Friday, December 3, 2010

On child slavery and exploitation

The numbers around child slavery and exploitation are simply staggering, and there aren't enough people fighting back.

More than 150 million children younger than 14 years-old are child laborers -- one in six children in the world. Those children do hazardous work in mines or on farms, often handling chemicals and pesticides or working near dangerous machinery. Others toil as domestic servants in homes or workshops.

Another 300,000 children under 18 are child soldiers used as combatants, messengers, porters, cooks, or sexual servants in some 30 conflicts worldwide. They are most often forcibly recruited or abducted, or feel so helpless and overwhelmed by poverty they are driven to join the fight.

Girls are particularly vulnerable. Some as young as 13 are trafficked as "mail-order brides." Nearly 90% of domestic workers trafficked in West and Central Africa are girls.

No comments: