By Ariadna Pavlidis-Sanchez

“Children are the most vulnerable to cruel, harsh and systematic exploitation. It grinds down their hope. It denies them their childhood”                                   www.anti-slaverysociety.addr.com
                                                                                   
What was your job at 4 years old? Washing the dishes with your mom? How about picking tobacco leaves at a farm? Like many children around the world, little Audelia at just 4 years old wakes up every morning to go work at the tobacco farm. They work from day to night with little to no food. They go to sleep expecting a hard day of work everyday. No breaks, no days off. Child labor is detrimental because it gives children at a very young age a lot of responsibility with little to no reward. Children are given work in hazardous conditions, are not given enough money to thrive, and are stripped from them from their childhood.
 
Companies everyday are making money off of other people’s suffering. They think that by paying for cheap labor, they will benefit greatly. The article, “Voices From the Field: Mexico” by Karen Fanning, states that “Often, families work from sunrise until sunset for little more than $1 an hour.”
 
While children are working very hard for little pay, companies are making more money without worrying about paying their employees. With so much work that needs to be done, employers are making more money than they would make if they paid laborers.
 
Many people believe that if we don’t make kids work at young age, they won’t have good work habits in the future. This is true in some sense, but when compared to the many hours children work every day, it’s just not healthy. Kids can spend their whole childhood working on the field and never live a happy life. Children and their families barely make enough money to thrive. Living off a dollar an hour is no way to live.
 
Most people in America are lucky enough to have a roof over their heads, unlike others all across the world. We are fortunate enough to have laws against child labor and abuse but other people across the world aren’t.
 
Companies don’t care about how they get their products, they care about getting their products, period. Exploited in Industry, on the website www.anti-slaverysociety.addr.com, reveals the mistreatment of child laborers: “Ill-treatment and disease often mark them for life. Lungs are damaged by dust and fumes, backs are malformed through crouching or carrying heavy loads, eyesight ruined by working in poor light.” The harsh conditions these children are working in can affect them for life. The carelessness of companies causes many deaths and injuries every day.
 
Hard work, every day, non-stop is just plain dangerous. And for children, this is even more dangerous, but that’s how a lot of kids make a living everyday around the world. By doing such strenuous activities at such a young age, children are deprived of their childhood. All kids dream of having the perfect childhood, not having any responsibility, going to school, and eating all the food that they want. Unfortunately, that’s not how it is Afghanistan, Pakistan, and many other countries less fortunate.
 
These kids are so vulnerable to abuse that they can’t protect themselves. Children are kept small and frail so that they can work on the task at hand with ease. Instead of growing up to be successful, they either stay slaves, or do not have the education to go on to other more important jobs that can support them financially.
 
The conditions child laborers experience are extremely dangerous. They are not able to support themselves and their families financially. Their childhoods are destroyed. In addition to the financial deficits, children can be injured severely and precious time, which could be spent on learning and playing, is spent working hard for the sake of staying alive.
 
Many people are not aware of the dangers of child labor. Being unaware of the circumstances that kids are suffering is detrimental. If the world knew, this tragedy could be stopped and the world could be a better place.
 
The eradication of child labor depends on future generations and what they know.

photo credit: nationalgeographic.com

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