Saturday, February 9, 2008

Issues Affecting African Children #4: Abandonment, Exploitation and Slavery

Today's article comes from Guinea, but it is a problem that, like the others, affects children across the continent. I highly recommend reading it for more details on the specific crisis in Guinea.

The issues of child abandonment, exploitation and slavery are not new, and can take many forms. Child soldiers, sex slaves, indentured house servants, fisherman's "helpers"...the list could go on. Some parents actually sell their children, while others believe they are giving up their children to a better life. Some children are simply taken from the streets when they're forced there after parents die. Others run away from their own slavery and end up on the streets-- just another form of slavery as they are forced into prostitution and theft.

So much of this issue stems from poverty and lack of education. Poverty itself is a form of slavery. However, simply blaming the issue on the broad term "poverty" just doesn't cut it. While the ones who do condemn children to such a situation may be desperate, deliberately placing a child in a situation that brings death, disease, hard labor, psychological trauma, and a complete lack of freedom is vile.

One organization that is trying to help through education is Free the Children. To learn more about them, the situation, and to get involved, visit their site!

No comments: