Photo Essay

You said it, sister!

26 responses to “Photo Essay

  1. President Medvedev is proud to announce the opening of yet another “child sweat shop” in down town Moscow.

  2. Arthur read it and weep,

    Around 3.4 million of Russian children under 18 years of age are employed. On this list are those, who are recruited for prostitution, filmed in pornographic videos, those who work at family enterprises and agricultural fields, the head of the State Duma labour and social policy committee, Andrei Isayev ( a member of the United Russia party) said.
    At a roundtable meeting on international experience in the elimination of child labour he urged the creation of a separate department on children and adolescents’ affairs.
    According to the Russian federal labour and employment service, employment of underage workers is one of employers’ major violations. In January- June alone a total of 8,529 such cases were registered. As a rule, underage employees work in agriculture, trade and industries. Over this period improper working conditions caused death of five children and injured another seventeen.
    Underage employees often do not undergo medical inspections and do not conclude labour contracts. As a result, most of them have to work relentlessly 200 hours per month without breaks and on weekends and to get four-time lower wages than those on the labour market. According to official data of the Russian state statistics service, 219,900 young people aged between 15 to 17 years were employed in 2006.
    Experts say the reason for child slavery is not only neglect of a child, parents’ poverty or unemployment. A widespread opinion that early employment strengthens character and engrains skills is also to blame.
    “Possibly, that is why the first article of the Labour Code that contains no provision on child labour. Besides, the law fixes that a child can be employed after reaching 14 years of age with consent of parents. And many employers use this norm,” an ILO expert, Vitaly Savin, said. He believes it is necessary to spell out more clearly where a fourteen-year old can be employed and under what conditions.
    The roundtable meeting also focused on the most outrageous phenomenon such as sexual exploitation of children. The deputy head of the Duma committee for women, family and youth affairs, Tamara Fraltsova, called for making amendments to the Criminal Code to toughen punishment for involvement of children in begging and prostitution.
    Source: Gazeta

  3. R John wote:
    [Arthur read it and weep]

    Why should I weep? All my schoolmates and I worked after school during our high school year here in USA. My parents were poor immigrants, so I needded to work to help out. But I would hardly call my work “sweat shop”. I pushed carts and bagged groceries at the local supermarket maybe 10 hours a week during school and 40 in the summer.

    [Around 3.4 million of Russian children under 18 years of age are employed.]

    That’s a very low number. There are probably 14 million youths between the ages of 14 and 17 in Russia. Thus, 3.4 million is 25% of the total. In USA, 67% of all children between the ages 14 and 17 are employed:

    Child Labor Coalition
    Child Labor in the US
    Youth Employment Statistics

    Two thirds of American high school students are employed. 50% of employed high school youth work more than 15 hours per school week. One in 6 work more than 25 hours per school week.

    Employment among 14 year olds:

    Well over half (57 %) of interviewed youth reported having held some type of job while they were age 14.

    So, have you able to dig up any concrete statistics on alleged “child sweat shops” in Moscow?

    And do you seriously view 17-year-old men as “children”?

    • [Over this period [of 6 months] improper working conditions caused death of five children and injured another seventeen.]

      That’s 10 deaths and 34 inhuries per year? How do the Russians keep it so safe? Here in USA, there are 70 deaths and 200,000 injuries:

      Child labor still with us after all these years.

      Department of Community Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

      Child labor is a major threat to the health of children in the United States. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that more than four million children are legally employed and that another one to two million are employed under illegal, often exploitative conditions. Across the United States, child labor accounts for 20,000 workers compensation claims, 200,000 injuries, thousands of cases of permanent disability, and more than 70 deaths each year.

  4. Arthur we all worked part time jobs when young again you miss the point if you read the report it is from the Russian DUMA they unlike you at least recognise the problem.

    • [we all worked part time jobs when young]

      No, not all. In the USA – yes. But in the old USSR, no teeanger, who went to school, was supposed to work, not even in the summer. And you weren’t allowed to leave school until the last two years of secondary school.

