6
   

6-year-olds working in gold mines in Mali, says Human Rights Watch. Would Newt Gingrich approve?

 
 
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 11:44 am
Would Newt Gingrich approve of children doing this labor? ---BBB

December 6, 2011
6-year-olds working in gold mines in Mali, says Human Rights Watch
By Kate Thomas | Deutsche Presse-Agentur

MONROVIA, Liberia — About 20,000 children are working in illegal mines in Mali, Africa's third biggest gold producer, according to a report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch.

Many of the children are less than 10 years old, the group said. Some of the children interviewed were as young as 6. They reported working underground in the makeshift mines, digging shafts and using mercury to separate gold from ore.

"These children literally risk life and limb", said Human Rights Watch's Juliane Kippenberg. "They carry loads heavier than their own weight, climb into unstable shafts, and touch and inhale mercury, one of the most toxic substances on earth."

The group talked to 33 child laborers, some of whom were working in mines to assist their parents. Others came to Mali from neighboring countries of their own accord, or with relatives.

A gram of gold retails for about $40 on Mali's black market.

"Mali has strong laws on child labor and on compulsory and free education, but unfortunately, the government has not fully enforced them," Kippenberg said. "Local officials often benefit from artisanal gold mining and have little interest in addressing child labor."

Mali's artisanal mines export about four metric tons of gold annually, worth around $218 million. Much of it ends up in the United Arab Emirates, in jewelry shops and on market stalls.

The country's more tightly-regulated national and international gold mines officially produce about 60 tons of gold per year.

"If businesses have not done so yet, they need to put in place procedures to ensure their gold has not been mined by children," Kippenberg said. "They should also work with the government and international agencies to eliminate child labor in the mines. Boycott is not the answer."

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/12/06/132328/6-year-olds-working-in-gold-mines.html#ixzz1fs6tml7X
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 12:13 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Newt would love this business model. Free market benefiting from really cheap labor and no benefits. Child gets hurt or killed, just replace him or her with another easily exploited childdrone.
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 02:18 pm
@tsarstepan,
I like how statements are blown out of portion. This wasn't the type of work he was talking about. There is a difference between dumping trash cans at school and working in a gold mine. I don't believe there is anything wrong with allowing the students to work around the school. I would object to them working in a gold mine.

Pointless attacks.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 02:27 pm
@Baldimo,
I actually agree with you. His comments were to the effect that we should allow children to work in order to develop a culture of it. He clarified that he certainly did not mean dangerous or heavy labor just minor janitorial work.

And I happen to agree with him. I think child labor laws are usually well-meaning but often don't help children at all. When I was a homeless teenager the laws made my life very difficult. I could not legally work so I was exploited a lot (e.g. I was often cheated out of my salary because I couldn't complain). The laws don't do a damn thing to help the kids, if they need to work it just means they will have to do it under the table and unregulated. All I was missing was a document to make it legal, but it was one I couldn't get and the laws are just stupid red tape. Well meaning, but stupid.

Child labor doesn't happen because it's illegal but because of financial need, the laws proscribing it do nothing to address the need and usually only serve to exacerbate it. Child labor should be legal, and regulated and the way Gingrich proposed to do it is actually one of the better ways. The biggest problem with child labor is that it often displaces education. Gingrich was suggesting that it be a part of the education system and thusly not susceptible to this problem.

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Gingrich had this one spot on.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 02:42 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
All I was missing was a document to make it legal, but it was one I couldn't get and the laws are just stupid red tape. Well meaning, but stupid.


Just realized my own example is really an example of regulated and legal labor. That is, if I had the document it was legal for me to work and the document basically just needed to prove that I was going to school and that my legal guardians approved, which is a reasonable way to regulate it (especially given that the biggest danger in child labor is losing out on education).

So I guess I mean that this same thing should just be extended to lower ages in the US. E.g. a 10-year old, and yes even a six-year-old, should be able to get a part-time job with the same document (proving parental consent and enrollment in school).
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 02:49 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert? Are you really THAT trusting to think that many companies will not move as far as they can to push the limit past minor janitorial work and give any willing (defined as any child being forced by his or her desperate/destitute/or selfish parents of both illegal and legal immigrant families) child to work as many hours as allowed even at the expense of his or her schoolwork? Seriously?!
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 03:02 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Would Newt Gingrich approve of children doing this labor? ---BBB

What makes you think he would?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 03:07 pm
@tsarstepan,
When I was in elementary school, we students had to take turns wiping the blackboard between classes. It didn't harm us, and it didn't leave us on a slippery slope to hard labor in mines. Naivete can go both ways.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 03:11 pm
@Thomas,
Monstrously big difference between taking less then a half hour to wipe a few chalky chalkboards to a full 4 or 5 hour shift no matter if the job is merely janitorial. So your example is not particularly applicable.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 03:12 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Would Newt Gingrich approve of children doing this labor? ---BBB

What makes you think he would?

