Is child labor a social crime

Exploitative child labor is a crime!

On the occasion of the International Day Against Child Labor on June 12th, the children's mission organization 'Die Sternsinger' draws attention to the fate of millions of working children around the world. Pastor Dirk Bingener, President of the Kindermissionswerk, condemns all forms of exploitative child labor and is deeply concerned about the deteriorating living situation of many girls and boys in the Corona crisis:

“In Ghana, children toil in the scorching heat in the open field to sift tiny grains of gold out of the dusty earth. In Senegal, girls have to work long hours as street vendors or housemaids. In India, girls and boys plow in stone quarries or sit all day behind a weaving chair to make carpets. And in Ivory Coast, children work for hours on cocoa plantations.

When millions of girls and boys around the world work under these inhuman, health-damaging conditions, these are intolerable conditions. As the children's ministry 'Die Sternsinger' we condemn all forms of exploitative child labor. Exploitative child labor is a crime and robs girls and boys of their future, their lifelong dreams. Children should play, learn and grow up carefree. They are entitled to that. Exploitative child labor is prohibited and violates fundamental children's rights.

The corona crisis exacerbates the situation of many children in developing countries. In families, the economic pressure is growing due to the loss of income, and schools are also closed. This means that even more girls and boys have to work for the family to survive. The plight of many poor families also increases the risk of child sexual exploitation.

The carol singers have been working with their partners all over the world against the exploitation of children for many years. In 2019 alone, the Kindermissionswerk funded 42 projects against exploitative child labor with around 1.5 million euros. The various measures include, for example, the fight against poverty. Because it is above all the daughters and sons of poor parents who have to swap their childhood for a job. We make sure that children can go to school. Because education is the key to a better future. And we let the working children have their say, for example through children's rights clubs or children's parliaments. But we as consumers in Germany can also do something in the fight against exploitative child labor by questioning our own consumer behavior. Because many products that we know from everyday use, such as clothing, chocolate or coffee, are - at least in part - manufactured cheaply with the help of child labor.

In order to abolish child labor, wages and prices must be paid along the entire value chain that guarantee families a living income. Abuses such as starvation wages and child labor can only be successfully combated if suppliers abroad comply with minimum social and ecological standards. The Kindermissionswerk therefore continues to support the demand for a supply chain law. We need binding rules for companies so that they respect human rights and avoid the destruction of the environment. This is how we ultimately protect the millions of children around the world who work under exploitative conditions. "

Children's mission organization 'Die Sternsinger' - the aid organization of the carol singers
More than 1,800 projects for children in need worldwide are supported annually by the children's mission organization 'Die Sternsinger'. Income totaling around 78.4 million euros was available to the aid organization of the carol singers 2018 for its work. Projects in 111 countries were funded. In addition to promoting children's aid projects, the work for the rights of children worldwide and educational work are among the tasks.

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PM 11-2020

>> Here you will find the statement as a text and audio file and photos of the internal. Day against child labor.