      [In EU, the minimum age of admission to employment may not be lower than the minimum school-leaving age]

      Exactly like the laws in the USSR. Socialists think alike! But you know what – Russia didn’t change these progressive Soviet-era laws much, so these laws are probably still like EU’s. The problem is: stricter enforcement.

      • No, teenagers went Pioneers and were instructed in how to rat out their parents to the state, and other wholseome activities.

        In addition, Soviet teenagers in Comsomol or pioneers tended to spend their summer holidays “voluntarily assisting” in bringing in the crops, ie working as slave labour.

        Nice try Arthur, now go and live in the workers paradise of North Korea if you yearn so much for the former USSR….

  5. R John,

    Yes, they do and they should: ten deaths are ten too many. And the American agencies, cited above, recognise such problem in USA as well, and the problems in USA are more serious, although both are negligible compared to China’s.

  6. Arthur in Britain where I live children are protected by the EU charter of fundamental rights article 32 states
    The employment of children is prohibited. The minimum age of admission to employment may not be lower than the minimum school-leaving age, without prejudice to such rules as may be more favourable to young people and expect for limited derogations.
    Young people admitted to work must have working conditions appropriate to their age and be protected against economic exploitation and any work likely to harm their safety, health or physical, mental, moral or social development or to interfere with their education.
    These laws are strictly adhered too in Great Britain, so much so that jobs I was allowed to do as a child are now forbidden under law.
    In Britain we have “Trident” which is a state sponsored scheme between schools, employers and government, this body is there to arrange work experience for 15 year olds, because of the tuff child health and safety regulations which protect children many employers are reluctant to sign up to the scheme so many children do not find a placement.
    Russia is well behind the EU when it comes to child protection, but at least they recognise the problem and are trying to address it, let’s hope the endemic corruption and Russian mentality do not destroy yet another worthy imitative.

    • I have no time to go into detailed research of the child labour conditions in Russia and EU. Given that Russia is quite poor compared to the EU average and that the socialism in EU is on higher level than in Russia, I would indeed not be suprised if the standards on work hours, health insurance, vacation, child labour etc, Russia needs to catch up to EU.

      However, keep in mind that here in USA we don’t have socialism, socialism is despised by most, we still have death penalties, we still don’t have health coverage for many people, and we look down upon EU and Russia as if we are superior.

      In terms of labour laws, Russia is between USA and EU. For example, the average vacation in Russia is 4 weeks in the summer and 2 in the winter/spring, compared to something like 7+2 in continental EU countries like Germany and France. In USA it is only 2 weeks per year total.

      The same for work hours per week: 40 in Russia, 50 in USA (yes, most people are expected to work overtime), and only 32 in Denmark, Germany, France, etc.

      • Of course you don’t, Arthur, that’s the problem. But just read the original post. Something like:

        “On this list are those, who are recruited for prostitution, filmed in pornographic videos, those who work at family enterprises and agricultural fields, the head of the State Duma labour and social policy committee, Andrei Isayev ( a member of the United Russia party) said.”

        When you did your after school work, was it child pornography? Did you go work in agricultural fields? And why does this article from Gazeta claim that this — which you extoll as “after school work” — is something that has to be fought against?

        Well, here you have your sweatshops.

    • Asehpe
      [On this list are those, who are recruited for prostitution, filmed in pornographic videos, those who work at family enterprises and agricultural fields]

      Look, we have already established that child/youth employment, work-related deaths and especially injuries are orders of magnitude higher in a highly civilised and prosperous country like USA. And since the child labour problem in USA is not catastrophic, neither is it in Russia.

      Given that that for every issue you bring up, I have shown that USA is worse off than Russia, why are you masochistically trying for more? Do you expect a different result? Don’t: the child labour situation in Russia is better than in USA.

