of Flower Industry — Click Here
Nora Ferm of the International Labor Rights Fund talks about a new report on labor conditions at US-owned flower plantations in Colombia and Ecuador.
Beatriz Fuentes, President of the Sintrasplendor Union at Dole’s largest flower plantation in Colombia which has become the site of a growing worker’s struggle, joins us.
“Diamond Life”: Documentary Examines How Diamonds Funded the Civil War in Sierra Leone
— Click Here
We turn now to the issue of conflict diamonds—also known as blood diamonds.
The documentary “Diamond Life” looks at how diamonds funded the civil war in Sierra Leone.
Excerpt of “Diamond Life”, the documentary produced by Stephen Marshall and Josh Shore of the Guerrilla News Network.
Child Labor: The Hidden Ingredient to the Billion-Dollar Chocolate Industry?
— Click Here
On Valentine's Day, chocolate is the currency in which people are supposed to trade their love.
Little do they know that chocolate might have been made with slave labor. We speak with Brian Campbell, an attorney with the International Labor Rights Fund.
Global Witness Founder Charmian Gooch: “The Diamond Industry is Failing to Live Up to Its Promises” — Click Here
For more on the diamond industry, we’re joined by Global Witness founder and director Charmian Gooch.
Gooch says diamond companies have failed to deliver on promises to reduce the prevalence of blood diamonds.
Picture on right is of a child being followed by a vulture waiting for child's death due to starvation
Greg Palast on the Battle to End Vulture Funds
— Click Here
Greg Palast looks at the battle to end "vulture funds", where companies buy up debts of poor nations cheaply and then sue for the full amount.
Nicaragua 2005, the lacky of the U.S.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Employement and UNICEF (The United Nations Childrens's Fund) approximately 343 thousand children between 5 at 8 years old are working in Nicaragua.
Saturday, 24 December 2005
The boy who lives on a rubbish tip

