The UN General Assembly has urged the international community to step up efforts to eradicate forced labor and child labor, and declared 2021 as the Year for the Elimination of Child Labor.
Did you know…?
- 152 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 were in child labor—almost half them, 73 million, in hazardous child labor.
- Hazardous child labor was most prevalent among children aged 15 to 17. Nevertheless, up to a fourth of all hazardous child labor (19 million), was carried out by children under the age of 12.
- Almost half (48 per cent) of the victims of child labor were aged 5-11 years; 28 per cent were 12-14 years old; and 24 per cent were 15-17 years old.
- Child labor is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71 per cent) – this includes fishing, forestry, livestock herding and aquaculture – 17 per cent in services; and 12 per cent in the Industrial sector, including mining.
- Children living in extreme poverty are most at risk for trafficking and more likely to be exploited in forced labor.
Ending trafficking in all forms is one of the five focus areas of the AMSSND Integral Vision and its commitment to the dignity of life and the care of all creation.
What can you do?
- LEARN: Educate yourself about the facts, issues, and solutions
- WRITE: Contact Members of Congress
- CONTRIBUTE: Donate to groups working to protect children
- SHOP: Buy Fair Trade products
Then the children were brought to Him that He might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them but Jesus said "Let the children come to me and do not prevent them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:13-14)
Today, we pray for the children deprived of their childhood and prevented from flourishing because they are forced to work.
We pray for the people who force children into labor, that they will realize what they are doing and repent of their evil ways.
We pray for all parents, that they will have the material and spiritual resources they need to provide for and protect their children, and that we will all find ways to be neighbors to those in need.
We pray for all the world to become more aware of forced child labor, and for that awareness to motivate transformative action.
Jesus, help us to realize how precious each child is to you.
We ask this in the name of the Blessed Trinity. Amen.