Child workers not just the victims but the agents for ending sweatshop exploitation & child labor

Bangladeshi policeman hits striking child 2010 ( Munir Uz Zaman:AFP:Getty Images)

Dhaka policeman kicks striking child ( Munir Uz Zaman:AFP:Getty Images) 2010

Dhaka policeman hits child striker (Munir Uz Zaman:AFP:Getty Images) 2010

Pol O Falluin’s investigation of child labor in Bangladesh brought to mind these photos from a 2010 garment workers strike in Dhaka.
Children under 14 are banned by law from working in Bangladesh, but as Pol pointed out in his article, 3.5 million children between the ages of five & fifteen are actively working, with 1.2 million of them engaged in life threatening & hazardous work. The same situation prevails in many countries due to the spread of sweatshops like a cancerous growth.

Long before the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse which killed 1,129 garment workers & injured 2,500, some of them permanently & all of them psychologically, Bangladeshi garment workers were renowned for their labor combativeness. According to media reports, hundreds of child workers were part of that & took part in this 2010 garment workers strike.

Sweatshop economics are the heart of neoliberal capitalist economics. Sweatshops undercut the power of adult labor (not solely male labor, of course), causing massive unemployment, & doubly exploit the labor of women & children.

These photos are of the 2010 strike; the first two are the same boy being threatened & then kicked while on the ground. Children are not merely the passive victims of exploitation but the agencies for ending this monstrous system. Such is the burden sweatshop economics have placed on our children.

Pol’s article for those who did not see it:

(Photos all by Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images)