Millions of children still in slavery, and it must be stopped
India – The world should be ashamed that we have not ended child slavery. Not only does child slavery still exist, but the number of child slaves has remained the same in the last two decades. More than 5.5 million children are slaves. They are bought and sold like animals, sometimes for less than a pack of cigarettes. In addition, there are 68 million child workers and 59 million children who do not go to school. Each year, 15 million girls younger than 15 are forced to get married. The situation is completely wrong. Clearly, there is much work left to do. About 550,000 people have signed a petition to push the United Nations to strongly oppose child slavery in its goals for the next 15 years. These goals are the called Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Among them are plans to wipe out forced labor, end slavery and stop the worst forms of child labor
Now it is time to take action. It is not only governments that are responsible for ending slavery. Businesses, organizations and individual citizens must all help. They must pressure their leaders to make a change. Recently, we found that one-fifth of the children younger than age 14 that we rescued were working for family businesses. More than two-fifths of them were doing dangerous jobs that would be allowed under the law. For example, the children worked in roadside restaurants. They also made clothes, leather goods, makeup or electronics.