By: Samantha Gaillard, Josue Hernandez
Child Labor is a type of forced labor in which children are forced to do anything against their will, having no say in the matter, and with a threat of some form of punishment. Children are kidnapped/purchased ranging from $20 - $70 and they are then sold for around $350 (Sheil). Some children are sold from Benin, the poorest country in the world, and end up in Gabon. (Sheil). The way most are transported is through a boat with around 100 - 150 other children that are also getting sold, they end up in Nigeria Sheil). Traffikers are usually part of the family and say that they're taking the children to a "better life", which is extremely ironic, in that situation (Sheil).
Causes, History, Contributing Factors
Child Slavery has many contributing factors to its nature. Some the factors may include: poverty, absense of primary school, ignorance of the parents about consequences, and that more employers prefer children to work for them, etc (National Informatics Centre). "One fourth of the world's population is in poverty", according to the U.N. Statistics. There have been laws made that prohibit the use of child labor throughout Africa. But, many have limitations. For Example, in Kenya and Bangladesh, child slavery is illegal in every situation except "benefit of agriculture, and domestic work" (Hodne).
Effects of Child Labor
Many of the effects of child labor are due to the ranging causes and what they're exposed to in the world. Due to the mining, and other environments, many children are exposed to bruises, cuts, or even burns (ILO). Individually, each child suffers a great deal of emotional and physical wear. Child Slaves that are girls, experience sexual abuse, which exposes them to STD's, unwanted pregnancy, and drugs/alcoholism (ILO). On families, the effects are much greater. At times, when their child is taken away for slavery, the family is more relieved than heartbroken. According to the 2010 studies by ILO, "There are 215 million child laborers aged between 5 and 17 years old".
There are only a certain number of ways that you can reduce the practice of child slavery throughout the world. In Minnesota, there is a small agency who are advocates for human rights, they operate a small "school" that includes a daily meal, for poor children (Parker). There are laws being taken into effect that do help out, although many of those laws are being broken as we speak. People don't understand the consequences that result from child slavery. There are organizations that are helping out, they help around 10 - 30 billion children with a universal education (Carol). There is a program called Mercy 29's Lattes for Legacies that allow you to donate to helping a child (Storm). You donate $3 a week for 52 weeks, and over time that money will contribute to saving a child. Anybody can help by sending money or volunteering at an organization that does help. Finding a solution to child slavery, will make a dramatic effect on the population, well-being, and economy of Africa.
In conclusion, child slavery is a devastating subject. Millions of children are being affected by the harsh manner of people. The consequences are the most severe to the children and families. But, in hope, many organizations are trying to put laws into effect. There are also organizations that are like a charity to take up money for helping the cause. Child Slavery is a subject that is not taken as seriously as it is. There are thousands of children being worn to death from the mental and physical wear. This issue needs to be addressed in such a manner that can make a huge impact, not only throughout Africa, but globally.
- ILO. "Causes and Consequences of Child Labor in Ethiopia". ILO, 22 Dec 2008, 06 Mar 2014
- Sheil, Mike. "Children Sold as Slaves in Northern Africa". ABC News, 22 May 2013, 05 Mar 2014
- Storm, Alison. "You Can Save a Child from Slavery". Redbook, 2014, 10 Mar 2014
- International Antislavery. "Child Slavery". Antislavery, 2 May 2010, 10 Mar 2014
- Hodne, Sherer. Carol, Jennifer. "Causes of Child Labor", Child Labor Public Education Project, July 2011, 10 Mar 2014
- Parker, David. Before Their Time, The World of Child Labor. New York, NY, W.W. Norton & Company, 2007 Print.