Nafisa Uddin : World Day Against Child Labour 2020; Voices of DCI Youth Leaders

I remember the first time I was introduced to the concept of child labor. It was the October of my sixth-grade year during my language arts class and we were learning about the rampant use of child laborers on cocoa plantations in Cote d’Ivoire. I was not ignorant of the fact that as a child attending a nice public school who lived with both of her parents in a nice home with warm meals and access to learning resources that I had a lot of privilege. But I found it unfathomable that there are people who purposefully deprive children of their right to, well, a childhood. What was worse, in a way, I was enabling those very people who were exploiting children.

What were most kids thinking about in October? Halloween—a time for thrilling chills and more importantly, chocolate! It was certainly what I was thinking about during that time. After learning about the heinous atrocities that child laborers experience, I felt sick at the dark irony that another child had to suffer at the cost of my enjoyment. How was it fair that I could enjoy the sweet that was a product of another child’s labor and tears? How was it even possible for something that an unjust to be tolerated?
That lesson forever changed my life. Learning more about the plight of child laborers and the misfortunes of trafficked children made me come to grips with the reality of how much injustice is justified simply because it is ignored. Protecting child rights is not just a phrase uttered by advocates; it is a duty that we all must uphold. Child rights is more than simply a goal; it is a principle that emphasizes that every child be given the opportunity to dream big.

I urge all of you to join in protecting children from child labour, now more than ever. Whether it be through online awareness, volunteering, or organization: get involved. This year has presented a host of unprecedented problems. But it has also given us an opportunity to strengthen our efforts and give all children what they rightfully deserve: a brighter future.
Youth Leader, Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI)

Nafisa Uddin
Youth Leader, Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI)

Nafisa Uddin lives in Tampa. She is pursuing a major in Biomedical Sciences with the goal of becoming a physician. Nafisa has been a dedicated volunteer with DCI since 2013 and has a special interest in female empowerment and health care issues.