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More than 200 million children around the world are forced to work for a living, as denounced by various social organizations on the World Day Against Child Labor. Have you ever imagined your 5, 8, or 10-year-old child picking chili peppers in the fields of Mexico, or working in a tobacco industry in India, or having to do housework in other parts of the world? Well, just imagining it makes my heart clench.
The risks and abuses of child labor they are something that we must eradicate and with which to raise awareness worldwide.
The statistics are tough and difficult. There are countries like Mexico, in which less than 10 percent of children do not go to school because they have to work. They are stories that grow like the cardboard and plastic collected in the garbage of Peru, like the sugar cane plantations in Haiti, or like the number of children who are exploited and prostituted in the streets of many countries of the world.
The vast majority are children forced to comply excessive working hours, to live far from their homes, condemned to have no family, and some even to live like sewer 'rats'. They are children who do not receive medical care or adequate food and, as if all that were not enough, they have to endure punishment, abuse of all kinds, intimidation and other forms of aggression.
I wonder again and again why the rights of these children are not respected. These children should be in school receiving education, developing their capacities and acquiring skills that prepare them for access to decent work in their adult life. When starting to work so prematurely, they are deprived of childhood, education, their most basic needs.
We must make the population aware of the risks and abuses of child labor. Will there be some effective way to extend a hand to them, to prevent suffer physical, psychological and emotional risksSo that they can go to school and have the illusion of building a future, right? There will be a way for these children to live with their family and have a roof and food. That is what I say.
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