12 June, 2007

Eliminating Child Labor

Traditionally, Africans have always been most kind and caring to children. But as with most things in Africa, traditions have been corrupted and replaced with selfish greed and consumerism. It is now very common, all across Africa - to see or find children being used as labor; from construction to mines - more and more children are being used and exploited. Often in hazardous and unhealthy conditions; and often underpaid and many times - abused. Worse, many are being used as sex slaves.

Can child labor be eliminated? Only by eliminating its main cause: poverty. And poverty can only be eliminated by leaders; caring and concerned leaders. Billions are wasted in wars. Billions too, are stolen from public coffers by unscrupulous 'leaders'. If only World leaders can spend as much time on issues related to children as they do spend on those related to wars and the destruction of others - our world would be a much better place to live in. As for the last G8 summit - I have to concur with Bob Geoldof: it was 'a farce'. The World's richest nations seem to be, now, getting in to the habit of using Africa as propaganda. Promises made to Africa during these 'summits' - are hardly kept; and any so called 'aid' or 'assistance' given to Africa, after - are done so with so many strings attached that in the long run, it is the donor country which benefits.

A few days ago the World celebrated 'World Day Against Child Labour'. But look around. Look around especially in developing countries; Africa in particular - is there much to celebrate? I some times wish and dream. Wish and dream for a world that is what Africa was long ago; was to and for children. Ever watched the movie 'The Gods Must Be Crazy'? To most of us the South African Bushmen might be 'primitive' and 'backwards' - but who is truly so: US, now, who selfishly exploit and use children or they, the Bushmen, who have children as the center and main concern and focus of their communities?

Photo: Flickr

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