Liberia was created by freed slaves by the US in 1822. By 1847 the American-Liberians established a republic.
Liberia is located on the west coast of Africa, between Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone.
Economy of Liberia
The Liberia economy is very undeveloped making Liberia one of the poorest countries in the world. This is largely due to the First Liberian Civil War that happened from 1989 – 1996. This war destroyed much of Liberia’s economy. 80% of the population is below the poverty line, but only 3.7% of the population is unemployed.
Human and Child Rights in Liberia
Basic human rights include freedom of speech, and discrimination based on sex, religion, or disability is illegal but discrimination based on race is legal. Child rights include free education but the families have to provide uniforms, books, supplies, and the desk. Child abuse including sexual abuse is not illegal and is common.
Industries in Liberia and Child Labour
The industries in Liberia are iron ore mining, rubber, palm oil, timber, and diamonds.
The industries in Liberia that use child labour are the rubber and diamond industry. As well as children in prostitution.
Firestone Rubber uses child labour or there Rubber plantation. These children are forced to work to help there parents or guardians get the daily quota which alone would take a worker 21 hours to complete. Children are not paid and often come into close contact with toxic pesticides, have to carry heavy loads, and often work 12 hours a day.
Industries and Child Labour in Industrial Revolution Age Britain
The industries in Britain during the Industrial Revolution were the coal mining industries, the textile industries, agriculture and farming industries.
Child labour was used in every industry as well as children being made servants of the upper class. The working conditions were bad in every industry because the government didn’t set any rules that made the employers have safety precautions in factories or in working enviroments. When ever someone was injured employers would just replace the worker with someone new. The conditions in the coal mine were really bad for children because they were the only ones short enough to work in the tunnels. Because they were forced to work in the small tunnels children often had deformed backs from having to bend over so they would fit into the tunnels and not get stuck. Children were also used in getting stuck objects out of machines because they had small hands and fingers, as a result of having to get stuck objects out of machines children would often loose fingers or hands because as soon as the object was out the machine kept going. Children had to work because they were either orphans, had to help support there family, they were in debt, or were forced to work.
Similarities and Differences.
Both Liberia and Britain during the Industrial Revolution used child labour in industries that use human labour. Children during the Industrial Revolution had to work because they needed money to support there family, support themselves, or help family or themselves get out of debt. This is different then Children working in Liberia who work to help there guardians get the daily quota of rubber which means that the children are being paid nothing or have to split the low pay with there guardians and other siblings, this is different and worse then the Industrial Revolution because even though children were paid very little, each worker was still paid for there own work. A similarity between Liberia and Britain during the Industrial Revolution is that a large percentage of both populations are in poverty.
Attempts to reform Child Labour
In 2015 the Liberia Government made moderate advancements in efforts to eliminate child labour. The government directed resources to help with the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak. Thousands of children were left orphaned or separated. But the Liberian National Police’s Women and Children Protection Section lacks resources so they can’t conduct investigations or enforce labour laws. Unfortunately no human rights are being violated when children work in these jobs despite the working conditions being awful and unhealthy for children to work in. Charities like WE Charity, formally known as Free The Children work to save children from child labour globally. But right now boycotting isn’t working because it only makes the companies have cutbacks which puts families out of work. I believe that if Firestone made the daily quota needed lower that then children wouldn’t have to work on the rubber plantation anymore so that would get rid of one industry using child labour in Liberia.
Stempel, J. (2011, July 13). Firestone wins Liberian child labor case in US. Retrieved April 5, 2017, from http://www.reuters.com/article/ozatp-firestone-childlabor-idAFJOE76C02L20110713
P, A. F. (2016, November 22). Burnt rubber: Firestone cuts back in Liberia. Retrieved April 05, 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3963226/Burnt-rubber-Firestone-cuts-Liberia.html
Human rights in Liberia. (2017, March 20). Retrieved April 05, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Liberia#Basic_rights
Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor – Liberia. (2016, October 27). Retrieved April 05, 2017, from https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/resources/reports/child-labor/liberia
WE Charity. (2017, April 04). Retrieved April 05, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WE_Charity
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