Illegal Labor

Growing up as I kid I had life relatively easy. Monday through Friday I went to school and saw all of my friends. On the weekends, I hung out with friends and relaxed at home and watched cartoons. Many kids don’t have the luxury of going to school, relaxing, hanging with friends and watching cartoons. In fact, many kids get up, and go work long and gruesome hours at a factory, and is paid little to nothing. My mind by two articles I read. One from VOA News titled “Tanzania Struggles to End Child Labor.” This article tells the story facing the children of Tanzania. The second is from a Chinese news outlet named Sixth Tone; the article is named “Undercover Child Labor Video Leads to Arrests.

A boy named Julius left his family when he was 14 years old to go work in the gold mines in Nyaligongo, Tanzania. The main reason the boy works there is that the job pays well, and he needs to provide for himself and his family. Not only does Julius have one of the most dangerous jobs, but he also handles mercury with his bare hands. In Tanzania kids, 14 and under are not allowed to work. No kid can handle dangerous material like mercury. Due to low funding and staff, the government struggles to catch and stop operations that employee kids so young. Many residents don’t know that it’s illegal to employee kids at young ages. “At the primary school down the road, teachers are less impressed with mining’s promise of a good future. A poster on the school office wall is a testament to the number of children who leave to work when they are old enough. This year, in Class 1, there are 236 students aged 6 and 7, while in Class 7 there are only 40 students aged 13 and 14”.

In Eastern China, two men who were managers of a clothing factory were arrested due to violations of child labor laws. Multiple children were seen on hidden-camera working in what many would call a sweatshop. The employees would work 16 hour days and were the target if abuse by the supervisors if they don’t complete the task. A foreman was heard on tape saying “Agents find the workers in the countryside, they are easily deceived.  Many were brought in last year from Yunnan province, in China’s southwest”.

Both articles look at how child labor is still going on illegally in countries, that are aware of it. Just like in the Industrial Revolution kids worked long hours, with little to no pay, and in many cases, have no other options. This was a problem facing a super power like England in the 18th century and is still facing society currently. Those who are supposed to be the future, are being robbed of their future. By not being educated and prepared to step into leadership, society is being prepared to fail.


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