“Three Major Problems Children Face: Lack of Access to Education, Child Labor, and Child Hunger” by Rehan Kabir

2015 Child Rights Essay Competition: 1st Place, Group 1 (Grades 5-8)

Rehan Kabir – Gaithersburg, MD / Clearspring Elementary School

Rehan KabirAs a 10-year-old child living in a prosperous country as the USA, it is hard to imagine that there are millions of children who don’t have access to education, or who have to labor all day, or have no food to eat. Unfortunately, it is true, and there are many children like that in Africa and Asia. I believe we need to help them one way or another.

Lack of access to education is a major problem for children, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. According to the UNICEF and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 58 million children between the ages of six and 11 still don’t have any access to education, while 63 million adolescents are also out of school [1]. Education is crucial to productivity. Children need to explore various aspects of their lives. Only by learning they will be productive and have a good life. We can solve this problem by building more schools, and taking care of other related problems such as child labor and hunger, which I will discuss later. I have access to education; I go to school every day and learn many things; I am very fortunate to have access to good education. As a child, I don’t know how to solve the problem of education, but I believe that all children should have access to education no matter what, and our world leaders should work for it.

Child labor is another major problem in the world. Children had been slaves and servants all throughout our history. However, children became widely used as laborers during the Industrial Revolution. The main reasons were: their size allowed them to move in spaces adults could not, children could also be disciplined and managed more easily than adults, and they were made to work for long hours, for very low wages, in dangerous factory conditions [2]. Some child labors are not even allowed to have education. The problem of child labor still exists today. It is possible that the clothes I am wearing now were made by child laborers. I have not thought of a way to solve the problem, but to at least make the situation better, child laborers should get free education. Being a laborer is bad enough; not having education on top of that is the worst. They need to learn things other than laboring to have a good life, as I said before. I do not do child laboring myself because my parents provide for me. I have to do some chores sometimes, but other than that, I don’t do any laboring. No child should have to do any laboring.

Lastly, there is child hunger. In 2010, an estimated 7.6 million children (more than 20,000 a day) died. Poor nutrition plays a role in more than three-fourths of the deaths [3]. Almost one in every fifteen children in developing countries dies before the age of five because of starvation. Every fifteen seconds, a child is dying of hunger [4]. To solve this problem, we must donate more to the hungry. There are many organizations to help hungry people. You should join one and you will find yourself making and collecting food and donating it to other countries. It is very helpful because the more we give the more lives are being saved. In my family, we have a sufficient amount of food and my mom is a great cook. So I have a great meal every day. I wish it was the same for everyone.

As I have explained, lack of access to education, child labor, and child hunger are major problems. The current efforts we do are not enough, so we must do more to solve them. I really hope that one day the children who are suffering now will become like me and have enough to live a good happy life.

[1] Petrozio, Matt. Millions of World’s Children Still Lack Access to Education. February 3, 2015 (based UNESCO report). http://mashable.com/2015/02/03/global-education-children/#mcR44V7.Fuk (accessed on September 13, 2015)
[2] Child Labor. http://www.history.com/topics/child-labor (accessed on September 13, 2015)
[3] 11 Facts About World Hunger. https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-world-hunger (accessed on September 13, 2015)
[4] Alexander, Ruth. Does a child die of hunger every 10 seconds? http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22935692 (accessed on September 13, 2015)