June 12th Factory Raid in India

Child labor is not going away. UNICEF estimates there are over 250 million children across the globe, from the ages of 5-14, that work is some form of child labor. Not only are children doing such intense labor, but they are working in some of the most horrific environments. Thankfully, some governments are working to eliminate the use of child labor.

In the battle to fight against child exploitation, India recently passed a law that mandates all children, up to the age of 14, to receive a full education. However, the poverty-stricken country forces some children to work, and “certain industries that involve intricate machinery or delicate handiwork prefer their smaller hands.”

Yesterday, on June 12th, New Delhi Police administered raids in several “factories in the Indian capital,” revealing “dozens of migrant kids hard at work… despite laws against child labor. Police rounded up 26 children from three textiles factories and a metal processing plant, but dozens more are believed to have escaped. “Some of them were working in acid and metal,” with the task of breaking down metals and mixing alloys, said Kailash Satyarthi of India’s charity Save the Child. Some were embroidering women’s clothing including saris and had been coached to deflect questions from authorities about their work.”

“There are at least hundreds of thousands of children toiling in hidden and hazardous corners of India, including brick kilns, pesticide-laden fields or chemical factories. Sometimes, the factories promise the children only food and a place to sleep. Sometimes, they pay for the children’s work in advance to their parents when the kids are taken for work — a situation that Satyarthi said essentially amounts to child slavery. The charity(Save a Child) said it rescued 1,300 children last year from work in Delhi factories.” In this recent raid, “five men were arrested on charges of employing the children.”

While the police have impacted the fight to deplete of child labor, there are still millions of young children working. You can help fight against child labor by joining Save a Child or by purchasing Fair Trade Certified products.

To view the article written by Katy Daigle, click here.

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