I didn’t prepare a post early for today so here I am thinking of something to write about. This morning early I checked my Facebook to see what has been said by friends and relatives. I ended up reading an article on child and slave labor. I’m not sure that I can be quite as adamant as those who actively battle for the plight of children around the world. Our values in the United States can’t easily be imposed on third world countries.
I read an article naming five large corporations that sell products we all buy that ultimately uses child labor for either the raw materials or production. The article advocated boycotting these companies. Granted, the children have no childhood as we view what an ideal childhood should be. However, in many places if everyone in a family doesn’t bring in a income the whole family would starve. Annual incomes that wouldn’t even make a month’s pay for a minimum wage worker in this country are common in less developed countries. Should we impose our affluent values on a country that cannot support the kind of economy we enjoy? I don’t think we can. Can we advocate for better conditions, especially where abuse and exploitation is employed? Certainly. There is a fine line. If we boycott companies that use cotton planted and harvested by children it will ultimately take food out of the mouths of those same children. It is a dilemma for sure. I don’t have answers, all I can do is pray for those children. It would be nice to ensure those children are fed, clothed, and educated. We cannot change the circumstances into which they are born. There are many horrors in this world, taking away the only source of income from a family by refusing to purchase products using their labor is not going to improve their plight. It will just make it worse.
So today as you go through your affluent life wearing cotton clothes that employed child labor to pick that cotton, surf the net on that device produced by child labor, think of those and pray for their wellbeing. If you’re of a mind to donate to organizations that advocate for better conditions without taking away income from a poor family. Donate to organizations that work to improve lives in third world countries, those that dig wells so a community has good drinking water, build and staff schools to educate the children, those who send relief that actually gets into the hands of the needy. Do these things, don’t boycott a company because that does not really change a thing.
Be generous today and do something that will make a difference.