Child Labor: A Global Problem

Mar 3, 2012 By Arjun, 12
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Imagine you and I with such limited opportunities. Imagine if children like us did not know the joys of school life but rather the life of hard physical labor. Imagine if we had to struggle miles for water, work several hours a day to earn a few scraps of food that kept us barely alive. And we couldn’t say anything – it was our only way to live, our only option.

Unimaginable, yet the life of 215 million kids around the world today – child laborers. Having rarely known a smile or a comforting hand, saying “It’s gonna be all right”, they literally live the lives of slaves. They can be trafficked, bought and sold, to the extent where they are considered bargaining objects rather than human beings.

Child labor is not right. It’s staring us in the face, and we should do something about it. No human laws safeguard the buying and selling of human beings, deny them education and the chance to live. It’s horrific, yet it exists. Why?

Children are forced into labor because of many reasons. One of them is poverty. The children themselves provide the only source of income for the family. However, it shouldn’t be this way. So many efforts are being made worldwide to combat poverty, and the burden of supporting of the family should not fall on its youngest and weakest member.

Another is education. We need to provide education to all those in need, for otherwise they will be in a worse state without labor. The UN states that it will take about 10-30 billion to provide universal education; a small amount compared to global military spending.

Child laborers of all ages experience cruel, excruciating conditions, which harm their physical and psychological development. One quarter of child laborers suffer from injuries and illnesses, and traumatic effects can occur for the more unfortunate laborers.

Child labor needs to be eradicated. I hope you will join me in the fight for this cause because we all know how it is to be a kid. Let them know it too.