Children's Rights: Young and Vulnerable

Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in Portugal, just before her fourth birthday in May last year, is a vivid reminder of the vulnerability of children.Minors can be exploited for domestic slavery, work in brick kilns, mines, agriculture, fisheries, construction, begging rings and on market stalls, as well as in pornography and prostitution. They may be sold into forced child marriages, for adoption or be drawn into combat as child soldiers. Children have even faced abuse from United Nations peacekeeping troops and those working for non-governmental organisations, who are meant to protect their rights.

The World Today
4 minute READ

Mary Buckley

Visiting Fellow, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge

At eight years old, Madesh was carrying twenty kilos of bricks on his head. At ten, he was moved to another Indian kiln, still continuing to pay-off his inflated debt bondage. He laboured this way for fifteen years before being rescued.

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