Clearly she's being snarky. Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 03:21 pm
@tsarstepan,
That was my point. Not all jobs are created equal, and some jobs are okay to give children. To me, helping the janitor clean up the premises falls in the "okay" category by default.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 03:40 pm
@tsarstepan,
Of course not. That is why I don't advocate unregulated child labor. What do you think the regulation part is supposed to mean?
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 03:40 pm
@tsarstepan,
Your right, it isn't applicable. Most schools do not use chalk boards any longer so there are no erasers to clean. They still have trash cans that can be dumped and floors that can be swept or mopped.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 03:48 pm
@Robert Gentel,
To clarify: Right now it's perfectly legal for a 16-year old to work but it is regulated (fairly well to be honest). The minor must be in school, and must have parental permission and there are limits to hours etc and all.

Those are all good checks and balances, but I think it's currently completely illegal for, say, a 10-year-old. I think the line should be more inclusive and think that Gingrich's idea was actually a clever way to make it very safe. School aged and above sounds about right for minor janitorial work for pay and he was advocating that it be done as an after-school activity tied to school. That's a pretty neat idea, and it doesn't deserve the scorn it got.

Don't get me wrong, I really don't wanna see Newt win anything but even a stopped clock can be right twice a day, this is one of the things he has right. It's a good idea to consider. Ain't nothing wrong with school-aged kids earning some money doing chores in the school as an after-school activity.

If they can make me pick litter up for detention why on earth would it be harmful to offer it as a way to make a buck for the enterprising kids. I would have been all over that in 6th grade. I had no way of making money then other than mowing lawns (tried baby sitting but people would rather offer to shoot a male human in the head than let them baby sit anything) and I would have loved a better, safer way to make some money. There were a lot of other kids like me too, stealing our lunch from the cafeteria and all. Some of the others did the lawn routes with me but that is really tough work and hard to come by (you can only walk so far dragging a lawn mower around).

Newt's idea is a good one man, give it some thought. People do it all the time under the table (e.g. letting me mow their lawns) so why not some organized experience at working?
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 03:55 pm
One thing I find interesting is that most of America's child labor laws only apply to non-farm labor. Evidently, America considers it okay for children to toil her fields. Fair enough, but then why is it so wrong that children should clean up her schoolyards? So wrong, in fact, that the mere suggestion disqualifies a politician as a compassionate human being?
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 04:32 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
So wrong, in fact, that the mere suggestion disqualifies a politician as a compassionate human being?


People are weird, the other knock on him recently was that he was too humane on the issue of illegal immigrants for the GOP. Go figure.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 04:46 pm
@Thomas,
It's called history Thomas. Republicans push and push to deregulate everything via a death by papercuts. One regulation at a time. One regulation here then another. It happened with our recent bank crisis over the past three decades and why wouldn't happen in the case of labor laws?

Let's be honest here. No one's addressing the real reason why Newt Gingrich loves this plan. This one example (children working to clean up their respective schools) ISN'T a plan to teach children work ethics but to cut labor costs. Do we really need to continue laying off full time workers and replacing them with low to barely any wage children?

And Thomas keep an ear towards the news if you can. Labor laws DO in FACT deal with farm labor. There are new farm rules that restrict certain activities.
http://www.thetakeaway.org/2011/dec/07/your-take-child-labor-laws/
One item (in the news) is not to allow children under 16 to go up onto ladders higher then 6 feet.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 04:51 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Thomas wrote:
So wrong, in fact, that the mere suggestion disqualifies a politician as a compassionate human being?


People are weird, the other knock on him recently was that he was too humane on the issue of illegal immigrants for the GOP. Go figure.

That's interesting Robert ... only if you consider this ISN'T a case of hypocrisy considering these are clearly two sides/separate groups attacking Gingrich from completely different arguments and perspectives. Republicans are attacking his reasonable immigration policy while the progressive Democrats simply don't trust Newt and his history of deregulation from his Republican Revolution days to merely allow minor changes in the necessary labor laws.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 06:27 pm
@tsarstepan,
I agree and you are completely correct that it is not a case of hypocrisy and that the criticism comes from different camps. But I still find it odd because quite frankly both criticisms are silly to me and that the same individual manages to cover that spread reminds me that silly season approaches. In the silly season we need dragons for our candidates to slay, and I just think he's finding his wings in the oddest places (e.g. his history suddenly gets a pass, this is all just so arbitrary sometimes).
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 06:37 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
And Thomas keep an ear towards the news if you can. Labor laws DO in FACT deal with farm labor. There are new farm rules that restrict certain activities.
http://www.thetakeaway.org/2011/dec/07/your-take-child-labor-laws/

According to your own source, the new rules you're talking about are proposed. They aren't actually on the books.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » 6-year-olds working in gold mines in Mali, says Human Rights Watch. Would Newt Gingrich approve?
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 05/26/2019 at 05:11:30