I just finished watching this heart-wrenching video on child labor in India. It shows images of young children making colorful Christmas ornaments, gifts and trinkets, where they are forced to work more than 12-hour days in cramped, dimly lit workshops away from their families. It broke my heart to see the children painstakingly assembling the shiny, pretty baubles, using sharp objects like needles and even broken glass, for the rest of the world to enjoy during the holiday season. The irony of it is maddening.
If these children went to school instead of having to work to take care of themselves, then they would be able to have a better chance of succeeding at life. But they don’t even have that chance. When I think about the fact that there are nearly 115,000,000 child laborers in the world, my mind can’t comprehend it. The children in this video are working at a sweatshop – but what about the other children who are forced to work at more hazardous jobs, exposed to harmful chemicals or pesticides, or worse, sell their bodies in the streets?
At the end of the video, a team of humanitarian workers save a group of child laborers from their sweatshop prisons and send them back to their parents with the hopes of going back to school. But those are only a few children. We need to ensure that ALL children are freed from this horrific circumstance.
Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, is asking you to call on the Indian Parliament to pass the Child and Adolescent Labor Abolition Bill to abolish child labor under 14 years of age and ensure all children can go to school. And call on the UN to take concrete action to get all primary school age children out of work and into school by 2015 and end child slavery.
All they need for you to do is sign the petition here. The Education Envoy will send you updates with actions to keep you informed on this issue.
Please watch this video, then share on Facebook or Twitter. As the narrator says: no child should go to work unless it’s schoolwork.