By Humphrey Hawksley
BBC, Morocco
People work and sheep graze at the rubbish tip in Akrash, Morocco
People, animals and birds search for food on the rubbish tip in Akrash
Throughout the year, the US has hailed a series of elections in the Arab world — the latest in Iraq — as evidence that its foreign policy is getting results.
But what can democracy really offer ordinary people?   Humphrey Hawksley travelled to Morocco to find out.
"How many of you go to school?" I asked the group of children gathered round.
Behind us was an open drain then shanty huts which crept back along the grey rocky landscape.   There was a mild aroma of rotting rubbish.
Across the road, two men from the interior ministry, sitting on wooden chairs, eyed us, but said nothing.
We were just outside the Moroccan capital Rabat, in a slum called Akrash.
Hands shot up, all except one: a boy in a filthy yellow shirt, arms marked with little scratches, his face filled with a child's awe and innocence, but his eyes firm as if he knew that if he lost his confidence he might not survive.
Souffian Baghari at the rubbish tip in Akrash, Morocco
What I really want is for someone to adopt me so I can have a normal life
Souffian Baghari
"Why don't you go to school?" I asked.
His parents, although alive, had abandoned him and for some reason that meant he wasn't at school.  
"So what do you do?" I said.   "Where do you live?"
"Up there," he said, pointing to the top of a hill misted with smoke.
Politics of creation
His name is Souffian Baghari.
He is 11.
We drove up and turned the final corner of the road to his home: a rubbish tip.
Seagulls and crows swooped down.   The birds landed on the backs of goats and sheep and pecked at their wool soiled and dangling with rubbish.
Birds and animals alike foraged for food.
People too; many children, rags hanging, heads down, hacking with pitchforks or their bare hands.
I had come to Morocco, not just to look again at more developing world poverty, but to test America's policy of pushing for democracy in societies which for years have been ruled through dictatorship.
Can it really be done without first building mature political parties, an uncorrupted civil service, a fair court system, institutions which take not months, but generations to create?
Souffian climbs into the tyre he sleeps in
Souffian climbs into the tyre he sleeps in
Souffian has nowhere else to sleep
Right to schooling
But where do you actually sleep, I asked Souffian.   He walked over to a huge old tractor tyre, lying among weeds.
"Here," he said.   "Like this."
He climbed in it, curling round inside where the inner tube would have been, put his head on two clasped hands, closed his eyes and pretended to sleep.
"I do whatever I can to eat.   I work on the dump all day and at night I come here to rest," he said.
"What I really want is for someone to adopt me so I can have a normal life."
Back down the hill, Souffian and I visited the local school.
Walking into the playground, his head turned left and right, his expression relaxed as if he thought he could now suddenly become a child again.
"Can he enrol in the school?" I asked a teacher.
"Of course, of course," she said.   "He can come any time."
But he could not right then because the headmaster was not there.
Nor were Souffian's parents.
'Education net'
Map of Morocco
So we went to ask the two interior ministry officials we had seen earlier.
"Let me tell you something," said one of them, peering at us through dark glasses.
"A delinquent child like this represents a big danger to society.   We have a list of people like him which we forward to our head office.   His parents aren't here, so what can we do?"
"Hold on," I said.   "You're saying that because he has no parents, you can't help him?"
"The problem is with the child," said the other, pushing a dirty white baseball cap back on his head.   "It's pointless to talk about it."
That evening, I tracked down the Education Minister, Habib El Malki, a suave French-speaking politician with perfect manners dressed in an immaculate cream suit.
You don't need elections to have a responsive government... They're just an excuse
Moroccan farmer
I asked him why an 11-year-old boy was not at school.
"Yes," he said.   "There is social marginalisation, it's true, but the policy we've put in place is to set up strongly representative local committees which we help to find solutions to put back all the children who've fallen through the education net."
We talked for some time, but never once did he ask where he — or his staff for that matter — could actually find Souffian, until we told him.
Political cynicism
For the next few days I talked to dozens of people in Morocco about democracy.   It had little or no resonance.
"Elections", scoffed one young mother.   "During the voting the politicians come, the street light works and water flows from the taps.   As soon as voting stops, nothing works again."
People work and sheep graze at the rubbish tip in Akrash, Morocco
People, animals and birds search for food on the rubbish tip in Akrash
Back in London, I re-read the UN convention on the rights of the child to which Morocco is a signatory.
Article 20 states that a child deprived of family environment shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the state.
Article 28 recognises the right of the child to education.   At a primary level it should be compulsory and free.
A couple of weeks later, I asked a colleague to check on Souffian.   He was still sleeping in his tyre.
Still no one had come to help him.
Chlld Labor.  Child Labour.

Child Workers taking rest in a silver cooking pot making factory.

For one week of work they will get 200 taka (1 Euro = about 103 taka), working nearly 10 hours a day from early morning to late afternoon. 

Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 2008.

Photo by
Child Workers taking rest in a silver cooking pot making factory
For one week of work they will get 200 taka (1 Euro = 103 taka), working nearly 10 hours a day from early morning to late afternoon
BBC — Monday, 7 November 2005
Fergus Walsh
By Fergus Walsh
BBC medical correspondent, Dhaka
When Bangladeshi families have nothing left and nowhere else to turn, they often end up in the brick fields of Dhaka.
They cover a vast area and it is thought 6,000 children work here.
Sabina is 12 and her brother, Rupchan, is eight.
They have worked here with their parents for a year. Neither goes to school and like their parents they cannot read or write.
It is the same with most of the children. Here education is a low priority compared to food and shelter.
Nimble fingers
Sabina works 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
She has a small hammer which she uses to smash bricks into chips.
These are then sold and used in construction to help make concrete.
Dhaka brickfields