      So, I am for the last time going to do the numbers digging for regarding child pornography etc:

      Tell me, do you, geniuses, really think that their is no child prostitution or pornography in USA? Or that children, growing up on the farms, don’t work to help their parents from an early age? You are bizarre. Here we go:


      In 2001, Dr. Richard Estes and Dr. Neil Alan Weiner estimated that in the U.S., 162,000 U.S. homeless youth are victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CVE) and that 57,800 children in homes are estimated to be victims of CVE. They also estimated that 30% of shelter youth and 70% of homeless youth are victims of CVE in the United States.[22] One third of street-level prostitutes in the U.S. are under 18 years old while 50% of off-street prostitutes are less than 18 years old.[22] According to Estes and Weiner, 12 to 14 is the average age of entry into prostitution for girls under 17 years old in the United States while the average age of entry into prostitution is between 11 and 13.[22]

      In 2001, the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work released a study that found that as many as 300,000 American youth may be at risk of commercial sexual exploitation at any time. [9] The National Runaway Switchboard says that one-third of runaway youths in America will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours on the streets. [10]

      The New York State Office of Children and Family Services estimates that New York City is home to more than 2,000 sexually exploited children under 18. The Correctional Association of New York stated: “We believe that number is really an undercount.” [12] The average age for entry into prostitution is 12 in New York.

      Dairy Families Talk About Their Lives
      The Role of Children on the Farm
      Copyright © 2010 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.

      Many parents in the study relied a lot on their children for help in operating their farms. Some young children even held very responsible roles. One 10 year-old, for example, does all the evening milking for the family, while a 12-year-old in another family keeps all the barn records.

      For many of the families, it was important that the whole family be involved in the dairy operation. Comments like, “On a dairy farm it has to be; here it takes everyone,” and “Every one of us provides labor for the farm,” are examples of how parents felt. In many cases, the children are just expected to work on the farm and there appears to be little negotiation about it.

      Fathers whose children did work on the farm — in some cases very hard work — sometimes had negative comments about how their children performed it.

      Many parents tend to expect their children to mirror their own experiences growing up on a farm. This comment by one farmer illustrates the point: “If I wasn’t working for dad, I was working for some neighbor. So I was kind of looking for somebody to be that way. It has been tough.”

      [When you did your after school work, was it child pornography? Did you go work in agricultural fields?]

      No. I lived in the middle of a major city. However, as the citation above confirms, those Americans (and I suspect even Europeans), who grow up on farms, do indeed perform hard work in agricultural fields

      [And why does this article from Gazeta claim that this — which you extoll as “after school work” — is something that has to be fought against?]

      Why is child pornography something that has to be fought against? You mean, you don’t know? Wow.

      Why is child work in agricultural fields something that has to be fought against in Russia? The article tells you why: because “employment of underage workers” is illegal in Russia. It’s the law, and laws must be enforced.

  7. Arthur you are quiet right Russia is a long way behind the EU when it comes to the rights of the child, this is troubling, but unfortunately it is just part of a long list of Russian failure to comply with European norms. For example the EU’s three year battle with Russia over protocol 14.

    Russia’s State Duma has only recently ratified this reform on Human Rights. Protocol 14 aims to streamline and expedite the court’s process for reviewing cases that come before it. The Council of Europe sought the reform to address the crippling backlog of cases that await the European Court’s review.27, 000 of these cases come from Russia, But Russia had blocked the effort for several years, the only Council of Europe member state to resist ratifying Protocol 14.

    Protocol 14 also allows the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers to bring states before the European Court for failing to implement the court’s judgments.

    Human Rights Watch said that this aspect of the reform could
    prompt Russia to implement fully European Court judgments on abuses in Chechnya. More than 115 such rulings have held Russia responsible for enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and torture, and for failing to investigate these crimes properly.
    Human Rights watch found that while Russia has paid the monetary compensation awarded by the court, in many of the cases it has failed to ensure effective investigations into the abuses and to hold perpetrators accountable.

    Please bear in mind Arthur all the other 46 council of Europe member countries ratified without problem. Russia historically is a law unto itself; its own actions make it a pariah state.

