Child labor is a serious problem internationally. Being from the United States of America in this day and age, it’s easy to ignore the issues of child labor because it isn’t prevalent in my daily life. Going day by day, going to school and participating in all of the extra-curricular activities that I’m involved in becomes somewhat of a routine and I totally forget how lucky I am. I am lucky to have the opportunities that I’ve been blessed with.
After seeing everybody’s presentations in Career Choices on different countries’ child labor problems, I realized how wonderful our area of the world is. Here in Washington, there are many laws that protect us from child labor. While I know Seattle and Portland are two of the biggest ports for human trafficking, here in Hockinson, I am safe. I am safe from the possibility of being forced into the labor force, and specifically protected from sexual exploitation. Although I risk my safety each time I go into the city, I am much more protected than most people.
In many other countries around the world, they are not as developed as the United States of America, and it is not uncommon to see children begging or prostituting themselves on the street corners. It’s not uncommon for more than half of the population of a country to be in poverty. Because of the poverty level, an endless cycle of child workforce and poverty continues and it can be a hard cycle to break.
Again, I am so thankful for the country and specifically the area that I was born into. I was born into a family who didn’t need my siblings and me to work to pay the bills. I wasn’t born into a place where I could easily be captured by someone who would like to use me for money. I hate that so many children are in the situation that they’re in and someday I’d like to do something about it. Children should have time to be children and get an education so that they can utilize their skills to further develop our world.