At International Day Against Child Slavery It is important to draw attention to the terrible situation that millions of children around the world are experiencing: 400 million children around the world, aged between 4 and 14 years, are slaves to work and of these, some 165 million have less than 5 years. These children live immersed in wars, prostitution, labor exploitation, hunger or mistreatment.
The World Day Against Child Slavery is celebrated on April 16 in memory of Iqbal Masih, a twelve-year-old Pakistani boy, who was assassinated in 1995 by the textile mafias, after multiple threats, for closing companies in which all the workers were child slaves.
This child was known internationally, since together with other trade union children he achieved freedom and began an associated struggle for the liberation of the millions of child slaves in the world. In memory of Iqbal, symbol of the 400 million child slaves of today, the whole world wants to claim theApril 16 as the International Day against Child Slavery.
And it is that child exploitation continues to increase around the world. In the South and in the poorest countries, child exploitation is multiplying as a consequence of international trade, technological monopoly, economic policies imposed by international financial institutions, and favorable treatment by governments of large international companies.
Children and adolescents are the most vulnerable and unprotected work group within companies that use minors through subcontracting in impoverished countries to lower the price of a merchandise that is sold in other places and that these minors will never be able to enjoy.
These children, who are forced to work, must abandon their childhood, their condition as children, putting aside play and school, to become cheap labor.
According to data provided by movements against child slavery, children account for more than 10 percent of the labor potential estimated at more than 3 billion people, and slaves contribute some 13 billion euros annually to global GDP.
Perhaps it is a coincidence, but today the World Day of the voice, which will help us to launch a cry for help against child slavery. Join us.
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