Have issues regarding child labour in Third World (developing) countries improved??First, let us define the words ‘child’ and?‘labour’ as well as the term ‘child labour’. The definition of child is ‘a young human being below the age of full physical development or below the legal age of majority;’ the definition of labour is ‘work, especially hard physical work: manual labour,’ and?the definition of? child labour is ‘the use of children in industry or business, especially when illegal or considered inhumane.’
In our world today, there?are?approximately?250 million children,?about one in six, aged between?5?and?17,?who?are involved in child labour. Among them, approximately 179 million are trapped in the worst forms of child labour, which is more than half of the working children in the entire world! The worst forms of child labour?are those that endanger the child’s physical, mental, emotional and moral well-being.
More prevalent forms of child labour include mining, sex trafficking, trash collecting, and being domestic servants, child soldiers or factory workers.??Most of these children are malnourished and overworked. It is common for children in Third World countries to work so they can help their families survive, but still sometimes children are kidnapped. Once this happens, they become slaves. It is ironic that some children work to provide for their families, yet they get paid very little. For example, some young children in the Philippines work 17 hour?days and get paid 13 cents an hour. However, that is better than the one cent a day earned by 5 year olds who weed the tea plantations in Sri Lanka.?On Brazil’s tea plantations, 10,000 children from the ages of 5 to 13 wade through pesticide muck to get 15 cents for every 52 pound sack of tea they pick and carry.
There is hope for change though; The International Labour Organization launched a?‘World Day Against Child Labour.’ This day does not just create awareness, but also takes action to eliminate child labour. This organization brings together governments, employers, workers organizations, and millions of people from around the globe, and many children have benefited from the movement.
Another organization, ‘Free the Children,’ is also making a difference; the purpose of this organization is to ‘free the children from poverty, free children from exploitation, free children from the idea that they are powerless to change the world.’ This organization helps raise awareness of child labour through education programs for over one million youth in 45 different countries.? This organization also inspires young people to develop as socially conscious global citizens and become agents of change for their peers around the world.
Overseas, ‘Free The Children’ organizations build schools to provide quality education; they also supply?fresh water, free healthcare, and alternative ways of income. Through education, children become empowered and this assists with breaking the cycle of poverty for future generations. When communities are supplied with fresh water sources and sanitation facilities, these measures reduce the spread of waterborne diseases, and help free children of their daily treks to collect water, freeing their time so they are able to go to school. Providing free healthcare in communities assures that the children live a long and healthy life. Alternative incomes are important because it provides parents, especially mothers, with resources to generate a sustainable source of income, increase their savings and even start their own businesses. Parents are given the education, tools and skills to sustain their incomes and break the cycle of poverty once and for all.
Slowly but surely, child labour issues are improving, but there is still a lot of work to do. Some ways that child labour issues are improving in Third World countries are through events that raise awareness, such as ‘World Day Against Child Labour,’ and ‘We Day.’ The world cannot continue to rely on child labour, our future lies in the hands of children around the world. If we do not take responsibility for what we do and how we consume, the children of the world will continue to grow up to be slaves, not successful and healthy human beings. Successful human beings are aware and educated and strive to make a difference in the world. Isn’t that what we want the people of the world to be like? Different? Don’t we all want the world to be a better place?
Sara Daigle-Stevens is writing with the intention to inspire people to continue to make changes in the world and or to inspire people to make change in the world. It doesn’t matter how much we do, it is just if we do. When we come together, we can and will make a difference in a positive way!
‘I am here. You are there. We are here together, without time and space restrictions.
We are We. There is no you and me, cause in the scheme of all eternity, we are all free.’