According to www.thefreedictionary.com , the definition of a shanty town is “A town or section of a town consisting chiefly of shacks.”
Shanty towns are built in areas where no one else will build, such as flooded areas and steep hills. Houses are made of anything that can be scavenged, from cardboard to tin, wood to plastic. Areas are congested with houses, and lack of sanitation means poor hygiene and high risk of spreading diseases such as typhoid, cholera and diarrhoea. With no proper medical services, diseases such as diarrhoea can kill, whereas it only affects us for a few days. People living in such close proximity will also mean that the disease will spread more easily and quickly, killing many people in a short space of time.
No electricity means no communication or lighting, something which is a basic necessity in the modern world. People resort to stealing electricity illegally by connecting to power lines, risking their life. Candles are used instead of lights, but the houses being made of such flammable materials like cardboard, each house has a high fire risk.
Open sewers add to the lack of sanitation, and rubbish litters the streets, causing infestation of disease spreading rats. The rubbish is re-used, recycled or sold, showing the people are very resourceful.
Children in shanty towns often work to supply more money for their family. The average family size in a shanty town is 8 people, but the children do not go to school and receive and education. Instead they work from a very young age, making money from shining shoes or washing cars. However, children with no family who live in the street, known as street children, are found working in crime, drug dealing or even prostitution. These children roam the streets, collecting their food from rubbish dips, and doing whatever they can to earn a living. They earn money by selling goods, shining shoes, washing cars or even stealing.
Over 12 million children in Brazil are forced to worked rather than attending school and getting an education. Of this, half a million are prostitutes. Children have no choice but to live their lives like this, as they have no parents, schools, food and jobs.
Familiar sites from shanty towns around the world, showing street children living alone on the streets. http://street-children.org.uk/Street%20children.jpg http://www.hobotraveler.com/blogphotos/187-03-street-children-philippines.jpg
Employment in shanty towns in very different to that of the UK, with people (mostly men) working throughout the day, earning only a fraction of what people in a MEDC earn. What is known as informal employment, the person has no contract, no set hours, low paid, no pension or benefits and is often self employed.
Work is found in the cities, which is usually found near the shanty town, where men will go to work everyday, whilst the women care for the family. Sometimes the father will move away to somewhere with better job prospects, and send money back to his family. As said before, family sizes are large, which you would think would mean more money would be needed to care for them. However, when the children are old enough to work, which still could be when they are under 10, their earnings would go towards the family.
Jobs would be simple, such as manufacturing and jobs which involve manual labour. Because the children do not receive an education, they will not have the qualifications for a better job when they are older, meaning less money, lower taxes and therefore a lower quality of life.
Children must work in order to help their families pay the rent and and help support the family. However, they do not earn an education, and have very low pay. http://static.flickr.com/19/163485412_ed1cbef4e6_m.jpg
Their quality of life will be lower as they will not have as much money, poor housing, little or no education or employment, poor services and possibly poor health. However, quality of life is difficult to measure, unlike standard of living, which is easy to measure.
Despite living in a township in South Africa, these two boys are still smiling, even without the things that are common to us like electricity and clean, running water.
This map shows the percentage population living below 1 dollar a day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Percentage_population_living_on_less_than_1_dollar_day.png
This map shows the percent world poverty map. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Percent_poverty_world_map.png