February 5, 2019

Child labour in the garment industry

Do you ever have days where you’re in a bad mood because you didn’t win the lottery? Well, there are other kids who work all day in clothing factories. That where the saying “First World Problems” came from. Look on your shirt, there is a good chance that it was either made in Egypt, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Thailand or China. If so it was possibly made by children who are forced to work.  That’s called child labour. Child labour started in the 1700s, a long time ago and it “ended” in most countries at the beginning of the 20th century because Americans thought they were better than the African Americans and made them work for them. Every day, while kids like me are going to school, playing video games or playing sports these children in another part of the world, are making clothes that you might buy without even knowing it!  

Their parents need money and borrow from rich people.  Then, not able to pay it back they are forced to give up their children to pay off their debt. Their kids are sent far away from their parents and most of the time never see them again. They wake up early every day and start making clothes. If they refuse or they mess up they are punished brutally for it, they are whipped, starved, threatened with guns and sometimes their masters burn them on the back with a hot iron or their hands are dipped in cauldrons of boiling water.

Even now some companies knowingly or not knowingly use products of child labour. They look for better ways to make their products more comfortable and by accidentally find a comfortable cotton in a factory. They buy some to use for their products without knowing that it is Uzbek cotton. In Uzbekistan, children are forced to pick cotton from fields all day.  These kids would give anything to be like us, to be able to go to school, have good meals and to have money.

You’re lucky to live in a safe country. Don’t take it for granted!

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