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  Children fight for better working conditions
Updated 16 November 2001, 20.38

Children in India are fighting to improve the terrible conditions they often have to work in.

In the UK it's illegal for children to work more than a few hours a week. But around the world 250 million children have to work in order to survive.

Long hours for little money


They do all kinds of jobs, from working in factories to collecting rubbish from the streets.

But now organisations of child workers - or unions - are springing up across the country to put pressure on the government to make their life easier.

Sarasa, 16, is a cleaner in Bangalore, and president of one of these new unions.

The cleaners depend on running water to do their job, but the only pipe they've got is miles from their home.

They've got together to ask the local government to move the pipe nearer to where they need it.

End to child labour


Charities and human rights organisations have been calling for the end of child labour for years.

But for many children, like Suraj, working is something they can't avoid.

He's been rag picking since he was nine.

"It's not as if anyone else is going to feed us," he says, "so we have to work."

The new unions are one of the few glimmers of hope he's got.

There's more on this story on Correspondent on Sunday 18 November at 7.15pm on BBC Two.


 
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