Farnaz Khandaker: World Day Against Child Labour 2020; Voices of DCI Youth Leaders

Child labor is the exploitation of young children that takes away their dignity, potential, and innocence. It comes in many forms, including factory work, agricultural work, trafficking, other industries that prey upon children for cheap labor. They are forced to do grueling work using dangerous equipment in factories and operate heavy machinery on farms and plantations. Young children are often sold through human trafficking rings and are put into unimagineable situations. These issues are especially prominent in developing countries, where these children are forced into labor due to poverty, a lack of education, and a lack of job opportunities for adults. According to UNICEF, approximately 152 million children are estimated to be currently engaged in child labor globally. These children are forced to work in inhumane conditions and are often the only source of income for their entire family. Working in these hazardous conditions leads to numerous health complications, including chronic diseases, growth deficiencies, and other lifelong trauma.
We need to prioritize education for these children to ensure that they finally have the same opportunities as others. Although nine out of every ten children engaged in child labor are in developing countries in Asia and Africa, we cannot ignore those in Europe and North America. Social reform to help end child labor began in the 1900s in the United States, and while progress has been made there is still a long way to go. Children in Asia and Africa are still often forced into labor due to social norms. It is necessary for people in positions of authority to work harder than ever to eradicate this cruel practice.

Although there has been a steady decline in child labor since 2000, our work is not finished. As individuals who have never had to worry about providing for our families or receiving a quality education, it is up to us to take a stand for the children that cannot protect themselves. This is why it is so important to support DCI’s mission and help build a better future for these children.

Farnaz Khandaker
Youth Leader, Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI)
Farnaz Khandaker is a senior at Spring-Ford High School in Pennsylvania. She is actively involved with DCI’s mission and she appreciates this opportunity to help children in need. She is a highly motivated and dedicated volunteer for DCI.