Child Labor Today: Not Gone, But Forgotten (Part 1 by Gospel for Asia)

WILLS POINT, TX — Gospel for Asia (GFA) issues a Special Report regarding child labor today: Millions of Children Trapped between Extreme Poverty and the Profits of Others

Child Labor Today: Not Gone, But Forgotten (Part 1 by Gospel for Asia) — KP Yohannan

In a report written by Lee Tucker, a consultant to Human Rights Watch, about the problem of bonded labor in Asia, a young girl shared,

“My sister is 10 years old. Every morning at 7:00 she goes to the bonded-labor man, and every night at 9:00 she comes home. He treats her badly. He hits her if he thinks she is working slowly, or if she talks to the other children, he yells at her. He comes looking for her if she is sick and cannot go to work. I feel this is very difficult for her.

“I don’t care about school or playing. I don’t care about any of that. All I want is to bring my sister home from the bonded-labor man. For 600 rupees I can bring her home. That is our only chance to get her back.

“We don’t have 600 rupees … we will never have 600 rupees [the equivalent of U.S. $17 at the time of writing].”

Global Overview of Child Labor Today

These girls’ story is heart-breaking.

It is unthinkable that a child would be subject to such mistreatment.

It is deplorable that stories like this are all too common among the most poverty-stricken portions of the world.

It is beyond despicable that an estimated 218 million children as young as 5 years old are employed, and that at least 152 million are in forced child labor, according to basic facts about child labor published by the Child labor Coalition.

The facts also reveal several other startling realities about child labor. Among them:

  • Children under the age of 12 perform up to a fourth of all hazardous child labor.
  • Almost half of all forced child laborers are between the ages of 5 and 11.
  • More than 134 million children in forced labor are in Africa and the region of Asia and the Pacific.

If the 218 million child laborers constituted a country of their own, it would be the fifth largest country in the world, exceeded in population only by China, India, the United States and Indonesia.

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