Tuesday, May 30, 2006

child slavery

Here is some shocking information that I have found out about child slavery (labour). Children as young as 5 [ :o ] are involved!

There is an estimated 246 million children engaged in child labour in the world. Of those children, almost 171 million work in hazardous situations or conditions, such as working in mines, working with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture or working with dangerous machinery. They are everywhere but invisible, toiling as domestic servants in homes, labouring behind the walls of workshops, and hidden from view in plantations.

Millions of girls work as domestic servants and unpaid household help and are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Millions of others work under horrific circumstances. 1.2 million may be trafficked, 5.7 million forced into debt bondage or other forms of slavery, 1.8 million into prostitution and pornography, 0.3 million into participating in armed conflict and 0.6 million are participating in other illicit activities. However, the vast majority of child labourers (70 per cent or more) work in agriculture.

A girl working in the reconstruction effort carries a tile on her head in the city of Choluteca, Honduras.

Different regional estimates indicate that:

* The Asian and Pacific regions harbour the largest number of child workers in the 5 to 14 age group, 127.3 million in total. (19 per cent of children work in the region.)
* Sub-Saharan Africa has an estimated 48 million child workers. Almost one child in three below the age of fifteen works.
* Latin America and the Caribbean have approximately 17.4 million child workers. In fact, 16 per cent of children work in the region.
* Fifteen per cent of children work in the Middle East and North Africa.
* Approximately 2.5 million children are working in industrialized and transition economies.

I was blessed (lucky) to be born in New Zealand (a developed country), where child labour doesn’t exist, would somebody please tell this to my parents though. ;)

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