Thursday, September 23, 2010

Child Labour: the real reason not to go to the Commonwealth Games

There is nothing good about the problems surrounding the Commonwealth Games. However, the fact that the athletes' village appears to be a midden is nothing compared to reports that child labour is being used on the site.

It's not as if this is something new,either. Way back in February, the Herald Sun in Australia pointed out that children were being used to build drainage systems. Apparently the parents were paid more if they brought their kids to work, a bonus which brought their daily income from a disgrace to a pittance.

It breaks my heart to think that in other parts of the world, kids my daughter's age and younger, who should be learning and having fun, are put to work in terrible conditions.

To me, it seems that the Commonwealth Games organisers are just as responsible as the Indian Government for not monitoring progress more effectively and ensuring that those working on the Games were being treated properly. I'd be interested in knowing what they knew, when they knew it and what action they took to prevent it.

I think the use of child labour is enough of a reason for athletes not to go to the Games at all.  I don't expect there to be an international boycott for that reason, though. The organisers must be more diligent in making sure these abuses don't happen for future Games, though.

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