  8. Indeed. Sorry to say, Arthur, but Russian children in average are NOT really having a good childhood, to put it very mildly. American children could certainly do better too — but the Russian ones… Sorry to say, your country still has very, very many 5-year-plans to go…

  9. Speaking of chil dand other pornography. It turns out that Russia has the lowest pornography revenues among the surveyed countries in the entire World, about 300 times less than South Korea and about 27 times less than USA:

    2006 Worldwide Pornography Revenues
    Country Per Capita
    S Korea $526.76
    Japan $156.75
    Finland $114.70
    Austral $98.70
    Brazil $53.17
    Czech R $44.94
    US $44.67
    Taiwan $43.41
    UK $31.84
    Canada $30.21
    China $27.41
    Italy $24.08
    Netherl $12.13
    Philipp $11.18
    Germany $7.77
    Russia $1.76

    Pornography Web Pages by Country

    Country Porn Pages
    US 244,661,900
    Germany 10,030,200
    UK 8,506,800
    Australia 5,655,800
    Japan 2,700,800
    Nether 1,883,800
    Russia 1,080,600
    Poland 1,049,600

    Yes, USA has 240 times more porn pages than Russia or Poland.

    I wonder which country ends up exploiting international child pornography the most…

    • Well it’s probably like the booze and ciggies.

      Just costs less in Russia.

      Besides, in Russia the police run the child prostitution rings anyway.

    • Oh and BTW, you also fail to mention that the link states that data for Russia in incomplete, and that China is at the top of the list.

      Furthermore the article is about mainstream pornography in general, and not about child porn in particular.

      Once again you make tenuous arguments, but the fact of the matter is that Russia is a major (if not the major) source of child pornography, human trafficking of childeren, and child prostitution, and that these crimes are aided and abetted by the corrupt (venally so) Russian police and security services in conjunction with Russian organised crime (ex police and security services one might add).

      • China is “at the top of the list” because it has an enormous population. The list is sorted on total revenues. I sorted it on per capita revenue.

        Even for a construction worker, your mathematical abilities are pathetic.

        But you are correct that the above data do not distinguish child pornography from adult one. If I had time, I would google for the former separately. But time’s up.

        What the above results clearly show is that US web sites account for 90% of all pornography in the World. Thus, it is the US businessmen who derive the main profit from pornographic sexplotation of adults and children all over the World, from Thailand to Brazil.

  10. Stopping sexual abuse of Russian kids

    One of the regrettable consequences of the uneven economic expansion that Russia has experienced in recent times has been the increase in child abuse, particularly child prostitution.

    Sexual abuse of children can take several forms — from their use in pornographic materials for sale, to their use in other countries and Russia itself as prostitutes. Lured by fake promises in fashion magazines, some schoolgirls rate prostitution high on the list of modern “professions” to pursue. They believe that prostitution and contact with rich businessmen will provide them with the kind of lifestyle that they could never expect otherwise.

    St. Petersburg and the northwest region of Russia report a high incidence of sex tourism, which is widely advertised on the Internet and aimed at people from neighboring Scandinavian countries. Prostitution is the most common form of child exploitation in the region. Frequent recruiting targets are street children or children from dysfunctional families. Once they’re entrapped, they may end up in brothels and red-light districts as they get older. Recruiters prey on these children’s situations, deceiving them into a life of dependency.

    Children engaged in prostitution frequently belong to families in extreme poverty, and characterized by alcohol and drug addiction or a hostile family atmosphere. In other cases, they are orphans who have made the street their home. – htsccp

    *** ARCHIVES ***

    ECPAT Global Monitoring Report on the status of action against commercial exploitation of children – THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION [PDF]

    The Ministry of Interior estimates that up to 17,000 children are exploited in prostitution in the country, but the actual number is believed to be much higher. In Moscow alone, experts reckon that between 20,000 and 30,000 children may be victimised through prostitution, some raising this figure as high as 50,000.

