Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Child labor in Laos

You don't have to go far to see child labor in Laos. It is sometimes right in front of you. Two days ago, suddenly some people showed up in our street and started digging a small rift on both sides of the street. When I asked my Lao neighbors what they do I was told they renew the fresh water pipes. So far so good. A short time after I took a closer look, and saw actually kids digging the dirt up. They were not more the 10 year old. The whole crew seemed to be Hmong people. My neighbors explained to me it is a family business which was contracted by the village chief office.

This opens the question how far a family business can go. It is school break now, so maybe the kids just helping out. But is hard work the right thing to do? How about other family businesses? Where does helping out ends and when does exploiting starts? It is a difficult question to answer. Personally I would say: Hard work isn't for kids unter 16 years, and school always comes first.

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