Only We Can Save The Children
From: Dick Meister
It's time we halted the spread of child labor by refusing to buy the products and increase the profits of those who employ more than 200 million highly-exploited children in more than 70 countries.
I remember checking into a small hotel in Coimbra, Portugal, with my wife Gerry in 1962, three very heavy suitcases in tow. Rushing out at the urgent clang of the desk clerk's bell came a uniformed bellhop. A midget, I supposed. But, no, it was a child, nine, maybe ten years old.
He smiled shyly and tugged at the suitcases, eager to lug them up the long, narrow staircases that led to our room. I wouldn't let go, but the clerk insisted. "It's his job," the clerk explained.
It was indeed his job, one that paid poorly and kept him from school – but a job necessary for his family's survival.
There were millions of others like him, aged 5 to 15, throughout southern Europe, and Asia and Africa and Latin America. They made up as much as one-third of the workforces in some countries. And they still do – fifty years later.
Although most countries have laws against child labor, and it is ban...
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Intro and OutroINTRO:
Commentator Dick Meister says it's time we took a strong stand against child labor.OUTRO:
Dick Meister is a longtime labor and political journalist.