Dec 232016
 
Cambodia: CHILDREN OF THE DUMP via Cambodia: CHILDREN OF THE DUMP – YouTube. Uploaded on Jul 18, 2008 In countries around the world, hundreds of thousands of poor people face daily hazards to earn meager livings by scavenging for recyclable goods. In Cambodia, hundreds of scavenger families find their lives changing – they will lose their homes and livelihoods when the government closes the dump where they work. Rory Byrne has this report from Phnom Penh. Officially, it is the Steung Meanchey landfill site, but those who live here call it Smokey Mountain. Steung Meanchey dump is a seven-hectare mountain of smoking garbage on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Here some 2,000 workers, including about 600 children, sift through 700 tons of garbage a day. In developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, garbage scavengers are among the poorest workers. In Cambodia, they typically earn about one dollar a day. Ten-year-old Ya has been recycling bottles and cans at the dump for three years. He says the situation here is terrible. He has to get up very early to work and finishes late in the evening. Ya says his life is very difficult. Collecting garbage brings him less than $1 a day which is not nearly enough to cover his expenses. Most of the scavengers live in wooden shacks around the dump. There is no access to clean water or sanitation and epidemics are commonplace. The risks here are high. Sharp-edged metals and broken glass leave nasty wounds. And garbage scavengers suffer high rates of serious diseases, such as hepatitis, tuberculosis and even AIDS. A number of scavengers have been killed or seriously injured when they were run over by garbage trucks. She says it is very dangerous to work here – people can step on metal shards or nails for example or get hit and crushed by the dump trucks. She says she has injured herself with many things, like old needles. Annette Jensen is the director of A New Day, a charity that provides free food, shelter and schooling to more than 100 children from Steung Meanchey dump. "To see the children miserable, dirty, sad looking at the garbage dump and then have them arrive with their little plastic bag with all their belongings and move into the center. And to see their excitement about taking a shower. To see their excitement about getting (more…)
Dec 202016
 
Published on Mar 5, 2014 This video describes our program "Securing Economic Rights for Informal Women Workers" with Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative in Uganda. Children work in the informal economy in many parts of the world. They often work as scavengers (collecting recyclables from the streets and dump sites), day laborers, cleaners, construction workers, vendors, in seasonal activities, domestic workers, and in small workshops; and often work under hazardous and exploitative conditions. It is common for children to work as domestic servants across Latin America and parts of Asia. Such children are very vulnerable to exploitation: often they are not allowed to take breaks or are required to work long hours; many suffer from a lack of access to education, which can contribute to social isolation and a lack of future opportunity. UNICEF considers domestic work to be among the lowest status, and reports that most child domestic workers are live-in workers and are under the round-the-clock control of their employers. Some estimates suggest that among girls, domestic work is the most common form of employment. Total Suffering The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of children are being abandoned and with many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear. Others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites and diseases, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease spawned in the Landfill. And yet others are being enslaved and abused. It must be so. Every time there is plenty, There is poverty. This very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the urban population and “naturally” will increase the poor population and the “natural” state of starvation and misery continues. In a universe of social media and selfish genes, blind physical forces and social divisiveness, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. It is the intent of Green Fire to go beyond luck and create a new and better enviroment for them. The universe of the Children living on Landfills that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no recognition, no purpose but survival, nothing but pitiless indifference. Thank you for reading. Don’t be indifferent (more…)
Dec 112016
 
Informal Workers | WIEGO Informal workers do not receive social protection through work or legal protection through the state. Too often, these workers are unfairly stigmatized as “illegal”, “underground”, “black” or “grey” – but the vast majority are simply trying to earn a living against great odds. Informal workers may be self-employed in small unregistered enterprises; they may be sub-contracted workers or even work for wages in unprotected jobs. And they can be found in urban or rural settings, and in the richest as well as the poorest countries. In recent decades, informal employment has persisted or grown, emerging in unexpected places and in new guises. Today, half to three-quarters or more of non-agricultural workers in developing countries earn their living informally. They work in plain sight… Street vendors in Mexico City; rickshaw pullers in Kolkata; jeepney drivers in Manila; push-cart vendors in New York city; garbage collectors in Bogotá; roadside barbers in Durban… those who work on the streets or in open areas belong to the more visible occupational groups in the informal economy. …and out of sight Some informal workers are less visible – even invisible. Down the crowded lanes are workshops that repair bicycles and motorcycles; recycle scrap metal; make furniture and metal parts; tan leather and stitch shoes; weave, dye, and print cloth; polish gems; sort and sell paper, and plastic waste; and more. The least visible informal workers, the majority women, sell or produce goods from their homes: they may be garment or food workers, incense-stick or cigarette rollers, paper bag or kite makers. Then there are those – again usually women – who work in others’ homes. Tens of millions of domestic workers around the globe are among the most vulnerable of all workers. And informal workers are not confined to developing countries. There are informal garment workers in Toronto; informal embroiderers on the island of Madeira; informal shoemakers in Madrid; and informal assemblers of electronic parts in Leeds. Other common categories of informal work in both developed and developing countries include contract workers in restaurants/hotels; sub-contracted janitors and security guards; casual day labourers in construction and agriculture; piece-rate workers in sweatshops; and temporary office helpers or off-site data processors. Most workers in all of these categories are informally employed. But despite great differences … Working conditions and earnings differ markedly. Even within countries, the informal economy is highly segmented by place of work, sector (more…)
Dec 082016
 
Informal workers do not receive social protection through work or legal protection through the state. Too often, these workers are unfairly stigmatized as “illegal”, “underground”, “black” or “grey” – but the vast majority are simply trying to earn a living against great odds. Informal workers may be self-employed in small unregistered enterprises; they may be sub-contracted workers or even work for wages in unprotected jobs. And they can be found in urban or rural settings, and in the richest as well as the poorest countries. In recent decades, informal employment has persisted or grown, emerging in unexpected places and in new guises. Today, half to three-quarters or more of non-agricultural workers in developing countries earn their living informally.     Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)