Topic: 2023-Worker Protection From Labor Exploitation
Delegate Name: Ethan Robine
Topic: Labor Exploitation
Throughout the world nations are in economic turmoil. Unprecedented stress as a result of issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing climate change related disasters, have caused hyperinflation, labor shortages, and unsafe working conditions across the globe. Labor exploitation has inevitably arisen in recent years in large part due to the aforementioned issues. It is the desperation of extreme economic hardship that allows the manipulation of basic human rights and facilitates the implementation of labor exploitation at a large scale. However the exploitation of workers is in the long run unproductive, it does not lead to the development of a sustainable and flourishing economy, but rather the detriment of the market and the people of the country within which it occurs.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is familiar with the challenges that come with economic hardship. The nation is currently experiencing the hardest economic crisis in its history. Several years of budget deficits, declining oil revenue, and extreme hyperinflation has placed Venezuela in an extremely dire economic situation, only made worse by the loss of laborers to large scale emigration. Thus the nation is understanding regarding the motivation behind the exploitation of workers. Venezuela continues to endure, and as a result understands, hardship and sympathizes with those who turn to less than ideal working conditions. In many instances a child may need to work in order to earn his family money to help purchase food, or perhaps a man in desperation must take a second job, regardless of the wage. This issue is incredibly difficult and varies by nation, thus Venezuela firmly believes that it is not at the international, but rather the national level that this topic should be addressed.
While Venezuela is understanding of the theoretical motivation behind labor exploitation, the nation would, ofcourse, never condone the practical implementation of such actions. Venezuela has long publicly spoken against labor exploitation practices, over the years ratifying several international conventions on relevant topics (ILO C. 138, ILO C. 182, UN CRC). These ratifications coming from the International Labor Organization and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child outline the minimum ages laborers must be, acknowledge the issue of horrific forms of child labor and cover the rights of children. Additionally at the domestic level Venezuela has passed numerous legislation helping to prevent the exploitation of workers. Within Article 32 of the nation’s labor law, a minimum age of labor was set at 14, a reasonable value mirroring that of many nations such as the United States. Additional legislation sets the minimum age for hazardous work at 18, and prohibits children from working in hazardous occupations (Article 96, of the Law for the Protection of Children and Adolescents). Furthermore Article 30 of the Labor Law prohibits forced labor. It is clear that through the ratification of international conventions and the passing of numerous legislation that the nation of Venezuela is firmly against the exploitation of laborers.
There is no denying that labor exploitation is a difficult issue. It is so pervasive throughout the globe, and its motivation can be traced back to a wide variety of reasons. Many nations undergoing extreme economic crises often rely on the exploitation of workers to keep their drowning economies afloat. Thus we must consider, how we can ensure that nations who rely on these cruel practices do not undergo catastrophic economic collapse as a result of their removal? The very core of this issue is personal and individualized to each nation, it is clear that there is no universal fix. One country’s solution may only exacerbate the issue in another, thus it is imperative that we allow resolutions to be carried out at the domestic level. The UN should respect the sovereignty of each individual nation. Each state government should be given the freedom to draft a solution catered to their specific circumstance. It is clearly vital that all nations work independently in order to put an end to the exploitation of laborers, as in the long run this issue is economically harmful and unsustainable.
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