Friday, June 12, 2009

Child Labor … Leave Us Alone

By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist

Child labor oh child labor
You steal our time to play. You make us carry heavy things. Every day we wake up in the cold to carry heavy loads of water, heavy bags of charcoal and wood.

Today is World Day Against Child Labor – a day launched in 2002 by the International Labor Organization (ILO) to raise awareness of child labor issues around the world. This year’s theme is “Give Girls a Chance: End Child Labor.”

At Christian Children’s Fund, we tackle child labor problems head on by supporting the basic needs of children in these situations. Children are missing out on their childhood as educational opportunities are sacrificed when they’re forced into work.

Child labor oh child labor
You steal our time to go to school. You make us so tired that even when we go to school, we are tired and just sleep.

The ILO estimates that 218 million children ages 5 to 17 are engaged in child labor – 100 million of those are girls, such as 15-year-old Monica in Zambia who wrote “Child labor oh child labor.”

Child labor oh child labor
Leave us alone, we want to play and go to school, we don’t want to carry heavy things. Our bodies are not strong, we cry out to you oh child labor … Leave us alone.

For more information about CCF and World Day Against Child Labor, click here to check out our latest news release.

(Note: The drawings in this entry are from children and youth in the Philippines and Zambia who were asked last year to depict what child labor means to them.)

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