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Issue No. 200 24 October 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

The Hard Yards
Two hundred issues of Australia’s first and only online workers’ magazine is due reason to celebrate. It is also a good time to look at what we’ve achieved over the past five years and consider where we need to go.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: No Ifs, No Butts
Rugby League Professionals Association president Tony Butterfield on his battle to deliver a collective agreement for NRL players.

Unions: National Focus
In this month’s national wrap: Noel Hester meets a heavy hitter talking up open source unionism, truckies front the suits at Boral’s AGM, tales of corporate bastardry and Medicare birthday revelry.

Industrial: Fools Gold
Unions have thrashed out a string of protocols with the NSW Labor Government. Some, now, are questioning whether they are worth the cheap, imported paper they are written on, reports Jim Marr.

Bad Boss: Bones of Contention
Byron Bay chicken boners have nominated thier boss for a Tony after seeing their entitlements plucked.

History: The Gong Show
In late September the South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) celebrated 75 unbroken years championing the rights of workers in the coastal Illawarra region 80 kilometres south of Sydney, writes Rowan Cahill.

Politics: The Hawke Legacy
The election of the Hawke Labor government twenty years ago holds some salient lessons for today’s Labor Party, writes Troy Bramston.

International: Sick Nation
As Australia celebrates 20 years of Medicare’s universal health coverage the crisis facing American workers in need of medical care is a useful reminder of what we’ve got – and what we stand, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Closed Minds
Philip Mendes looks at the political influence of right-wing think tanks, their financial backing and asks why the left hasn’t been able to get its ideas out there.

Review: Mixing Pop and Politics
He's had relations, with girls from many nations... but Billy Bragg seems to like us Aussies as much or even more than any of the others, writes Pádraig Collins.

Poetry: One Size Fits All
There once was a man from the Lodge - Who tried hard, our poems, to dodge... Resident bard David Peetz is back!

N E W S

 Workers Rally For ‘Joel’s Law’

 It’s Official: Courts Weak on Safety

 Cole Insider Highlights "Agenda"

 "Racism" as Pacific Islanders Rorted

 Academics Appeal to International Umpire

 Conroy Crashes Boral Bash

 Poll Points to Hospital Overload

 Aussie Icon Set To Head Overseas

 China Gaols Union Activists

 Victory in Dili

 AWU Rejects Bid to Fleece Shearers

 People’s Bank to Hear From People

 Unions Put Students in Picture

 Memo ALP Members: Think About Unions

 New Face in the Hunter

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

Postcard
North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Soapbox
The $140 Million Patriot
It would be hard to imagine a steeper slide from hero to zero than the experience of Richard Grasso, the now-deposed head of the New York Stock Exchange. writes Jim Stanford.

Media
Bush's Bad News Blues
The Bush Administration is cooking up a new campaign 'to shine light on progress made in Iraq', writes Bill Berkowitz.

The Locker Room
A Tale Of One City
Phil Doyle gazes into the crystal ball for signs of life, and finds that somewhere the horses are running in the wrong direction.

Culture
With Banners Furled
There is no better account of the glory that was the annual Labour Day marches than that given by Kylie Tennant in Foveaux, her fictional account of life in inner Sydney in 1912, the year she was born.

Politics
The Westie Wing
Our favourite Macquarie Street MP, Ian West MLC, reports on the world of NSW politics.

Postcard
The Cancun Wash-Up
The dramatic collapse of the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico, last month has been followed by a deafening quiet from Geneva, Brussels and Washington, writes Peter Murphy.

L E T T E R S
 Child Labour
 Advance Australia Where?
 God Save Us All
 US Seeking Aussie Info
 Call The Doctor
 Bring Back Gough
 Bring Back Social Democracy
 Look East, Look West
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

Child Labour


Child labour is a global phenomenon and exists in both developed and developing countries. Therefore the effective abolition of childhood is one of the most urgent challenges of our time.

The child labour in all its manifestations like bonded and house working is extremely repugnant as per ILO estimation there are more than 200 million child labourers worldwide. These child labourers are highly visible such as street children working in the urban informal economy. Others such as child domestic workers are effectively invisible from public view.

Child labour is clearly detrimental to individual children preventing then from enjoying their child hood, hampering their development and sometimes causing lifelong physical or psychological damage; it is also detrimental to families, to communities and to society as a whole. It undermines national development by keeping children out of school, preventing them gaining the education and skills that would enable them ad adults to contribute to economic growth and prosperity

It is universally agreed that denying children's their child hood and sending them to work is not only inhuman but also hampers the development of human resources of the country by retarding the physical and mental development of the large section of its future generations. So the children should be seen in the school instead of work place.

To make the Elimination of all forms of child labour a reality the Government has taken several steps to increase the primary school enrolment. Tuition and books have been provided free, even though enrolment rate has increased drop out rate is no less insignificant.

There is no doubt that the child labour situation is at a precarious level and worse resulting dire consequences. These children are thus particularly vulnerable, including to physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Despite working in formal sector establishment that produce for experts the majority of child labourers in manufacturing toys in supply chains producing for the domestic market for example in the production of fire works and matches.

Childhood is not an isolated phenomenon. It is an extreme of multitude of socio-ecnomic factors and has roots in poverty, growing un-employment, uneven distribution of wealth and resources.

Well comprehensive and well intregrated approach to eliminate this curse badly seek active cooperation from the families, communities, trade unions, NGO's, and employers bodies. All segments of society including media to cause awareness can play an important role in this regard the parents and teachers will have also to join hands to work for sustainable and systematic elimination of boded and child labour.

Habib Malik


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