Timor-Leste: Solving the problems

Photo by http://blog.childfund.org/ Credits to Silvia Ximenes

By Anastasiia Shkuro

Timor-Leste is a country with a relatively young sovereignty beginning in 2002. It was separated from Indonesia in 1999, after the intervention of the United Nations. It went through difficult times with many incidents of violence during the Indonesian occupation of 1975, which destroyed the economics of Timor-Leste. Despite the fact that the past few years Timor- Leste has made significant improvement, there are still some important issues that need to be regulated, regarding human rights. 

Child labor

In the beginning of June, Timor-Leste’s government joined a campaign to protect children who enter forced labor. The Prime Minister, Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, claims on the government’s official website that child labor is widespread. He said what is happening in their country, shows that many under-aged children are doing work that adults should be doing. There are children who are forced to work in fields and to sell products in markets or on the roads, both in the mountains and in the cities.

The reason to put this dilemma forward is the current trend typical for families in Timor-Leste to send children to work instead of insisting on going to school. Even though the work is considered as an activity appropriate for adults, some parents are neglecting the rules protecting children such as Resolution of the National Parliament N. 09/2009, and the Convention of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Consequently, the National Commission against Child Labor has been created to look after those who are involved in this crime.

Additionally, on the 10th of June the ILO Country Office for  Timor -Leste carried out a campaign against child labor in Batugate, the border of Indonesia and Timor- Leste. The campaign aimed at informing the big audience that attended about the importance of putting an end to child labor.

Human trafficking

According to the information given in the report of General Secretary of the United Nations (UN), in 2004 it was the first time the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste asked the world community for help solving the problem of human trafficking.

The mission of the United Nations has encouraged to prepare the report so the global community will gain awareness of this issue.

The latest initiated criminal cases so as to put behind the bars those who were guilty being involved in trafficking in human beings.

The government of East Timor has confessed the existence of issues of the highest importance; however, they claim to have struggled against a recession. For instance, if one turns to the official declarations, one would find an optimistic point of view inherent to the authorities of Timor-Leste. Particularly, local politicians who are convinced that peace and tolerant values rule half of the island. Also, they compare themselves to the neighboring countries where the problems of poverty and violence are put forward. To defend themselves, those officials take into account that Timor-Leste is able to bring pure water and electricity in the homes of the citizens.

Here we should notice that because of the information concerning problematic issues in Timor-Leste, tourist continue to be cautious. Even though people who visit East Timor observe friendly attitude, the common belief has damaged significantly the image of the country.

As the dispute between developed and developing countries continues, the authorities of East Timor objects to sweeping generalization that poverty gives birth to terroristic acts.

Despite the assumption connecting the number of people on the breadline and eruptions of terrorism committed by those who consider living conditions as unbearable, government of East Timor still claims that none should blame poverty for the source of terrorism.

In addition, officials of this country object at the accusations of the United Nations trying to prove that UN peacekeepers have participated in sexual crimes including human trafficking in East Timor. This frustrating investigation was published in 2002 by the Fund of UN development for women initiated by the authors Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Elizabeth Rene.

Certainly, it elucidates controversial points of view; however, it is also worth remembering that every country in the state of recession is susceptible to severe damage from the sides of political rivals and usual gangs. Moreover, it should also be noticed that the recent years Timor -Leste has managed to reduce poverty and make improvements on social outcomes, creating the prerequisites for a successful development.