Human Rights Watch Slams Egypt for Child Labor Practices
Human Rights Watch, an international organization based in New York, has criticized child labor practices in Egypt's agricultural cooperatives for violating international conventions on child rights, according to a report by Middle East Times on Friday.
Over one million children under the age of 12 are hired to help control pests in Egypt's massive cotton industry. The minimum age for seasonal agricultural work in Egypt is twelve, but some children as young as seven are recruited to work the fields.
Clocking 11-hour workdays, seven days a week, the children are paid E£3.00 a day. They are used to help control the cotton leaf-worm infestations, manually removing and destroying infected leaves, according to the report.
The human rights group stated that the working conditions do not meet standards set by Egypt's own law protecting children, which was passed in 1996. Under the law, a child between the ages of 12 and 14 is only allowed to work six hours a day and only for four consecutive days.
"The government of Egypt has undermined its commitment to the Child Law's enforcement by permitting cooperatives to employ children well below the minimum age for seasonal agricultural employment and without regard for the law's provisions governing the days and hours of children's work," states a report by Human Rights Watch – Albawaba.com
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