April 20, 2012
One of the great injustices of our world today is that millions of children are working in slavery. Far too many children lack access to good food, education, housing, health care, and protection pushing them to work in what are known as the 3D’s—dangerous, dirty and degrading jobs. These are jobs that are damaging boys and girls minds, bodies, and souls. Although it’s very hard to know exactly how many children are stuck in these jobs, best guesses suggest that 1.2 million children are trafficked every year for labour and sexual exploitation.
What I’ve learned after three years of tackling child slavery with World Vision is it’s not just an “over there” problem that only happens in developing countries and is the responsibility of their own governments alone. Everyone has a role to play in creating a child-safe environment both here in Canada and overseas. This includes the average Canadian mom and dad, the teenager shopping at the mall, local churches, the Canadian government and even big corporations. We all need to be working together to end child slavery.
As a way to get everyone involved, I’m very excited about a three-year End Child Slavery campaign we’ve just launched called. We’re asking Canadians to make a pledge to help “end child slavery”. We’re also offering concrete ways to carry out their pledge which you’ll find at endchildslavery.ca.
One of the first actions we’re asking Canadians to take is to sign a petition to Prime Minister Harper asking that the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking his government is working on addresses the international aspects of this shameful crime, the labour side of trafficking, and the specific needs of children as they are the most vulnerable to trafficking.
Please join our campaign!
Carleen McGuinty is a Policy Advisor – Child Protection for World Vision Canada
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