Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Child labor or child prostitution?

Hey all! The presentation on child labor reminded me of a discussion I had in another class. It is not directly related to employment law, but I thought that if any of you were interested in what happens to children in impoverished countries, I would share this info with you.

Aubrey mentioned in his presentation today that often times when children have been removed from factories that are employing child labor, they are returned to the streets, and prostitution is their only way of making money. The link below is a documentary, "Born into Brothels," about a photo journalist who went to Calcutta to research the red light district. However, what she found was the children of prostitutes and how dim their future looked. Inspired to help the children, she taught them how to take photographs, in hopes of liberating them from their circumstance. The documentary is very touching and inspiring. I encourage all of you to watch a few minutes of it because it opens our eyes, as Americans, to some of the struggles of other countries, particulary the reality of child prostitution.

One really interesting thing that the video points out is the difficultly in adopting or taking a child out of Calcutta. It is so difficult that it is much more realistic that a child must figure out a way to make a suitable life in his own country. Does knowing that the children have no escape change our minds on child labor? What about when the only other option is prostitution? I am by no means endorsing child labor, but I just wonder if sometimes, we don't see the whole picture. What do you think?

Seriously, check out the video! It is something else!


Blogger spoehner said...

It's sad that for some children in some parts of the world those are the two options they have to choose from in order to live. Both options result in the exploitation of the children's bodies so that they might survive. While I don't encourage child labor, as you mentioned, after having seen Born into Brothels I have a new understanding and compassion for children who end up working in prostitution and think that child labor doesn't look so bad in comparison. However, the real issue here is that neither of these options are suitable or should be decided by a child so that he or she may simply survive.

Although I'm not sure how a country would go about doing that (besides passing legislation and enforcing) or why they wouldn't do that already, I think what it all boils down to is that without education and potential for class mobility, these will remain the two options for children.

6:29 PM  
Blogger nschutz said...

I watched about 15 minutes of Born Into Brothels. Some parts put chills down my back. There was a little girl who looked no more than ten years old (8 minutes into the film) who said, "One has to accept life as being sad and painful." The little girl is ten saying something like that due to what she has seen and grown up with. It truly makes me happy knowing I had a chance to go to school and get an education to change a situation I d o not like.

I like how Erin put the twist on child prostitution. What if it is the only option? It is just really sad that they have to do this because it is the only thing they know.

Besides passing legislation, there needs to be more individuals like the female photographer in the film who want to go there and help create change. There needs to be more...

Most of the children's photographs were fascinating...thanks for the link to the clip.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

In my gender class I just wrote a paper about child prostitution and how overseas it’s the only source of income for many families. What is scary is many American men (middle age and white) take trips overseas to have sex with these young girls. And their justification for this horrible action is the fact that they are helping support the family of this child. I’m sorry, no…you don’t have to sleep with a five year old little girl (yes it does happen) in order to help a family out. If a person really cared that deeply about a family, they could take them shopping, instead of sleeping with their children.
There is a demand for this children sex slaves especially in underdeveloped countries because of the spread of many STDs and HIV/AIDS. Many people take the children at a very young age because they are at that point very pure and clean from these diseases. The pimps, if these children are sold by the parents, will pay top dollar and will use these children as much as possible before they come into connect with a disease or become pregnant. If there wasn’t such a demand for these types of sex slaves then there wouldn’t be suppliers and there wouldn’t be buyers. The laws in some countries don’t even cover child rape, and more often than not these children are not look at as a victim but instead as a criminal for these actions that they are being told to do! The government has to stop taking kick-backs from pimps and others in order for this to stop….but I’m not really sure if it ever well, especially with the high demand for the young children in these areas as sex slaves.

7:59 PM  

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