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“I see the little innocents rudely dragged from bed to be pitched into factories at the early age of 3-4; I see them stunned, sickly, with sad eyes imploring mercy from their parents and masters in vain” a quote from Allan Clarks 1899 book “The effects of factory system”. What is child labour you ask? Child labour is where children (upto the age of 18) are cruelly sent by their parents or stolen from their families to work for little or no pay at all. They usually work in hazardous conditions, risking their life to make their masters money. They usually sleep in crammed huts with other children, they at least 12-16 hours a day and get no showers. Imagine sleeping in your own sweat and filth.
The heartless abuse of countless amounts of children comes in many forms: slavery, trafficking, soldiery and bondage. Children who are sold into slavery are forced to live in miniscule huts, up to 100 children are crammed in to these huts. Similar to slavery child trafficking involves the selling and smuggling of children to cruel “masters” and are treated as “goods”. Child soldiers are not bought but stolen from their families to fight for gangs and armies, Africa has over 40% of child soldier’s worldwide. Children are not bought but given to “masters” to pay off their family’s debt to others, this is called bondage. No child should have to go through this, yet people are getting away with it. Just imagine what it must be like working continuously every day of every week.
There are over 168 million children (5-17) who are involved in child labour. So what causes all these children to be used in child labour? Some of the main causes are like the ones from slavery 100 years ago. This includes poverty, limited access to education, repression of workers and limited prohibitions on child labour. Although with laws and standards to eliminate child labour, it is still happening all around the world. But YOU can help stop it by donating to charities, supporting families with children in child labour, report hazardous working conditions, help give them the education they deserve, report any child abuse (could be from their masters), help remove the children from hazardous working conditions and last of all report any word of child trafficking, slavery or soldiery.
While we are all sat nice and happy over here with our phones, video games, TV’s and proper food children in the likes of Africa and Asia are sat in their crammed huts with none of what we have. They are working 12-16 hours a day in hazardous conditions with barely a single break while we are sat getting the education we need to get the jobs we want. We get to decide what our futures will be like while they don’t. Not one of us would last a day doing what they have to do, but they have to prove to their masters they are not weak or they are kicked out on to the streets or even killed. Would you put your children through what they are going through? Didn’t think so, so why should they have to go through with it all? Yes, Unicef are trying to do something about and they have been for years and nothing has changed since. In my opinion there is only one way to deal with this and that is with force.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be in their situation? Here is the story of 15 year old Bithi who at 12 years old was sent to work in a crammed jeans factory by her own parents. Bithi works in a crammed factory with over 1000 other children making designer heading for Canadian stores. You could be wearing a pair right now that Bithi made with her own hands. Bithi sews 60 pockets an hour and helps make a minimum of 480 pairs of jeans a day. She earns just over $1 USD a day unlike over here were we make up to £6-£12 an hour. Bithi doesn’t complain but gets on with her work like the other 1000 children around her. She dreamed of being a doctor like her sister but they were shattered after being denied the education she needed.
Lots of big named brands use child labour like M&M, Nike and Marks and Spencer’s and even more. These are most people’s daily shops to buy clothes or food from. Next time you go to one of these shops think about what millions of children have gone through. “This is not just slavery, this is mass exploitation”.
I’m 15 and the most I have to do for work is help around the house and I still make twice as much as children in child labour do. I couldn’t imagine waking up in the morning at 5 am to work for 16 hours a day, I mean the most I have to worry about in the morning is making sure I’m ready for school. I get the education I need, the medication I need and were is all this for them, thrown in the bin? No child should have to go what they are going through its unacceptable, even adults don’t work for as long as they do a day and they make around £30-£50 a day. Something needs to be done and fast or the times of slavery will come back. The point I am trying to make is, children all around the world should not need to work for any one unless they want to, like maybe 8-10 hours a week for some extra money but not for 16 hours a day for little or no pay.
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