Human rights violations are a major occurrence in many countries throughout the world. Human rights include being free from abuse, assault, and exploitation.
Major violations in these countries include human trafficking, exploitation of women and children, discrimination and abuse. The scope of this analysis includes human rights violation against women and children in Ghana, Columbia and India; three different countries on three different continents. The United States and large U. S. corporations have trade agreements and conduct day-to-day business in each of these countries.These powerful entities have an obligation to not only conduct responsible business but to also ensure the social welfare of the local population.
The United States is one of Ghana’s primary trading partners and many U. S. businesses have market share in the West African country. The U. S. has maintained a trade agreement with Ghana since the year 2000, and has good political and business relationships with the country.
However, there is a startling amount of violence and abuse occurring with its society.Despite our country’s close financial ties with Ghana, the population is suffering, without any attention or action being taken by the U. S. population. According to the Department of State, “violence against women and children; female genital mutilation…; societal discrimination against women, trafficking in women and children; and child labor, including forced child labor” are major issues in Ghana’s society. Reports indicate...
that Ghana is a source, hub, and destination for trafficking of women and children for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation.
Most of the destitute children bought and sold are either boys forced to work arduous hours in fishing communities or girls used as domestic servants. Women are bought and sold while being promised education and steady work, but upon arrival in foreign locations, they are forced into prostitution. Not only are women and children being bought and sold, those that stay in Ghana are being abused at an alarming rate. A recent study in Ghana on violence revealed that one in three women has been beaten, slapped or physically punished by a current or a previous partner.
The government is still trying to ratify domestic violence policy that would make it easier to actually prosecute offenders. Despite open protest from women’s advocacy groups, proposed legislation ideas have not been turned into law. Along with abuse, women face considerable amounts of discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere. Women with skills and training are minimally discriminated against but, according to State Department findings, “Women, especially in rural areas, remained subject to burdensome labor conditions and traditional male dominance. Ghana appears to be doing little to protect its women and children, and the United States Government, along with many domestic corporations continue to conduct ongoing business there without rebuke or censure.
Marking the most significant trade contract in the Western Hemisphere in over a decade, the U. S. and Columbia signed a free trade agreement in February 2006. Columbia’s economy is fueled by a plethora of natural resources and a highly educated population.
Columbia is the second largest agricultural market in Latin America, and the United States has significant
economic ties with Colombia.The South American country is currently the 31st largest goods trading partner with the U. S., with $14.3 billion in total goods traded during 2005.
The stock of U. S. foreign direct investment in Colombia was $3.4 billion in 2005, a 20.7% increase from 2004. Unfortunately, our trading partner commits vast amounts of unchecked human rights violations that hurt the Columbian communities and weaken the society.
Child abuse, sexual exploitation of women and children, and active recruiting of children into paramilitary groups are common occurrences in Columbia.Guerrillas, fighting against the Columbian government, use impoverished children as soldiers. The Ministry of Defense estimated that 4,620 Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) members and 1,330 National Liberation Army (ELN) members were minors and that most guerrilla fighters had joined the guerilla ranks as children. Human Rights Watch reported that there were approximately 11,000 child soldiers in Columbian rebel camps.
Along with forcible entry into militant organizations, children and woman are being trafficked out of Columbia for sexual exploitation and forced labor.Last year, Columbia was a major source for trafficking in persons, primarily for sexual and labor purposes. Trafficking prevention hotlines set up by NGO’s in Columbia received over 250 calls. The majority of trafficking victims were young women, although children and young men were maltreated. Destinations included Venezuela, Ecuador, El Salvador, Aruba, Panama, The Netherlands, Chile, Costa Rica, Curacao, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Hong Kong, and the United States. Not only are women and children exported, they are trafficked within Columbia as well from rural communities to the cities.
The examples mentioned above are only a small sample of the abuses of women and children in Columbia that appear to be ignored by the U. S. Government and internationally active companies.
India is comprised by an enormous population of 1.1 billion people. In the last ten years, India has profited from a large group of educated, English-speaking people, and trained professionals to become a great outsourcing destination for many different countries including the United States. With a large amount technical expertise and education, India has become a major exporter of software as well as financial and technological services as well. Although there is a great amount of financial and educational success, there is also a disturbing amount of discrimination and child exploitation as well. The caste system that exists within India creates immeasurable levels of discrimination and social disparity, with women absorbing the largest impact of the mistreatment.
Reports indicate that every six hours a married woman is burned, beaten to death or driven to commit suicide. It has been reported that a women is raped every 29 minutes, and there is a dowry related death every 77 minutes.Dowry is the payment owed to a family for their daughter upon her marriage. With the caste system in effect, there have been reports of upper caste men mass raping lower caste women. Lower caste women are often harassed, stripped in public and paraded down streets.
Regrettably however, women of adult age are not the only ones being harmed in India. Reports on child welfare indicate that half of all young girls are being sacrificed into
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