Child Labor In India and West Africa

Currently children in India and West Africa are being abducted and enslaved by Cocoa plantation owners and carpet manufacturers. In the remote region of North Bihar, India, approximately 4,500 children are missing and believed to be enslaved in carpet manufacturing. In West Africa, children are being abducted and enslaved on Cocoa plantations. Regular beatings, no pay, 19 hour days and no plumbing inside their inhumane shelter which are generally locked at night to reduce the risk of escape, with only cans for overnight urination, is daily life for many of these children. Please keep reading...there's more information and little things you can do. COCOA: 50% of the worlds cocoa is produced in West Africa where children are regularly trafficked and forced to work on Cocoa plantations. It is estimated that 90% of the Cocoa harvested from this region has been touched by slave labor. This means that 40% of the worlds Cocoa is produced at the hands of enslaved people, many children. There has been a steady increase in the number of people being forced into slavery as the price for Cocoa has declined to all time lows, though chocolate prices have steadily increased. Plantation owners claim they simply cannot afford to pay their workers anymore (so they just enslave them after purchasing them for a nominal fee). It is feared that a boycott of the product would only make matters worse as it would cause the price to drop further. To make the problem even sadder, inspectors can't get to a majority of these remote farms, due to poor road infrastructure, so many children remain in slavery until they die. Purchasing Fair Trade chocolate and Cocoa is one way to ensure you are not enjoying sweets at the cost of a captured child. More people need to advocate to international organizations for them to make loans available for development in these types of areas. Schools, hospitals and paved roads would allow these communities to move away from their agricultural economy and connect with cities, reducing the need for these slaves. CARPET LOOM: Many "hand made" rugs are produced in India on looms. These looms are generally located inside unsuspecting residential homes making the children who are abducted and forced to run them extremely hard to find. Millions of pounds of carpet are exported to the U.S. and the U.K. every year made by these children. Estimates are that thousands of children have been captured and enslaved by these loom owners. Stripped from their families and taken to unknown provinces, many of these children are not even allowed to leave the room the loom is in for fear of escape. Many children also suffer cuts from the looms due to the wrapping of string around the finger needed to operate the loom in addition to beatings, malnourishment and psychological abuse. This petition is directed to international organizations as a demand for action on all slavery, particularly involving children. It urges international organizations such as the United Nations and World Bank to increase awareness and provide funding to independent oversight programs. This would ensure that crops and carpeting, among other products produced by enslaved children, are produced using proper labor practices. It also urges them to provide inexpensive credit to these areas for development of their infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals. This would allow citizens access to cities and education, increasing their job perspectives and allowing them to physical means to travel to opportunity. Not only would this reduce dependence on Cocoa farming and carpet making, therefore reducing the need for slaves, but would allow local economies to grow. The effect of this would be an increase in inhabitants quality of life and would eventually lead these communities to self-sufficiency and give them the resources to repay their loans. Slavery cannot be supported in any form and society must take a stance that we wish to only purchase goods produced by properly treated and paid consenting adults.
This petition is a plea for action on third-world slavery, particularly involving children in Cocoa farming and carpet weaving. It urges the international organizations increase awareness and provide funding to independent oversight programs. This would ensure that crops and carpeting, among other products produced by enslaved children, are produced using proper labor practices. It also urges you to provide inexpensive credit to remote areas for development of their infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals. This would allow citizens access to cities and education, increasing their job perspectives and allowing them the physical availability to travel to opportunity. Not only would this reduce dependence on Cocoa farming and carpet making, therefore reducing the need for slaves, but would allow local economies to grow. The effect of this would be an increase in inhabitants quality of life and would eventually lead these communities to self-sufficiency and give them the resources to repay their loans. Slavery cannot be supported in any form and we must take a stance that we wish to only purchase goods produced by properly treated and paid consenting adults.
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