Many families come from the countryside looking for work.
Dhaka brickfields
Many families come from the countryside looking for work
For this unending toil in the searing heat she earns about 1,200 taka ($18) a month. Put together with the rest of the family's earnings they have just enough to survive.
The whole time we talked Sabina did not stop working. Her nimble fingers move out of the hammer's way, just in time, every few seconds... most of the time.
Some of her fingertips were black from bruises.
A little further into the brick fields I met six-year-old Rashida. She has been here for six months with her mother, Banu.
When Rashida is not chipping bricks she looks after her younger brother and sister — they spend every day in the brick fields.
They took me to their home, a one room shack made out of corrugated iron sheets.
There was no sanitation and the nearest tap was a walk away.
Most of the interior was made up of a single, raised platform where the family slept.
Like many families they moved from the countryside to Dhaka in the hope of finding work. Their home in a rural village had been swept away in a flood.
Then, five months ago, Banu's husband died of cancer. Now she struggles more than ever to feed their three children.
Banu told me she would like to send Rashida to school but she needs her to look after the two youngest and the extra money she brings in is vital.
Range of skills
Sabina, 12, and her brother, Rupchan, eight

Sabina, here with her brother, Rupchan, works seven days a week
Sabina, 12, and her brother, Rupchan, eight
They works seven days a week
There is free education in Bangladesh but when it comes to a choice between food and school, it is obvious which wins.
The UN children's fund, Unicef, estimates there are five million working children in Bangladesh aged five to 14.
Most of the employment is unregulated and they work for a pittance.
Stories of cruelty and abuse are common.
Ruby Noble from Unicef showed me around a vocational training institute in Dhaka.
Child workers from around 12 upwards study a range of work skills here, from making clothes to plumbing and wiring.
Ms Noble says: "The strategy is called Earn and Learn.   The children come here a few hours a day to learn skills which may help them find a better-paid job.
"The rest of the time they are free to carry on working — mostly as domestic helps in people's homes.   Obviously we'd rather they were at school, but this is a realistic option which may help them build a better life in the future."
But such schemes can help only a minority.
With little social welfare, families do what they can to get by.
Unicef work project, Dhaka
The children come here a few hours a day to learn skills which may help them find a better-paid job
Ruby Noble, Unicef
Very often that means the burden of work falls on the youngest members of the family.
Child labour is just one of a host of social problems facing this chaotic and overcrowded country.
And for most child workers, things are unlikely to get much better anytime soon.
Chlld Labor.  Child Labour.

Shilu works separating sand and stone on the banks of the Piyain River. 

Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Photo by
Shilu works separating sand and stone on the banks of the Piyain River
Dhaka, Bangladesh
BBC — Saturday, 12 June, 2004
Scraping a living on Peru streets
By Hannah Hennessy
BBC correspondent in Lima
Peruvian child in slum

It's all work and no school for many of Peru's street children
It's all work and no school for many of Peru's street children
Diego is 14.   He is short for his age and extremely slight, but his face betrays a lost childhood.
For the past eight years, he has worked in the filthy streets of Las Lomas de Carabayllo, a shanty town in the desert on the outskirts of Lima.
He works on a rubbish truck, collecting and sorting through litter from outside houses in the district.
He earns 10 soles (just over $3) for 10 hours of work.
Diego and his four siblings all work.
They have had to since their father died, leaving their mother with five young children to clothe and feed.
"I like my job, because it's the only one I have.   I need to help my family, help them buy food and things," he said, explaining that he finds his food from rummaging through the rubbish bags left by other households.
Sometimes a juice that has passed its expiry date; if he is very lucky, a yoghurt.
"The most dangerous thing is being injured by the rubbish trucks or by other vehicles," he says, ignoring the scars on his hands from sifting through rubbish that often contains metal or glass.
He hacks as he talks, his chest infected by the germs he works amongst every day.
Pressing need
The rubbish trucks that Diego works on belong to the local government.
Many [children] are falling behind, because education just isn't seen as important
Freddy Calixto
Proceso Social
A charity that is trying to end underage labour in Peru says the children are often hired to work on them illegally, because they are cheap.
Diego works one day on and one day off, which means he can still go to school.
But as is the case for many working children in Peru whose families live in extreme poverty, education takes a back seat to the pressing needs of the present — the need to survive from day to day.
Ines has been helping her mother recycle rubbish for as long as she can remember.
She is a tiny beautiful child, with long brown hair, dark eyes and delicate features, who looks much younger than her six years.
She says she often works all day, separating glass, metal and cardboard as she sifts through piles of rubbish.
She does not go to school, she does not play with her friends or toys.
"I help my mummy", she says.
"I don't hurt myself very often on the glass."
School's out
Peruvian girl washing clothes

