Child Labor in the Middle East

Social Injustice

Purpose of Project

In both To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and "We Need to Talk About an Injustice" there is a call for equality and justice. Bryan Stevenson specifically mentioned that there is a corrupt justice system. Almost no one is treated fairly, due to their race and poverty. As a result, people are to start challenging justice and end suffering. In To Kill a Mockingbird, an unfair system is effecting many people for the worse. African Americans have no say and very little rights. Children in the Middle East are facing all of these problems by being forced into labor. We do need to talk about this injustice and we need to help stop it. By creating this poster, there will hopefully be a way for people to start caring and finding a connection to those children, and in the end help stop it.

Modern Day "Mockingbirds"

Today, there are 9.2 million child laborers in the Middle East and North Africa. The International Labor Organization suggests that millions of children ages 5 through 14 remain economically active, with most of them working full-time. These girls and boys are being put to harsh work with very poor conditions and treatment. Most of these children are forced to make household decorations such as exquisite carpets or intricate quilts.A young boy shared to reporters that he has been working at the local grocery store for a while, but does not receive any salary, only little tips. He finds it very hard to work due to his injured leg, but staying at home is not an option because he needs the money. Lastly, when reporters ask how he is treated, he made a face to indicate "badly." Most of these children are introduced to child labor by their family. These families receive such low incomes that they are nearly forced to send their children to work everyday.

Social Context: "The Disease"

In most cases, sending their child to work is a family's "last resort" to feed themselves. They are forced to do so by the tiny amount of money they receive. A main cause of this little income is due to the wars. The amount of help around the house is decreasing as men go to war, so children must work to live. Child labor is caused by poor economy and low-paying jobs. These children in the work force say, "they hate coming home to see their parents heart break over and over again." Obviously, these parents do not want to see their children head to hard and unfair work everyday, but that is their only choice.

As well as a lack of income, little access to education has also caused many children to be sent to the workforce at such a young age. The report indicated that Morocco has "one of the highest rates of child labor in the Middle East and North Africa, and one of the lowest rates of school attendance for working children outside of sub-Saharan Africa." (Amina Barakat) The jobs that these children are forced to work do not require skilled abilities. Children that attend school and obtain skills are able to grow up and find a real job that they enjoy. Overall, the more education a child receives, the less likely they will end up in child labor.

Our role in this social injustice is not large but still happening. United States contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan employ foreign workers for cost and security reasons. Contractors like to hire these children to do their company's work because they do not have to pay them as much. Also, the ways that the employees are treating are not monitored as closely as if they were in the United States, which allows for violent behavior in the work places. Although our role may be small, there is one and until these contractors and wars stop, the number of children in the work force will keep rising.

Becoming Atticus Finch

Atticus knows that it will be a great challenge to persuade the jury and judge do vote on an African American's side, but he is still trying. Overall, Atticus believes that courage is still fighting for what's right even if it may be a challenge. Like Atticus, the United States is currently trying to help prevent and stop any increasing amounts of children in the work force. More recently, the Child Soldiers Prevent Act of 2008 has been passed that denies the usage of children in the work forces. Also, International advocacy groups communicated with the international community to boost social protection for children to keep them out of the work force. Overall, there are many ways we are trying to end child labor for good. Although, it will be nearly impossible to end all of it, we are still going to fight for what these families deserve.

Works Cited

Works Cited

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"The Health Impact of Child Labor in Developing Countries: Evidence From Cross-Country Data." N.p., n.d. Web. Mar. 2007.