Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The stolen generation...

Last night I attended a local showing of a child slavery documentary entitled "Stolen Childhoods". Wow. It was very well done and although I don't think it addressed all the issues that lead to child slavery, it is a place to start.

There is a great quote "Don't think that a small group of organized citizens can't change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has" Margaret Mead

Although I don't think that this film looked at the whole picture, similar to a doctor treating the symptoms rather than the problem, it is a place to start. And I believe that starting on anything that helps to make any child's life better is better than doing nothing at all because we don't know how to fix the whole problem.

Now I haven't read much about the industrial revolution in Britain, but I'm wondering if perhaps there are some similarities to what we are now seeing in many third world countries. During the industrial revolution, and also during the war many children were forced to work, either to help support their family or because they were small enough to easily fit into the small spaces required. I think that as these countries go through a similar development period we are seeing children forced to work again, but on a much larger level. There are way more children living in conditions that are deplorable. Perhaps we should look to our past to help them pave the way to their future.

I also had another thought, part of the problem is that the markup is occurring at the end of a product's selling cycle. Perhaps there should be some way to break down the cost of something fairly. For example a can of coffee is sold for $12... which is a 4000% markup from what the farms and the people who pick it are actually paid. Is there not some way to distribute the profit more fairly? Perhaps companies selling the end product need to realize that they are responsible for where their product comes from, and how it is made.