Saturday, 30 October 2010

Will child labour ever end ?

Perhaps the single most disgrace to the human race is the fact that child labour is still practiced worldwide. A child according to Article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of a Child 1989 is anyone under the age of eighteen years unless in the particular jurisdiction he attains the age of majority earlier. This convention  has been  singed by most Nations with a view to stopping child labour. Yet the practice continues. In India the Penal Court considers a child to be anyone below the age of twelve. Similar laws exists in many other countries including Bangladesh and some parts of Africa. The reality is that until nations become serious about tackling the issue many more generations of children will continue to be subject to this form of abuse.

The question therefore is whether we can truly say that Nations are serious about putting an end to child labour? In this piece a look will be taken at two International Conventions that were intended to finally put an end to the practice. these conventions are, The International Labour Organization Minimum Age Convention No 138 of 1973 and the Council of Europe Convention on the protection of the Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. the former was intended to to set a minimum age at which a child could enter employment and recognize the child's rights as sacrosanct. Unfortunately Article 2 of that convention  though accepting that eighteen years as an acceptable age for work likely to be hazardous to the child failed to deal adequately with he issue. This reveals itself in the reality that minimum age for the purposes of that Article may be attained earlier than eighteen. It is not surprising therefore that in 2007 the United Nations Children Fund reported that in Malaysia children spend up to seventeen hours per day working on rubber plantations exposed to snake and insect bite. The report further noted that in Portugal children 12 years old were working in the construction industry.

Article 1 of the latter notes that its purpose is to combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children, protect the rights of  child victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. The convention adds to a long list of commitments undertaken by European Governments. In Britain in particular, Sexual exploitation of children is taken very seriously, yet A Gilbert and C Moore recently suggests  that although in the last ten years much has been done  to combat the issue, the road to curbing child sexual exploitation seems endless.

These conventions form a long list other international efforts to combat child labour and abuse but it seems that these problems will never be overcome. Perhaps the most shameful piece of information that was discovered  during  the investigation to write this post is that there is suggestions that most of the produce of child labour eventually end up on the shelves of stores in the  nations that lead the fight to end child labour.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Dear Followers,
 I wish to express my gratitude to you for habitually reading my posts. It has been my pleasure writing and its my intend to continue researching and shearing my findings with you. Over the next few days I will share with you, pieces of work that has been keeping me busy. 

Please keep on following and watch out for these posts 


Thursday, 21 October 2010


This post does not in any way represent my personal feelings on the issue but only a reaction to an earlier conversation.

Religion has always been a contentious issue. The Bible records several incidents of conflict arising from peoples choice in what they wish to believe. Even today the fight continues, Christians war against Muslims while practices that have long been condemned are now recognized. Perhaps what is most interesting is how many of us accept a religious practice without looking into its history. In the Caribbean for example, people attend churches where at one time their fore parents were human vehicles that transported their masters and had to wait far away from the building while their masters prayed to God.

Millions of people all around the world sing "Amazing Grace" without any knowledge of its history. A song that  was conceived on a slave ship. Muslims sometimes kill their brothers and sisters in the name of religion.Others rather an animals survive than feeding starving people with its meat. In all these practices followers are though not to question but accept by faith.

Faith, however, simply means believe without proof.

Feel free to investigate and comment

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


In my last post I made mention of the 52nd meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. During that meeting the Prime Minister of St Lucia criticized  the ruling of the World Trade Organization Dispute Panel, in the case brought by the American Government against the European Union, for offering African, Pacific and Caribbean producers guaranteed prices for their banana in contravention of WTO rules .

These allegations moved me to make further enquirers.What was reveled was rather interesting. I stumbled across a small book, titled; "The No-Nonsense Guide to Fair Trade". In this book, David Ransom suggests that not long before the "wars" broke the then President of the US had revived large cash donations by a banana corporation operating in the US. A revelation I found rather interesting. It immediately caused me to reflect on the words spoken by the St Lucian PM,  "Far from providing reassurance of the final demise of the law of the jungle in world trade, the ruling leaves the lingering suspicion that might will still always be right"

Friday, 15 October 2010

Fair trade

The issues of trade and fair trade has sparked debate among academics and government officials all around the world. Indeed the prime minister of St. Lucia  has accused the United States of causing the death of the Caribbean banana trade during his contribution the 52nd General Assembly of the united nations, Similarly the Antigua and Barbuda government is currently engaged in legal battles with the United States government before the World Trade Organization Dispute Pannel. Again the United States is accused of engaging in unfair and illegal trade practices in spite being one of the main campaigners of fair and free trade.

The issue of fair trade enjoys an almost clean bill of health in Britain where supermarket giants such as Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury boast of being friends of fair trade. Without any surprise some farmers claim that fair trade ambitions in Britain survives at the cost of their livelihood.
It is evident therefore that no matter which side of the fence one sits fair trade and
more importantly international trade will continue to be a sensitive issue.

This short post is intended to stimulate discussion
Please feel free to comment.