Free the Children


Last summer, I became aware of a fact that definitely challenged me, it’s one of those things you are either unconsciously unaware of or willingly oblivious to.

I come from a culture where it is seemingly normal to have ‘house support’ aka ‘house girls’, ‘house boys’, maids or whatever term used to classify these people. Growing up in a household where you become used to such presence distorts what is apparent and unjust.

No one sits back to question where these so called ‘house support’ came from? Or find out the story behind the circumstance, most of them are merely seeking a better life than the one they were born into.

I believe that the reason most of us ignore the problem is because it seems so far and detached from us, that we can’t relate to it. The truth is if we examine our lives closely most of us are unconsciously supporting it. We live in homes were such treatment is tolerated and accepted as normal. Some even justify the treatment. However we choose to classify the matter, it is a problem we all need to help fight.

A few months ago, a missionary returned from aiding in Haiti to spread the word about what he witnessed. Prior to this, I was just like everybody else – choosing to remain oblivious to problems that seemed so distant.

He talked about how Jesus valued children and how the church leaders were failing to uphold their value by not protecting them.

Matthew 19:14 – Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

He spoke about how most of these people had such ‘house support’ who are predominantly children. He also talked about how vulnerable these children are, and how some people who pretend to want to help basically exploit them. Most of these children are victims of child trafficking; they are lied to and sold into slavery where they are grossly mistreated, abused, underpaid and overworked.

Whether or not you are a religious person the principles remain the same, ‘do to others as you would want them to do to you’.

Just to enlighten you, I came across this recently http://allafrica.com/stories/201102110285.html – this is a popular example of slavery we are partially aware of. Another example would be the ‘slumdog millionaire’ depiction which most are familiar with – the use of children to beg on the streets. Modern day slavery is very rampant in our world, it’s happening everywhere; some places are more subtle than others.

Did you know that there are over 27 million people who are in slavery in the world? This is a link to an article http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2010/142761.htm that explains the positions of various countries in relation to modern day slavery. You will be surprised to find certain countries listed and how they are classified.

Remember, most of these victims are uneducated and in some cases brainwashed, they don’t understand the injustice they are suffering, but that does not give others the right to take advantage of it.

We, the younger generation, need to come together and help fight modern day slavery. Ask your parents and yourself whether the ‘house support’ is being treated fairly. Where did they get them? how did they get them? Are they earning a salary? Or are they being trained? How old are they?

Although this is just one example of child slavery i.e. child servitude, be inspired to help spread the word about it, especially in light of the devastation in Japan and the crisis in Libya, such children are vulnerable to abuse and need protection. I got my motivation from the missionary, who in the end was able to impact a change in Haiti; think of how much more can be done in other countries. The  A21 campaign campaigns against child slavery and definitely inspired me to write this, here’s the link if you are looking for ideas on how you can support or help raise awareness: http://www.thea21campaign.org/index.php?optio n=com_content&view=article&id=150&Itemid=308&lang=en. Either way, become a fan of the cause on facebook and help raise awareness of injustices such as this: http://www.causes.com/causes/65217-the-a21-campaign-abolishing-injustice-in-21st-century?m=23001913&recruiter_id=165283935

***Be Inspired***

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