Child Labor, Trafficking, Abuse and Poverty

CHILD LABOR

 One in six children 5 to 14 years old — about 16 percent of all children in this age group — is involved in child labor in developing countries. In the least developed countries, 30 percent of all children are engaged in child labor.

Worldwide, 126 million children work in hazardous conditions, often enduring beatings, humiliation and sexual violence by their employers. An estimated 1.2 million children — both boys and girls — are trafficked each year into exploitative work in agriculture, mining, factories, armed conflict or commercial sex work.

The highest proportion of child laborers is in sub-Saharan Africa, where 26 percent of children (49 million) are involved in work.

Sources: http://www.unicef.org, http://www.ilo.org, http://www.crin.org

 TRAFFICKING AND ABUSE

Trafficking is a major problem in Africa. In Ghana, widespread poverty, gender inequalities and the generational trauma of the civil war in the 3 northern regions interact to create a toxic disaster for vulnerable children that supplies child traffickers.

Ghana is a developing country but 50 per cent of the population still lives below the poverty line of just US$0.40 a day which is very bad for any one to do.

In Accra alone, nearly half the city lives in crowded slums. Unemployment is high, and for many in the fishing, farming communities and slums, the lack of educational or vocational training has trapped them in badly paid, unsafe manual labor or driven them to commercial sex work, mostly the girl child. Some force their children to work unsafe jobs instead of staying in school.

Health services and primary education is theoretically free for the very poor, but in practice, corruption means that poor children are routinely denied access to hospitals and schools.

Abuse flourishes in this crowded and stressful environment, with widespread domestic violence, and chronic drug, alcohol and gambling addictions that lead to a vicious debt cycle that leave families ruined.

Child trafficking is a short-term windfall that quickly vanishes, leaving a broken family and a vanished child.

H.A.C – GHANA works hard to offer these parents, especially mothers, other income opportunities through micro-financing, vocational training and medical and social work support, to change the fundamental financial and psychological challenges that make their families highly vulnerable to trafficking. This prevents child trafficking by choking the supply of willing sellers of children. The track record for our community-center model to prevent child trafficking shows our clear success.

POVERTY

Every day 1,500 women die from complications in pregnancy or childbirth that could have been prevented. Each day 10,000 newborns die within a month of birth, and daily the same number of babies are also born dead.

Children under age 18 make up nearly 48 percent of the population of the world’s least developed countries, compared with 21 percent of the population of the world’s industrialized nations. More than 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity and modern forms of energy. Over 1.4 billion people in the developing world live below the poverty line (U.S.$1.25 per day).

Annual world economy breaks down like this:

  •     1. Low Income, $935 or less: 37%
  •     2. Lower Middle Income, $936 to $3,705: 38%
  •     3. Upper Middle Income, $3,706 to $11,455: 9%
  •     4. High Income, $11,456 or more: 16%

In developing countries, approximately 130 million children and teens — age 17 or under — have lost one or both parents. More than 9 million children under age 5 die each year. Two-thirds of these deaths — more than 6 million every year — are preventable.

Sources: http://www.unicef.org, http://www.undp.org, http://www.worldbank.org, http://www.who.int, http://www.freeworldacademy.com, http://www.un.org, http://www.timesofindia.com

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