On World Day Against Child Labor, we recall the millions of children who are victims of this scourge. And the worst thing is that 73 million children work in situations that are dangerous for their safety and integrity.
Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development insists on the need to "end the abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children". The numbers speak of a chilling reality: the number of exploited and maltreated children has grown in recent years. Thousands of children work in agriculture, in mines and quarries, or as child soldiers and, more terrible, exploited in a system of human trafficking and sexual trade.
Minors are a low-cost and silent work force. A child away from his or her family, who is mistreated, becomes a silent and obedient worker, because they do not know their rights or other realities. But behind the figures there are childhoods that have ceased to exist, boys and girls who do jobs no meant to be theirs and they become adults far ahead of time.
The Salesians in the world work so that Anderson does not have to get up at six in the morning from Monday to Sunday to go to the market to sell merchandise, or that Pyalo should not have to wash and prepare food in the house wherein he is servant; so that Noel should not spend his days making bricks and why Manuel should not go down into the mine ...
We demand that the international community take appropriate measures to ensure that children are protected, feel secure and can exercise their rights. Education is the basis for children not to be exploited, to transform their lives and to be agents of change and development.
Source: Misiones Salesianas