    Sexual exploitation of minors occurs in all regions in Russia, but more accurate data and research are only available on the situation in the northwest, especially in St. Petersburg, and in central Russia, particularly in Moscow. Engaging minors with learning difficulties or from rural areas or provincial towns in the sex industry is a growing trend. In Moscow, the prostitution of children is highly organised and mainly controlled by criminal gangs, facilitated by corruption on the part of law enforcers. Agents who recruit girls work in educational establishments, employment services, cafés, railway stations and marketplaces, and entice minors with promises of good jobs and ‘the high life’. Most of the child victims in the city live on the street either all or most of the time. In St. Petersburg, child prostitution is not controlled by criminal organisations, although some pimps do operate, and sometimes even children are used as pimps. In the northern region, a substantial number of children become victims of commercial sexual exploitation through their parents, who are often involved in prostitution themselves and involve their children directly or sell them to pimps or traffickers; children as young as eight are sexually exploited, and advertisements explicitly seek girls to engage in work of a sexual nature.

    The root causes for the involvement of children in commercial sexual exploitation in Russia are poverty, family conflicts, alcoholism, drug abuse in the home, violence, neglect and poor living and housing conditions. In the north, most child victims are vagrants (due to the same causes), orphans or have no parental care. Their involvement in prostitution is also often linked to a dependency on alcohol and/or drugs.

    U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs

    INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR – Estimates of the number of street children range from 100,000 to 150,000, with possibly 4 million additional children at risk of living on the streets. Homeless children often receive no education, are more susceptible to substance abuse, and frequently engaged in criminal activities, including prostitution, to survive. Without educational opportunities or family support, youth form or join gangs or groups and turn to crime. In 2004, seven persons were sentenced for acts involving the recruitment and sexual exploitation of children.

    Children work in informal retail services, sell goods on the street, wash cars, make deliveries, collect trash and beg. Children are trafficked globally for sexual exploitation from Russia and are trafficked internally generally from rural to urban areas. There were reports of kidnapped or purchased children being trafficked for sexual exploitation, child pornography, or harvesting of body parts. There are confirmed cases of sex trafficking of children and child sex tourism in Russia, a major producer and distributor of child pornography over the internet.

  11. Child prostitution, forced prostitution, and the trafficking of women
    A 2006 report by World Vision Middle East/Eastern Europe funded by the Canadian government and supported by six United Nations agencies and the International Organization for Migration reported that the sexual exploitation of children, child trafficking and sexual violence towards minors is increasing and that Russia is becoming a new destination for child sex tourism. The report adds that some studies claim approximately 20 per cent to 25 per cent of Moscow’s sex workers are minors.

    Russia is a major source of women trafficked globally for the purpose of sexual exploitation [7]. [8] Russia is also a significant destination and transit country for persons trafficked for sexual and labor exploitation from regional and neighboring countries into Russia, and on to the Persian Gulf states, Europe, Asia, and North America.[9][10] Annually, thousands of Russian women end up as prostitutes in China, Japan or South Korea.[11] Bars in major Chinese cities now offer blond, blue-eyed Russian “hostesses,” while in Tokyo, Russian girls are the latest addition to the menu in fancy “hostess” bars. In Tel Aviv the number of brothels has skyrocketed in five years from 30 to 150—largely because of an influx of Russians into Israel. [12]. In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Russian women make up most of the prostitutes in the country. Thousands of Russian women (not all of them from Russia – many come from other, poorer, former Soviet republics) prostitute in Dubai.

    The ILO estimates that 20 percent of the five million illegal immigrants in Russia are victims of forced labor, which is a form of trafficking. There were reports of trafficking of children and of child sex tourism in Russia. The Government of Russia has made some effort to combat trafficking but has also been criticized for not complying with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.[13]

    A large case of forced prostitution and mass murder was uncovered in 2007 near the industrial town of Nizhny Tagil. A gang of pimps had abducted girls and forced them to work as prostitutes in their brothel, killing the ones who refused. A mass grave with up to 30 victims was found. (See: Nizhny Tagil mass murder (2002-2007).)

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