Daily VideoDownload Worksheet August 1, 2013
Saving Children from Forced Labor in India
Despite laws that mandate school up to age 14, as many as 50 million underage children are estimated to be working in India’s growing, but largely unorganized, economy.
Many of these children have been sold to their employers by their families in an attempt to survive dire poverty, and face harsh working conditions.
“We worked from 8:00 a.m. until midnight,” said one child who was recently saved from bondage. “ If you ever did something wrong, they would beat us. We got beaten every day.”
Kailash, Satyarthi, a children’s rights activist, has been working with small independent groups and local governments to save such children from their employers in an effort to break the cycle of poverty in India.
“Almost all the parents are illiterate,” he said. “I always advocate that poverty, child labor and illiteracy are three interrelated cause-and-consequence factors.”
After decades of advocating against child labor in India’s rug industry, Satyarthi founded GoodWeave, an organization that now offers a labeling system that guarantees that no child labor was used in making the rugs. Because economic incentives cause parents to push their children into labor, GoodWeave offers stipends to parents of former child laborers if they can prove that their children are enrolled in school.
GoodWeave estimates that the number of child laborers in the rug industry is now down by about a quarter, but while child labor is still cheap, their work will still be in demand.
“You can buy a child for lesser price than an animal. The buffaloes and cows are much more expensive than buying a child to work full-time and for the whole of his life,” – Kailash Satyarthi, children’s rights activist.
Warm up questions
1. Should children be forced to go to work? Should children be forced to go to school?
2. If your family needed your income to survive would you quit school and go to work?
3. What are some human rights that children should have?
1. How does Kailash’s program help children who were forced to work? Is this method a good idea?
2. Do you think that child labor is a problem in the United States? Why or why not?
3. How can you help fight child labor in other countries?
For a complete lesson plan on Kailash Satyarthi from Speak Truth To Power, please click the “download worksheet” box at the top of the page or visit their website to learn more about their human rights curriculum.
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
In the Mediterranean Sea, fishermen are caught in the midst of the growing crisis involving stranded migrants desperately trying to reach the shores of Europe. Continue reading
Twenty-five years ago this week, President George H.W. Bush signed a bill protecting the civil rights of disabled Americans, prohibiting discrimination and ensuring their access to public spaces. Continue reading
Teachers make up one of the largest portions of the U.S. workforce, but the more than 200,000 men and women graduating from teaching programs this year face a shortage of jobs, stagnant salaries, increasing focus on standardized testing and growing aversion to tenure. Continue reading
After nine and a half years and three billion miles of travel, NASA’s New Horizons space probe finally accomplished its mission, zipping past Pluto and its three moons to snap photos and gather data. Continue reading
After seeing the murder rate drop over the past two years, Chicago police and residents have seen a startling rise in gun violence this summer, with dozens shot each weekend. Continue reading