Oshin, the main protagonist of the Japanese drama, travels far from home in hopes that she can help bear the financial weight of her family. And in the process of her journey, we can see how she is deprived of attending elementary school, and even feeling obligated to endure verbal and physical abuse from her employers. She is forced to work away her childhood years, and although she emerged herself strong after her experience, that is not the case for many children who are forced into labour.
Using underage workers seems more appealing to many unethical organizations as it is considered inexpensive labour. Migrant and refugee children are at a high risk of being forced into labour as well as children of families who struggle during an economic crisis. Child trafficking also leaves young children vulnerable. These children are exposed to abuse, harassment, extreme mental harm and even violence. Many of these children engage in activities that put their health and development at extreme risks. As a result, such children grow up to many harmful conditions such as mental and physical harm as well as permanent disabilities. Sometimes these children don’t survive these brutal environments. In some incidents, child labour ends with disheartening news of death. Every year hundreds of children face threats of being ripped out of their childhood and forced into these unethical systems.
The growing ages of a child should be filled with a positive and healthy atmosphere, allowing the child to grow into their full potential and prepare them for the world. Child labour obstructs the process of children’s healthy growth and development. Every child should be allowed the equal right to be educated in a schooling system, as well as the freedom to play and learn social interactions before immerging into a professional environment.
Child labour is not merely a geographical issue. It has to be tackled globally. Many global humanitarians and organizations have started strong movements, and tend to make many positive impacts on the field. UNICEF, together with social workers have been able to play a leading role in recognizing, preventing and managing risks that lead to child labour and trafficking. Making communities aware of the danger in child trafficking, and the threats faced by these children is also a key factor in preventing the issue. It is important that these organizations also focus on safely directing the children rescued from these situations into schools and other forms of safe training. UNICEF also supports increased access to quality education as well as making sure that children grow up with their families.
In the present day, there are many laws and regulations that protect children, but the system has not yet been defeated. Our contribution on this day could be spreading awareness and keeping a lookout for these unethical practices in order to bring them into the face of the law. As a community, we are also responsible for expressing our feelings regarding businesses that violate and degrade the value of life.
Written by – Dinili Gunasena