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Very often media present reports on working conditions in many parts of the world. Thanks to trade unionism working conditions like forced labour or child labour have been overcome in many European and other countries.
But publications of international trade union organizations make clear that today working conditions in many countries can still be considered as violations of human rights.

Many examples of child labour make clear how in many cases human rights have been violated in favour of economic profit. In the 19th century child labour has been a common phenomenon in Europe and Germany - in the areas of agriculture, the developing industries and home work.
In 1820 the famous English novelist Charles Dickens as a boy of 12 years has been forced to work in a factory because his parents were imprisoned due to debts. His novel "Oliver Twist" is about exploitation of children.
Today international trade union organizations together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) try to reach international agreements on working conditions and labour standards. It's still a struggle for human rights world wide.

Rainer Gries
Deputy Library Director of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation

International Trade
Union Movement

Child labor in mines, 19th century