Child labour is described as a form of work that can be hazardous towards their development and education, and could damage their physical and mental health. Some examples include the illegal drug trade, prostitution and forced recruitment for armed conflict. Trafficking represents an estimated $32 billion a year in international trade. In 2008, the United Nations estimated that almost 2.5 million from 127 different countries are being trafficked into 137 other countries all over the world. Another report also estimated that 12.3 million people were working as forced labourers or were sex slaves, and that 98% of them were women. Along the Ivory Coast in Africa, many children are working in cocoa fields or plants. Most of them were told that they would be paid if they would work for their company and that the money earned would go back to their family, which convinced many to through with the process.
They were brought out of their village, and thought they were going on an adventure and that it would be a fun and exciting experience. But when they arrived, they realised that they were far away from home, and that it wouldn’t be as fun as they had imagined. According to the BBC, approximately 1.8 million children in West Africa are working in the cocoa industry. The chocolate industry is worth more than £56.5 billion a year and 40% of the people working on the Ivory Coast live below the poverty line. Children have been seen at risk while holding various weapons and pesticides and are forced to work from early in the morning to late at night non-stop.
The standards of living for the workers are horrible. They sleep in a small, crowded area with other workers where the floor is often damp with urine, making it hard for them to breathe. They get fed just enough to keep them alive and it is impossible to escape. They do not earn money and will be lucky if they ever see their parents or family members again. Experiences like these leave a victim with man bad memories that they will never be able to forget. Many could end up suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder,
and will get unwanted flashbacks.
Human trafficking and child labour affects victims both physically and mentally, and needs to be abolished as soon as possible. The way they are treated is not how they should be and this needs to be dealt with immediately.