What is there behind a label that says "dress for 9€" or "unbeatable prices"? What is there behind a toy, or a pair of shoes, or a mobile phone, or an ad for cosmetics, or behind certain brands…? Let’s have a look behind these labels, these prices, this publicity... They hide the sweat and blood of the slaves of the 21st century. Child slaves are present in every sector of the economy, where the human being itself is regarded as a throw-away commodity.
On 16 April, it was the anniversary of IQBAL MASIH’s murder (1995-2015), a Christian non-violent militant for Justice in the fight against Child Slavery in the world.
In commemoration of his death, the 16th April is the INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST CHILD SLAVERY, and rallies, different events, street actions and solidarity marches against child slavery were held in Spain and Latin America
On 16 April 1995, a child slave, Iqbal Masih, was murdered in Pakistan because he fought against child slavery.
Every day we can find products made by enslaved children, in our homes, in our streets, in shopping malls, in our consumption. At present, millions of children breath the smoke of rubbish landfills, they risk their lives as pearl divers, they work in the mines to get the minerals for our cosmetics or for new technologies, they are kidnapped to become child soldiers, they live amidst bullets and rapes in the streets, they are used for the trade in human organs, in brothels, in sweatshop... Children who have been deprived of their childhood and education. Children who are subjugated, enslaved, humiliated.
When we talk about an economic crisis in international forums and in the media, no one says that this crisis will be paid by the poor and especially by children who will be aborted or subjected to more bondage.
If we consider why child slavery exists and why it is on the rise, the analysis will lead us to the same causes of hunger and unemployment. It is the same causes, the same institutions, the same inner mechanism that produces hunger, unemployment and child slavery. The causes of this crime have a clear economic dimension: a radically unfair international economic system, tailored to the requirements of large multinational companies and of a global financial system seeking to maximize profits at all costs and having no qualms about using child slave labor. All WB and IMF programs, as well as those of European financial institutions, are geared to promoting this multinational strategy that directly causes child slavery.
Yet, child slavery is primarily a political and trade union crime. The political system, which is supported by large international organizations (UN, UNICEF, ILO...) and by all the parties represented in Parliament, has legitimized this situation and has done nothing to put an end to this crime.
All the reforms being carried out by Europe are causing more slavery and a greater growth of the informal economy, which drives millions of children out of school and into sweatshops, agricultural fields, mines and warehouses.
Also, this drama is caused by a unionism that has betrayed its history of solidarity fight, in enriched countries with its silence about child slavery; thus making evident their complicity and their lack of solidarity with the impoverished workers of the world and of Spain.
Child slavery is the first problem facing the world of work, and as well as unemployment, it is the result of a savage economic system.
Unemployment and Child Slavery have the same causes and therefore common solutions.
Child slavery is a moral and political problem, and its solution can only come from these two fields: the Moral and the Political ones. We therefore demand that unions and political parties denounce the causes of child slavery.
We must defend children’s right to have a school, an education, a family, to be able to play and become Persons.
From MCC (Christian Cultural Movement)'s Communique on the International Day Against Child Slavery
See the complete communique in Spanish and English on their web: www.solidaridad.net