Child slavery is a consequence of poverty, discrimination and powerlessness where the strong take advantage of the weak and vulnerable. A child’s lack of access to basic necessities (food, shelter, water, education), unscrupulous employers, demand for cheap goods, and poor child protection and labour laws result in millions of children experiencing abuse, permanent ill health and, in some cases, death.
You and I know that children are not products and in Canada, we do everything we can to make sure that children are safe, emotionally and physically. This should be the same everywhere in the world. Unfortunately, millions of children around the world live without any kind of safety or security and are constantly in danger. Can you imagine what it would be like to have your entire life sold for a few pennies? To have your life be no more than a price tag?
When we (Canadians) search the isles for the cheap items, we encourage the three D’s: dirty, dangerous, and degrading.
- Too Many:85 million children around the world are doing dirty, dangerous and degrading forms of child labour.
- No Boundaries:In Bangladesh children are tricked into sexual services, in India children are forced to beg on the streets, in Ethiopia children are sold into domestic slavery and marriage, in Thailand children are trapped on fishing boats and in countless countries children are pushed to work in dangerous mines, fields or clothing factories.
- Hide & Seek:Even when children aren’t visibly working in factories, they are often working underground or in sweatshops that are operating illegally. Supply chains often conceal child labour because the chains are so long and complex.
An estimated 85 million children are involved in dirty, degrading and dangerous work worldwide.
World Vision is a global leader when it comes to protecting children from horrible and dangerous jobs. We do this through programs that support the well being and education of children and assure that children can stay safe with their families. Through our work in 100 different countries, we are helping families and children see and achieve their full potential and reduce their chances of being exploited and forced to work for their own survival.
In Canada our No Child For Sale Campaign is raising awareness with everyone: the government, companies and citizens about child labour, exploitation and trafficking.
Around the world we have created programs that will specifically work with those communities that have been affected by child labour and trafficking. Here’s a tidbit of what we’re doing:
- Trauma Recovery Centre, Cambodia:Helping girls aged 9-17 recover from sexual exploitation and helping them find comfort in their communities again/
- Coffee Campaigns, Nicaragua:WV Nicaragua has created an awareness campaign to shine light on the fact that children should be in schools, not in the plantations.
- Night Schools, Bangladesh:We understand that children HAVE to work, so WVB has opened schools to help children get the critical education that they need to have a bright and promising future.
Use You: your name can save the world! Go to www.nochildforsale.com and sign the petition today! You can also download and print off a petiton. Urge Canadian companies to raise their own voices and provide safe working conditions in Bangladesh.
Check Labels: become ethical consumers and protect children around the world by being smart with your shopping! Look for ethical certifications on your products! You can find them on chocolate, coffee, wine, clothing, soccer balls… the list goes on!
Be Responsible: being aware of The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is very important. This demands that companies with suppliers in Bangladesh will protect worker’s rights and are financially responsible for the safety of the buildings. We want all Canadian retailers who have suppliers in Bangladesh to sign and be on board to make sure that adults and children are safe.
Be Honest: Companies need to be transparent about their supply chains so Canadians can be sure that our shopping carts aren’t full of products that have been made by the hands of children.
Find the Solution: the Canadian government must continue discussing what needs to happen to address the painful and inappropriate use of children in labour. These discussions with other countries and the International Labour Organization began after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh April 2013, but must continue.
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