131             
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION
  URGING THE PRESIDENT AND THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES TO
    PASS LAWS TO PROHIBIT AMERICAN COMPANIES FROM
    MANUFACTURING GOODS USING CHILD LABOR OR FROM PURCHASING
    GOODS FROM FOREIGN MANUFACTURERS THAT USE CHILD LABOR.


 1        WHEREAS, many children in developing countries, or in
 2   countries that are in transition to a market economy, are
 3   employed in the export sector, especially plantations and the
 4   textile, garment, footwear, and sporting goods industries; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, many of these child workers are subject to
 7   inhumane and hazardous working conditions, including slavery,
 8   debt bondage, child prostitution, and sexual abuse and are
 9   usually badly paid, if at all; and
10   
11        WHEREAS, the International Labor Organization has
12   developed and tested a survey methodology which estimates that
13   a total of 250 million children worldwide are working:  half of
14   these children between the ages of five and fourteen are
15   working full time and at least one-third are performing
16   dangerous work; and
17   
18        WHEREAS, according to International Labor Organization
19   statistics, 61 per cent of all working children or nearly 153
20   million are found in Asia, 32 per cent or 80 million are in
21   Africa, and 7 per cent or 17.5 million live in Latin America;
22   and
23   
24        WHEREAS, even though Asia has the largest total number of
25   child workers, Africa has the highest proportion of its minors
26   working -- 40 per cent of the children between 5 and 14 years
27   old; and
28   
29        WHEREAS, although poverty is the most important reason for
30   child labor, followed by lack of schooling and illiteracy,
31   oftentimes social traditions explain the persistence of child
32   labor; and
33   
34        WHEREAS, furthermore, because of different cultural and
35   economic traditions among nations, there is not a generally
36   accepted minimum age for work, and even the concept of "work"
37   is defined or interpreted differently among countries; and

 
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 1   
 2        WHEREAS, for example, not all work done by children can be
 3   defined as child labor:  in many societies, children who work
 4   along with their parents are viewed as learning to live in
 5   society; and apprenticeships are seen as part of a young
 6   person's education and preparation for a livelihood; and
 7   
 8        WHEREAS, work by children clearly becomes child labor,
 9   however, if the work being performed is "harmful to [a child's]
10   physical or mental health, safety, and development"; and
11   
12        WHEREAS, several international organizations have made
13   eradication of child labor a priority; and
14   
15        WHEREAS, in 1989, the United Nations approved the
16   Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely
17   subscribed international convention in history, which includes
18   general restrictions on child labor; and
19   
20        WHEREAS, Article 32 of the Convention recognized "the
21   right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation
22   and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or
23   to interfere with the child's education or to be harmful to the
24   child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social
25   development"; and
26   
27        WHEREAS, the International Labor Organization, has adopted
28   a number of conventions restricting the work of minors,
29   including Convention No. 138 (1973), entitled "Minimum Age for
30   Admission to Employment," which sets the following minimum age
31   requirements:  age 15 or not less than the age of completion of
32   compulsory schooling, if higher than 15, for admission to
33   employment or work; and age 18 for hazardous work; and
34   
35        WHEREAS, these age limits are written into the national
36   legislation of countries that formally agree on the Minimum Age
37   Convention; and
38   
39        WHEREAS, despite these efforts, the problem of child labor
40   persists; and
41   
42        WHEREAS, more needs to be done to fight child labor,
43   including a firm expression of political will at the highest
44   level; now, therefore,
45   

 
 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
 2   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
 3   of 1999, the Senate concurring, that the President and the
 4   Congress of the United States are urged to enact laws to
 5   prohibit American companies from manufacturing goods using
 6   child labor or from purchasing goods from manufacturers in
 7   foreign countries that exploit child labor; and
 8   
 9        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
10   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the
11   United States, the President of the United States Senate, the
12   Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the
13   members of Hawaii's delegation to the Congress of the United
14   States.
15 
16 
17 
18                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________