Child Labor Laws Routinely Broken Worldwide, U.S. Report Says

Article excerpt

The Labor Department says laws around the world that set minimum age limits for workers are routinely ignored.

The report gives as examples children mining gold in the Peruvian jungle, spinning silk in India and being strapped to the backs of camels for races in the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 says children age 14 and 15 may work only in limited kinds of jobs, outside school hours. For hazardous jobs, the minimum age is 18.

Virtually every country has enacted laws or signed agreements limiting how children can work, but many permit child labor anyway, the new report said.

It noted that an official decree in the United Arab Emirates stipulates that camel jockeys must weigh at least 99 pounds and prohibits the use of children. But the decree left enforcement to the local Camel Racing Association.

The Labor Department said reports persist of the abduction or recruitment of boys 4 to 10 years old from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Mauritania. …

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