On June 12, the World Day against Child Labor, the ICCI “Our House” published a petition for the abolition of labour slavery for children and adolescents in the colonies of Belarus. We told that teenagers, who got in Belarusian prisons, have to work on rubber, furniture production, knitting washcloths, sewing clothes. They get less than a euro for it, even though the products are sold at high prices.
The problem of child slave labour in Belarusian colonies was closed to speak about it. The state media, on the contrary, prided themselves on giving children in conflict with the law the opportunity to earn money. However, no one wanted to name specific salary figures – this information is closed to Belarusians. But there is no information about what children can make in prison.
During the nine days of the campaign to stop the slave labour of Belarusian children, the three versions of petition gained 190 signatures. We continue to fight and continue to demand:
– stop the use of minors in the production activities of Belarus;
– do not buy the products of Belarusian enterprises of the Department of Corrections, as underage boys and girls may participate in their production;
– stop exploiting children in prisons in heavy and dangerous industries;
– stop punishing children for refusing to work.
We want to remind you that the products produced by children (for example, furniture that people from France are willing to buy in their cottages) are worth an unjustifiably large amount of money. But these funds are not used to maintain the children’s health, not for improved nutrition, not for repairs and clothing in the colonies. Exhausted by hard work and hunger, children see pennies – up to 1.60 euros. The money they earn goes to the treasury of officials and security forces, to purchase weapons to disperse peaceful Belarusians at protests.
If you are against child labour in the colonies of Belarus, sign the petition at the link.