Millions of children work across Latin America and the Caribbean
Peruvian girl washing clothes
Millions of children work across Latin America and the Caribbean
Freddy Calixto works with a non-governmental organisation called Proceso Social (Social Process) which is trying to help children like Diego and Ines in Las Lomas de Carabayllo.
Supported by foreign charities, like Comic Relief in the UK, the group is trying to help raise awareness of the need to end child labour and the importance of childhood education.
"Even though many of the children we help go to school, many of them are falling behind, because education just isn't seen as important," said Mr Calixto.
Proceso Social is also trying to teach families skills that might give them a better chance of finding work in an environment where there is a shortage of skilled labour and a surplus of non-skilled workers.
Diego and Ines are just two of the estimated 20 million children between the ages of five and 14 who work in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Many of them are forced to work long hours in cramped, dark or filthy conditions, victims of exploitation that ranges from verbal abuse to sexual assault.
Many of these children do not go to school.
Those who do, like Diego, often fall behind their classmates because they have been raised in an environment where their parents are uneducated and where the need for money now outweighs the need for education — or because after hours of work, they are simply too tired to learn.

slide cursor here

Indonesian children rough it out on streets
Sunday 16 November 2003
Dianthus Saputra Estey in Jakarta
The quality of life of Indonesian children according to various reports and statistics.
UNICEF and UNDP, for instance, state in their latest assessments that 40% of Indonesian children below the age of five are suffering from malnutrition and 60% of pregnant women and school age children are anaemic.
Left to fend for themselves
Not only are children denied their rights to a decent standard of living, clean water and adequate nutrition, but also end up working the streets and are therefore denied their right to education, said Mulyadi.
My parents died and left me with nothing.
My neighbour sold my parent's house and kicked me out into the street, said nine-year-old Angga as he rushed off to clean a train in the Kota station in Jakarta.
Cleaning trains
Cleaning trains at stations, selling newspapers and begging are some of the jobs these kids do to survive.
Child labour has long been a problem in Indonesia.   Children can be found working in almost all sectors of industries, from the shipping industry to the production lines of dangerous chemical substances.
According to the latest data from the Directorate General for Manpower Supervision (DGMS), more than 500,000 children are working in the Indonesian formal sector.  
Government contribution small
Many activists have slammed the government for not taking the matter seriously.   How can the government close its eyes to this problem? We are talking about the future generation of our country, Mulyadi said.
President Megawati Sukarnoputri has conceded that the government's contribution is small.   "We must admit that we have not given what is best for our children," she said during the commemoration of National Children' Day last July.
However, DGMS chief MSM Simanihuruk is quick to defend the accusation that the government is not doing anything about this growing problem.   The government has taken steps towards banning certain jobs for children in order to protect them from health and moral hazard and to ensure their safety, he said.
We must admit that we have not given what is best for our children.
Megawati Sukarnoputri
President, Indonesia
Law No 13/2003 on labour prohibits the employment of children as slaves, in pornography, the drug trade and in chemically hazardous jobs.
Simanihuruk admits that the government can only enforce the ban in the formal sector.   We cannot ban jobs that involve begging or singing on the streets, as that is out of our authority, he said.
Learning house
Dissatisfied with the government' move, many NGOs and activists have tried to provide an option for a better future for these kids.
Tucked in the eastern part of the capital Jakarta, for the past year, a learning house has been set up to provide general education to children aged between 3 and 15 years.
The effort has met with resistance from both the targeted children and their parents." Many of the kids have lost interest in studying.   The parents prefer having their kids working to help the family rather than spending time in classes," one of the founders of this "learning house", Yani Marwoto said.
Some organisations in the private sector provide free education
Marwoto and her colleagues were then forced to come up with a way to make the learning activities as attractive as possible.   We are providing free health care and cheaper rice for the kids and their parents, Marwoto said.
There is ample evidence to show that the streets are an unsafe place for kids.
Lost generation
One day after cleaning the station, my friends and I decided to sleep on the park.   A group of men attacked and raped us," said Selfi, a 12-year-old girl.
A report by the Jakarta office of the International Labour Organisation-International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC) said that a large number of children in the country were trapped in the worst forms of child labour: prostitution.
The report revealed thatthe number of child prostitutesis on the increase.   In Viaduct Park, East Jakarta, for example, of 109 sex workers hawking the area, 90% were aged between 11 and 20.
An activist from the National Commission on Children' rights, Rachma Fitriani saidIndonesiawas facing the potential risk of a lost generation.   "A loss of a generation due to poverty, malnutrition, lack of education, lack of attention and lack of love," she said.
"This situation has created a new generation growing up with hatred towards society.   They grow up with a feeling of injustice, Mulyadi said.   Is this the kind of future we want for our country?"
 Boy buys bread at Agro (farmers market)
March 1962, Cuba guarantee citizens a basic amount of food at low prices
June 1, 2007
Raul Castro
June 1, 2007
47 Years Later
in Havana

