Raishma Kazi: World Day Against Child Labour 2020; Voices of DCI Youth Leaders

The Fight for Child Labor Rights
Child labor has been practiced throughout all of human history. In the U.S., child labor reached its peak during the Industrial Revolution – kids as young as four years old were working in crowded, unclean factories with little-to-no protections. Children worked long hours, were underpaid, and were unable to receive proper education. In 1900, efforts to eliminate child labor were added to social reform; by 1938, legislation was passed placing limitations on child labor. In 1949, Congress extended protections, and today, regulations exist in almost all industries to protect kids within service industries. Though there is still work to be done, especially in the agricultural sector, the reforms related to child labor are the reason why children across America are protected.
Unfortunately, reforms like this don’t exist everywhere. It’s estimated that one in ten of all children worldwide are child laborers.
In least-developed countries, around one in four children participates in labor that is detrimental to their well-being. Africa has an estimated 72 million child laborers. Asia and the Pacific have around 62 million child laborers. Collectively, these three regions account for nine of every ten children being exploited as a labor source. The other children are accounted for in the Americas – about 11 million – Europe and Central America – about 6 million – and the Arab States – 1 million.
The importance of children being properly cared for and educated in any society cannot be understated. Proper education and access to resources allows children to not only expand their knowledge but cultivate ideas to generate progress within societies. An uneducated population of children within a country or region is in an indicator for where that area will be in the next era. If change is to occur, it must begin young. All children deserve access to proper care and education, but none of this can be accessible if kids are forced to work. If lower developed countries are to succeed, labor laws and protections for children are not only necessary, but essential.

Raishma Kazi
Youth Leader, Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI)
About Raishma Kazi
Raishma Kazi is an incoming freshman at the University of Texas at Austin. She is studying business, and hopes to attend law school after earning her undergraduate degree. Raishma has been a dedicated volunteer with DCI since 2009, working tirelessly to promote DCI’s message and help raise funds for the underprivileged.