Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | November 20, 2013

Today is Universal Children’s Day.

Today, November 20, is “Universal Children’s Day.”

Today, we should think of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which seeks to promote and protect the human rights of every child.

Clearly, we are not doing enough for children. There are still too many child soldiers, prostitutes, and cheap laborers, to name a few cases, whose childhoods are being stolen from them.

Concerned people in developed countries can look what they buy, and find out if the supply chains operate in countries where governments have failed to adequately regulate or enforce laws to protect children’s rights.

The Children’s Rights and Business Principles guide companies on what to do in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights.

According to the International Labor Organization, the countries that suffer the most from child labor are Colombia, Egypt, India, and Russia.

In Colombia, children predominantly work in agriculture, in coffee, sugarcane, cotton and rice production. They also work picking coca leaves and in drug processing labs.

Children also work in artisanal mining of emeralds, gold, clay and coal, as well logging and domestic service.

Many children who live on streets are continuously working while begging or scavenging for garbage. These children are easy victims of sexual exploitation and sex tourism.

These are some stories concerning children that send shivers through me:

FARC continue recruiting children while talking peace.

Paramilitary confessed fathering 24 children with girls under age 14.

Young girls in Medellin auctioned off for their virginity.

60 percent of Medellin’s criminal gangs comprised of minors, between 11 and 17 years old.

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