Return to Cuba
I landed at Jose Marti International airport in May of 1960, 17 months after a young, bearded man and his fellow barbudos had captured control of the island and sent a hated dictator fleeing.
Musicians played a lively tune as the passengers deplaned, a young woman pushed a rum-flavored drink into my hand and I spotted a young, uniformed man with lieutenant's bars on his shoulders.
I gave him the note that Raulito Roa (of the Cuban UN delegation) had given me in New York, saying I was a young progressive writer and to provide me with help in understanding the revolution.
Saudi — Yemen government attack on Houthis population creates displaced children
Bola de Nieve performing at Hotel Nacional where Meyer Lansky ran Mafia operations until January 1959
Richard's velocity of speech outpaced my meager comprehension of Spanish, but I did understand that "the revolution had opened the prisms of hope in the eyes of the Cuban people," and that I should wait outside the Hotel Presidente at 8 a.m. to get picked up for a trip to eastern Cuba.
I spent a few hours walking around Havana and trying to engage people in conversations.
I had a rum drink at Club Red and heard a singer called La Lupe.
I saw a sign for Bola de Nieve performing at the Hotel Nacional where Meyer Lansky ran Mafia operations until January 1959.
I saw the sign Habana Libre, flashing from the hotel that used to say Havana Hilton.
Chlld Labor.  Child Labour.

Child working in an Aluminum cooking pot factory in Dhaka. 

Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Photo by
Child working in an Aluminum cooking pot factory in Dhaka.
Disabled children and dolphins play
Cuba's National Aquarium has been helping children with special needs
I hadn't yet realized Santeria played a more powerful role in spiritual life of the island than the Church
I didn't hear explosions and shooting in the street, although the CIA's terrorist campaign from Florida was well underway.
I walked along the Malecon (the ocean walk), passing couples necking, others fishing.
In the morning, a jeep stopped in front of the hotel, a young man asked my name, introduced himself as Julio, grabbed my suit case and motioned for me to hop in.
I shared the ride with three Chileans back to the airport, bound for Santiago de Cuba, some 500 miles to the east.
What kind of revolution is this, I thought, filled with music and dancing in a Catholic country — I hadn't yet realized that Santeria played a more powerful role in the spiritual life of the island than the Church.
Marta, one of the Chileans, questioned Cuba's growing connection to the Soviet Union as well as the ever advancing role of the Cuban Communist Party in revolutionary decisions.
Dolphins, sea tortoises and sea lions all get into the action
We cruised the countryside outside Santiago de Cuba seeing the revolution's new construction and slum clearance projects
In the October 1959 election for head of Cuba's National Labor council Fidel personally had stepped in to prevent the victory of David Salvador who was an outspoken anti-communist.
In the same time period, Fidel personally arrested Huber Matos, who commanded Camaguey Province.
Matos had objected to the sweeping land reforms and to the growing relationship with Moscow.
The militant anti-imperialist and anti-Yankee language of Che Guevara, for example, and Raul Castro's past links with Cuba's Communist Youth movement had provoked U.S. newspaper columnists and Congressmen alike to question Fidel's commitment to the very axioms of the Cold War: anti-Sovietism uber alles.
By June 1960, we cruised the countryside outside Santiago de Cuba and saw the revolution's new construction and slum clearance projects; I heard only praise for the Soviets from revolutionary cadre.
Marta's skepticism increased.
Chlld Labor.  Child Labour.

