|摘要: ||瓜地馬拉自1996年結束長達36年的內戰後，雖然積極致力於建設國家，但是貧富差距卻日益加大，全國有超過一半的人口生活在貧窮之中，許多兒童為了家計被迫出外謀生，因此童工現象在瓜地馬拉極為普遍。根據「國際勞工組織」的定義，童工為未滿18歲之勞工，瓜地馬拉之18歲以下之童工數目將近一百萬人，佔了全中美洲的童工比例百分之四十。雖然瓜國政府明定，在未經有關單位之許可之下，雇主不得僱用14歲以下之兒童，然而瓜國14歲以下之童工數目卻約有五十萬人，這些童工幾乎都是非法的，所從事的工作不僅具有危險性，有些甚至涉及色情交易、販賣人口等相當惡劣之形式。 |
After the end of Guatemala’s thirty-six-year-long civil war, the government has been working positively on country development, however, the gap between the poor and the rich gets wider. Over half of all Guatemalans live in poverty. The phenomenon of child labor is very common in Guatemala because many children have to work for their family’s survival. According to “International Labor Organization”, the definition of “child labor” means some types of work performed by children below age 18. And in Guatemala, there are near 1 million child labors under 18 years old, which are almost 40 per cent of all child labors in Central America. The laws of Guatemala prohibit children under age 14 from being employed without authorization. However, there are about 500,000 child labors under 14 years old in this country, and most of them are illegal. Many types of work that these child labors involved are hazardous, and some even are unconditional worst forms of child labor, such as commercial sexual exploitation and child trafficking.
Besides the high poverty incidence, other social and cultural effects such as poor application of the law, and the traditional social value are also the reasons why child labor is so common in Guatemala nowadays. The indigenous Mayan people think that the work is an important way to pass on the tradition, and that the children can develop their characters and sense of responsibilities through working. Therefore, the Mayan children are asked to work at very young age. The prevalence of child labor varies substantially by sex, residence, and ethnicity. The data shows that between 7-14 year-old children, the work prevalence of male children is almost twice that of female children, and the prevalence of child labor in rural areas is almost twice that in urban areas, the possibilities of indigenous children becoming child labors are also twice that of non-indigenous children. The negative effects of illegal child labors include high school dropout rate, bad health conditions, and some child labors can’t go back to the society without psychological help.
Many international organizations and NGOs try to help eliminate child labor problem in Guatemala enthusiastically, and the Guatemalan government also make many plans to against the phenomenon of child labor in the past decades. However, the results of the government’s work are not obvious. The reason may be the government doesn’t try hard enough, or the root of the child labor problem is too complicated to eliminate in the short term. This thesis aims to understand the problems of illegal child labor in Guatemala firstly by analyzing the background of child labor with political, social, and cultural aspects, secondly by studying the hazardous forms of child labor, and thirdly by understanding the organizations and institutes that are devoted to solving the child labor problem.