Did you know it was World Day against Child Labour last Friday?? No, nor did we!! But we thought you’d like to know something about it.

As a Fair Trade company, we feel very close to this subject. Too many times you find that children in developing countries are being forced into the workplace at an early age. There simply aren’t enough opportunities for educating young children along with a bigger responsibility to support the family. It’s common knowledge that many families cannot afford to send their children to school so they are sent to work instead.

No child should lose their childhood, this is something you can never get back once it’s gone so it’s crucial that we highlight the issue of child labour in this day and age to try to make a change. It’s not just that children are being forced into the workplace but also that fact that children are being exploited as they are vulnerable. They are subject to cheap labour and bad working conditions mainly because they and their family are reliant on their job and so employers see this as an easy target; it’s an easy way to cut business costs. Unfortunately, when there isn’t enough money coming into the family home to feed and shelter everyone, more hands need to go to work no matter how little those hands are.

Often child workers are found to experience harsh working conditions. They have to travel far away from their family making them even more vulnerable and stories of children being abused in the workplace are sadly very common.

This is wrong, and something that needs to change!

If education was more freely available, children would have the opportunity to learn and develop ideas about what they would like to do with their life rather than having their life predetermined by their family needs. With a good education, children can learn how to read, write, count, socialize and become who they want to be, not who they might be forced into being.

At Paper High we choose our suppliers very carefully, we visit them at least once a year to make sure that we are working with the right ethical companies. The company who make our beautifully handmade paper that goes into our leather journals and sari journals. Get Paper Industries are an inspirational organisation, who are always campaigning for ways to better their community, they make out handmade paper giftwrap. Just a couple of months ago they launched their ‘2015 send your daughter to school campaign’

We feel that education should be freely available to everyone. Through working with ethical organisations we’re lucky enough to be able to put a number of girls through education in Nepal.

In a world filled with big corporate companies and people trying to make more and more money, it’s difficult to see past the big smoke to the effects that our actions have on other people in the world. Complacency is common in countries like the UK where most things are readily available. For example; you can go to a supermarket to buy a banana, but bananas don’t grow here so they must have come from somewhere! We are so disconnected from each other we don’t stop to consider how we live so comfortably and whether our comfort is affecting someone else in the world.

We try our best to be as ethical as we can, and I’m not saying that we have the answer to how to eradicate child labour but I would like to leave you with this last thought; what if everyone could tell you exactly how and where whatever they buy comes from and how it has been made?  Maybe then we would hear fewer cases of child labour and exploitation.

This year World Day child Labour Day 2015 calls for: 

  • Free, compulsory and quality education for all children at least to the minimum age for admission to employment and action to reach those presently in child labour;
  • New efforts to ensure that national policies on child labour and education are consistent and effective;
  • Policies that ensure access to quality education and investment in the teaching profession.

(source taken from http://www.un.org/en/events/childlabourday/)


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