Children carry heavy baskets of stones on their heads at the Bhollar Ghat on the banks of the Piyain river.

Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Photo by
Children carry heavy baskets of stones on their heads at the Bhollar Ghat on the banks of the Piyain river
Disabled child watches
The slum neighborhood seemed endless as we trudged through mud and slime
The Manzana de Gomez, a slum neighborhood in Santiago, seemed endless as we trudged through mud and slime, rickety shacks made of every leftover substance one could imagine on either side.
A trickling stream filled with garbage and feces wound its way through the center of the makeshift street.
One middle aged man, seemingly drunk, offered a girl, of about 13 or 14, to the Chilean men and me.
His daughter?
The Cuban guides said something harsh to him.
He laughed.
Some women seemed intent on sweeping their dirt floors; some even looked clean, with ironed dresses.
Mostly, I recall the barefoot kids, the emaciated dogs
My sense of being inside chaos and cacophony.
It had seemed like hours of watching a live horror show.
My watch indicated that we had only walked for ten minutes.
"Seen enough?" one of the guides asked.
Fly kites
Bhubaneswar, India
It should not be permitted for human to live like this
One of the Chilean men shook his head, his complexion slightly green.
Marta looked angry. "It should not be permitted for human to live like this," she said:
"But in Chile there are similar shantytowns.
I would imagine that almost every city in Latin America has them."
By the end of the visit Marta had become convinced that Cuba could not rely on any help from the United States, and had no option but to turn to Moscow. "But in Chile there are similar shantytowns.
"This one won't be here long," one of the Cubans pledged.   "But in Chile there are similar shantytowns."
"The plans to raze it and construct new housing are well underway.
But under the old regimes no one cared to do anything about such conditions.
This is why we're showing it to you, so you'll understand why we had to make a revolution."
Cuba's National Aquarium
The jeep took us about a thousand feet up into the Sierra Maestra where the guerrillas successfully operated for two years between late December 1956 and their successful capture of the island in January 1959.
I asked Julio how a few hundred men could possibly have defeated an army that numbered some fifty thousand.
He smiled.
"We had will, determination, the cooperation of a large underground organization and the vast majority of the people.
The Batista government had no support, except from Washington.
They not only tortured and murdered; they did nothing for the people.
Look around.
Moreover, Cuba's institutions did not function, which made it ripe for revolution."
The villages we saw had neither electricity nor running water.
Kids ran barefoot.
Contact helps increase independence
I saw no school or a church in most of the villages.
In two, I noticed a crude, hand painted sign: "El Dios se encuentra aqui. (God is here)"
"Protestants," explained our guide.
"Some kind of primitive religion," said Julio.
The sun seemed to toast the ground.
The villages had no electricity or running water.
The thatched-roof houses, bohios, had existed even before Columbus, one guide asserted.
I didn't ask how he knew.
The rocky dirt roads worsened as we climbed.
Patches of corn and malanga, clusters of coffee trees and unhealthy farm animals dotted the landscape.
