Yesterday (June 12, 2010) was "World Day Against Child Labor." The only way people would find out that news if they were part of a network that helps to either abolish child labor altogether or improve the working conditions of child workers. In the United States, yesterday was all about the FIFA World Cup being held in South Africa because the US team was playing against England. All of Washington DC was filled with soccer fever yesterday.
But amidst all the celebratory screams for the World Cup, where heroes are made, the children of the poor are being exploited by greedy criminals around the world even in South Africa. In the host cities like Durban and Johannesburg, there are young girls under 18 being prostituted by sex traffickers to make profits on the influx of soccer fans from all over. And throughout the African continent, children who are capable of doing household chores are enslaved into domestic work for what I consider as (I'm not going to be apologetic here) insolent grown-up human pigs. If these children refuse to offer sexual favors or to do housework, they are frequently beaten, burned and sometimes killed.
A child is a human being. A child represents one human life that has so much potential if tapped properly. In all of history, vulnerable populations especially children--who are not powerful enough to fight for their own rights--have been viewed by people (who unfortunately let the animal nature take over their will) as a group whose only purpose is for their own gain like machines that can discarded or reused. We are all part of the human race. We are like a drop of water, as Mahatma Gandhi is quoted, and we all make the ocean of life. Everything we do affects others. Not one action can be separated from the whole world.
For the human race to advance into outer space (the ultimate frontier for human beings in my view), we all must make sure that we respect all human life as if it was our own. Many people think "not my child, not my responsibility." This is a wrong attitude to take. Each child represents a brighter future for all of us. Remember all the miraculous stories of child prodigies... These children were given proper care and education that made them into individuals they are. I don't think I'm being delusional to say "Imagine if this is what we did for all the world's children." Yes! This world would be the world of peace and progress we all hoped for. But as long as we neglect their needs as children who are growing into full-grown adults, we will never climb out of the mess the world is in today as it has been for millennia...
These soccer players were children too. They were nurtured with the best childcare and parenting in the world that made them the great soccer players that they are. And if we can get the whole world excited about soccer or futbol (as most of the world knows it by), why can't we create a worldwide rage against child labor?