Poverty has increased significantly this past year in Madagascar forcing hundreds of thousands of children to skip school and work. The drastic change in poverty is due to a protest movement in January of 2009 that led to a major socio-economic crisis in the country. This year alone the number of children working has risen by 25%.
When these children are forced to go to work to survive they are unable to attend school. According to the director of Llempona Primary School, Bethine Ralaivelo, enrollment figures fell this year from 50 percent to about 20 percent in the primary school. The children work at local stone quarries, fishing industries, or as domestic servants. The children make about 1,900 Malagasy Ariary per day, which is equal to about one US dollar.
There are now 1.8 million children between the ages 5 and 17 years working in hazardous occupations, despite the fact that child labor is against international and Madagascan law. About half of children say that their labor has caused them harm. International Labor Office (ILO) and Madagascan government have not held anyone responsible for breaking the child labor laws. These children are losing their childhood and being forced to work just to survive.
Title: Madagascar: Poverty Forces 2 Million Children into Hard Labor
Source: Inter Press Service News Agency, 9/22/2009
Author: Fanja Saholiarisoa
Student Researcher: Trinity Cambon
Faculty Evaluator: Mike Ezra Ph.D.
Sonoma State University: Sociology of Media, Fall 2009
Instructor: Peter Phillips, #24