The villagers filled sacks with ripe coffee beans, loaded them on burros and brought them down the dirt roads to market.
      Saul Landau      June 1, 2007
47 Years Later in Havana
— Return to Cuba
D ark-skinned peasants, in dirty yellowish hats and weathered faces waved or nodded as we passed their caravans of animals with jingling bells on their necks.
Often the men rode on horseback; their wives — I presumed — walked next to them.
"Seen enough?" Julio asked, as one Chilean complained of physical discomfort — kidney exercise in the jeep.
I tried to imagine Fidel and his bearded men disembarking to face an ambush, cries of betrayal amidst rifle and machine gun fire
Then the guides brought us to the place near Manzanillo where the yacht Granma landed in early December 1956.
Papalote Children's museum
Mexico city
I tried to imagine Fidel and his bearded men disembarking to face an ambush, cries of betrayal amidst rifle and machine gun fire, the sight and smell of human blood on the road lined with white shelled crabs, crawling to and from the swampy grasses on either side of the road.
Fidel and a small group of sick, wounded and exhausted guerrillas somehow escaped and climbed to the high points of the nearby mountains.
One of the guides told us of Fidel peering across the island and commenting to the weary survivors: "The days of the dictatorship are numbered."
As we drove downhill, I wondered whether President Eisenhower, who had supposedly authorized the CIA to organize anti-Castro Cuban exiles to in the near future invade the island and overthrow the revolutionary government, had any idea of the already living legend he would be facing.
Plans to redistribute wealth to and make investment in the impoverished countryside
Julio talked of plans to redistribute wealth to and make investment in the impoverished countryside.
The revolutionaries had already expropriated large estates and many other businesses, including major U.S. companies.
Shortly after I returned to Havana, in July 1960, Fidel took over the U.S.-owned oil refineries, which had refused on orders from Washington to refine imported Soviet oil.
Eisenhower retaliated by cutting the Cuban sugar quota, depriving Cuba of badly needed cash and credit as well.
Walking from the bus to the Tropicana to hear a jazz combo, we ran into Guillermo Cabrera Infante, then editor of Lunes de Revolucion, the cultural supplement of Revolution, the government's newspaper, and passed a demonstration denouncing Ike.
"Sin cuota pero sin amo" read the placards carried by chanting marchers.
Cabrera Infante sneered: "Sin cuota pero sin ano."
(Without a quota but without an ass).
I chuckled at his wit.
Children carrying water
9 years of Western attack and occupation
I also feared both slogans might be right.
(Lunes de Revolucion was closed in 1961. Cabrera Infante served as Cuba's cultural attaché in Belgium. He defected in 1964 and in England wrote several acclaimed novels before his death.)
When I left Cuba in February 1961 I saw young men hoisting four barreled anti aircraft guns onto the roof of the lobby of the Hotel Riviera.
Others planted dynamite under bridges.
All of Cuba awaited the U.S.-backed invasion that finally came in April 1961 at the Bay of Pigs.
When the battle ended, Cuba had symbolically lost its boss and still had its ass.
Over the next decades it struggled to keep it.
 Kisses Dolphin
Born to work
Chlld Labor.  Child Labour.

