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Bilyana Raeva: Child labor does not make people rich, it enslaves

Express.bg Svetoslava Krasteva

Does it mean that in reality their number is much larger?

Yes, probably it is a varying data. This is a problem whole world faces. In the world, in one or other form, about 270 millions of children are taking part in working activities since their early childhood. We are talking about violence at work, about exploitation, about child trade. This is a modern form of slavery. One of Millennium’s development objectives is providing high quality accessible mandatory education for every child.

There are lots of documents banning child labor – the European human rights charter, the Council of Europe’s Chart on the fundamental human rights, the Resolutions 182 and 194 of the International Labor Organization. But if we should talk about decisions taken independently of the above mentioned documents, we should have to see in what way the countries that signed them are observing the relevant legal regulations. The multinational companies are those representing the major quota of the companies using child labor. A scandal arose several years ago connected to sub-contractors of Nike. Children at 4-5 years of age have been sewing football balls and sport shoes. At present this company is one of the most active partners to a number of associations fighting against the child labor.
Child labor does not make people rich, it enslaves. It is because the children deprive their parents from their work, because the children cannot obtain the relevant education allowing them to have a further adequate realization in life, at the labor market. It is a common consideration in Asia, that the children should complement the family budgets. A vicious circle is formed in this way, making the poor families and the poor countries even poorer.

What kind of motivation may convince the parents to send their kids to school instead sending them to work?

The parents should themselves have opportunities to work, allowing them to send their children to school. Some special educational programs and scholarships are available in the other countries. In Bulgaria cases of saving children from slavery are not known, but they might exist. If they exist, the children should be taken to specialized centers to rehabilitate physically and psychically and to be given adequate education. Such an attitude should become all the countries’ national policy.

Does the child labor problem exist in the Western Countries?

It does not exist in all the countries, but it still exists. Child trafficking is namely with the purpose to make them work. Western Europe takes measures in the countries where this phenomenon exists. The trade relations of the European Member States with countries like India, Pakistan, that are known to apply child labor and slavery, should be subjected to clauses banning them. This proposal has been tabled in a resolution adopted in May by the European Parliament (EP). This document invited the European Commission to reconsider its relations with a number of countries and to bind the trade agreements signing with the obligation of child labor banning.

Do the sanctions against the parents forcing their children to work, represent an efficient precaution?

Sanctions are one option only, the other is motivating the children to go to school instead of begging or working, because sanctions for such groups of people are inapplicable, they cannot be collected.
What is the way to motivate the parents to send their children to school, if they themselves have no education?
Every case should be treated individually; there cannot be a universal attitude valid for every group. It is better to put forward conditions that are favorable for the families and be acceptable for them, than such that should not be followed.

What should be the attitude to cases of “hiring” children in the family business?

This kind of work forms working habits. There is nothing wrong to make the children help at home, but this work should not displace the education.

Cheap nimotop bayer You became Member of the European Parliament since May. Which other spheres do you apply your activities in?

At present I am making efforts to open information reception centers, the first to be opened shall be in Varna and Sofia. My intention is to open at least ten more. They are going to be located in the NMSS clubs in the country and besides information concerning the EU; there will be free consultations for every one who wants to know how to access the European funding. During the pre-election visits to many places I understood that lots of people do not know how to do it, and they are not interested to get the existing information, as they think that preparing a project is a very difficult thing to be done. Then I got ambitious to make this information easily accessible.


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