in their eyes

Today is World Day against Child Labour. I just learned about it through CARF's photostream on Flickr (thanks Dae!). Looking at their pictures, I was reminded once again of the paper that I wrote in grad school and about my dream to one day start a project together with the working street children back home. Grad school seems so long ago, I was very idealistic then and couldn't wait to change the world. Now, I honestly don't know anymore. Reality is so much messier than your dreams.

What I do know, is this: an estimated 218 million children between the ages of five and seventeen work in developing countries and these children are often engaged in work that are hazardous to their health and well-being. Seventy percent of this 218 million children work in agriculture, frequently working long hours under scorching heat and exposed to toxic pesticides. Millions of women and girls are engaged in domestic work where they are deprived of schooling, play or social activity, and are separated from their family and friends. And in some parts of the world, children are forced to become soldiers and participate in armed conflict.

These numbers, as reported by UNICEF and ILO (International Labour Organization), continue to grow everyday. And it amazes me how people nowadays are so apathetic about the bigger picture that they'd rather follow Paris Hilton's latest escapades while children are being killed every minute in places like Darfur. Yeah, I know there's nothing much we can do about it, but at least be aware that the rest of the world doesn't have the luxury to enjoy what we have and stop complaining that you don't have this and that.

Sorry for the rant. On a brighter note, its so good to see how online communities such Flickr have come together to support organizations working with street children. Read more about it and see the pictures here.


  1. you are not ranting. these things are facts.
    i cannot imagine kids living like that, not just because i am a mum, but because i was a kid too. childhood is a gift and it seems, a gift only for the rich.

  2. yeah, i used to work in a children's shelter in the philippines and the kids that we worked with had such sad, sad stories. but you'll be amazed at how resilient they were (and still are) despite their difficult circumstances.