Children from the rural area of Gaibandha work at a brick-making factory in Dhaka.

Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Photo by
Children from the rural area of Gaibandha work at a brick-making factory in Dhaka
6.3 million children under 14 working in Bangladesh
When I asked permission of G.M.B.Akash to use his photographs, his email replied:
"If it is for good then you can use them."
I then sent a further email asking for some further description of his images.
His response was to send me the following text:
Description of project, *Title:   Born to work*
For the last three years I have been working on child labour in Bangladesh.
Child labour is forbidden in Bangladesh since 1992.
In December 2005 I visited a garment factory in Narayanganj, which is the center of the garment industry in Bangladesh.
I took a picture of the owner beating a 12-year-old boy because he had been too slow sewing t-shirts.
According to the UN Children’s Fund report, more than 6.3 million children under 14 are working in Bangladesh.
Many of them work under very bad conditions; some of them even risk their life.
Factory owners pay them about 400 to 700 taka (10 USD) a month while an adult worker earns up to 5,000 taka per month.
Everybody knows this, and for a long time nobody took care.
With my work I want to confront the people with the problem of child labour and motivate the people who begin to think about it — in Bangladesh where children are employed and in the rich countries of the Western world where products are sold that have been produced by children.
Some influential people in my country don’t want me to reinforce the bad image of Bangladesh.
But this is not my intention.
My intention is to start an improvement.
Showing the working conditions of the children doesn’t only mean to create shock-reactions — it could be a beginning of a change in thinking for parents who force their children to work for reasons of poverty as well as the factory owners and also the western consumers.
Once I took a picture of a seven-year-old boy working in a bulb factory.
His job was to check the bulbs by hanging them into an electric wire — without any protection.
He had to do this very fast and any small mistake would have killed him.
I only took two pictures before the manager threw me out of the factory.
I didn’t even have the time to ask the boy’s name. Sometimes I just climb over the fence to get into a factory to take pictures; sometimes — like in this case — I go there with a friend who pretends to want to talk to the boss while I run into the working place.
My intention is not only to show the children at work as victims of bad bosses exploiting them but I want to show the complexity of the situation:
The parents who send their little boy to work in a factory because they are poor.
The child that has to work to earn a living for the family.
The boss of the factory who is being pushed by big garment company to produce for less money.
And the Western consumers as clients who buy cheap clothes.
I think it is impossible to abolish child labour completely in Bangladesh in a very short time but I am sure it is possible to improve the working conditions of the children and to bring more children from factory work into the schools.
Click here for website of master photographer GMB Akash
As this page and the pages below show, Bangladesh is not the only country exploiting children workers — goods greedily lapped up by the US, Canada, and Europe people, and most other markets of the world.
Child labor for the use of the West, for countries world-wide, for the Bangladesh consumer, cheap clothing and cheap commodities of all kinds.
Boys working in cooking pot factory
Chlld Labor.  Child Labour.

Thirteen-year-old Islam works in a silver cooking pot factory.

He has been working at the factory for the last two years, in hazardous conditions, where it is common practice for the factory owners to take on children as unpaid apprentices, only providing them with two meals a day. 

Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Photo by
Thirteen-year-old Islam works in a silver cooking pot factory
He has been working at the factory for the last two years, in hazardous conditions, where it is common practice for the factory owners to take on children as unpaid apprentices, only providing them with two meals a day
Images from Zoriah — A photojournalist and War photographer can be found here
Vaccine pollution
This may sound familiar — the vaccine was promoted by national health organizations, the main stream news, schools, workplaces and on television to encourage everyone to get the jab.
More than 800 children across Europe have been diagnosed with this incurable neurological disorder and the evidence is overwhelming in the implication of the vaccine.
Florida Legislature Refuses to Limit Mercury in Vaccines.
US Supreme Court Immunizes Vaccine Makers
     Sweden: A Cautionary Tale About Vaccines       
     They play autism roulette with your child     
      These are what flu and 'swine' vaccines may contain     
GMO bioweapons gene modification and food
Roundup weedkiller found in 75% of Air and Rain Samples — environment saturated with GM agrichemical farming grid
By using genetic methods that are standard procedures in thousands of labs worldwide bioweapons can be made more virulent easier to handle and harder to fight.
Using genetic engineering techniques antibodies from women with infertility have been inserted into genes of ordinary corn seeds used to produce corn plants
What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 — human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors.
In 'defense' war programs researchers in the USA UK Russia and Germany have genetically engineered biological weapons agents building new deadly strains
       Antibodies from women with infertility used in creation of GMO food      
       Aborted fetal cells used in research of flavor enhancers      
     Scientists putting genes from human beings into food crops in dramatic extension of genetic modification.      
     Body Burden — cumulative synergistic effects      
Eric Harris age 17 — first on Zoloft then Luvox — and Dylan Klebold aged 18 —Colombine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado — killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves.
Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac — three times the average starting dose for adults! — when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota.   He then shot himself — 10 dead, 12 wounded.
Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke, Washington state High School, was on Paxil — which caused him to have hallucinations — when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage.   He has no memory of the event.
     The drugging of our children      
     32% of male convicts and 41% of female convicts previously used ADHD medication as children     
       People previously having ADHD drugs likely to commit burglary or theft     
For archives, these articles are being stored on website.
The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.