Hey all you lovely ladies!

Recently, I was reading an article on Huffington Post about free trade agreements between Canada and India; and it got me thinking about one important thing in particular – what this would mean for us women. The author did a wonderful job of outlining all the ways in which free trade between Canada and India would benefit both nations economically and politically. He also spoke about what this meant for children – forced child labor, trafficking, buying/selling of children etc., and he made some very valid points along the way.

  • “Making child labor illegal fails to recognize that poverty is what drives the practice and that banning it is equivalent to sweeping the problem under the rug”
  • “What is more, because many families need their children to work in order to sustain themselves, forcing an end to the practice will only make them worse off”

These are just some of my questions to you all: Say for example it was any two countries, how could we as women find solutions to these probable consequences as per the free trade agreement? What would be the best strategy to protecting the children’s rights while giving them the opportunity to provide for their families? Would providing them with legitimate jobs that do not involve child labour give them a better chance? Should we consider employing the parents so that the job of providing for the family is not solely resting on the shoulders of the young children? Will free trade agreements include the gift of educating those who are less fortunate or who are unable to attain an education in their home nation? How can the global women’s empowerment movement positively affect the outcome of these free trade agreements? Will these free trade agreements aide in the growth of women’s empowerment worldwide?

As I pondered the answers to these questions, I realised that, what better platform than World Pulse is there to discuss this issue. As women our voices should and need to be heard; our opinions need to be valued & more than anything, it is important that we as primary victims (along with the children) need to be asked these questions.

Who knows what could come out of this discussion! I’m for sure hoping to learn some great things from all of you! I figured even though this isn’t a part of our assignment, it is equally important that we continue our discussions, conversations and thought-provoking brainstorming!

I look forward to reading your responses! Much love & respect xoxoxo

PSPS… here is the article for further reference: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/peter-fragiskatos/canada-india-free-trade_b...

Comment on this Post


Free trade can actually make things better if we can understand how we can benefit from it.

First you mentioned of employing parents thereby relieving the burden of providing for their families from these very young children.

I believe its a very good option to investigate and see how parents instead of children could be employed in place of their children. But the people involved may not also like it because, they have tremendous influence on the children who can be easily bent at will to conform to their caprice and not adults, except if there is a serious legislation backing it.

May be we can advocate to have these children given better conditions if we cannot change the idea of employing children and also give them chances of education while still working, so they could at least have the option of either continuing this job after knowing their rights and what they stand to gain in order areas of life.

Remember that even locally, like in my country, most school children hawk on the street and are being exposed to the wild weird life of the street instead of being in school and some after school hours hawk different items. This have also led to girl child prostitution because most men find these girl children attractive and use the guise of buying their wares to take advantage of them. Despite the fact that they are arrested everyday and parents made to pay fines before their release, the practice still continue.

If we must empower our children, then we must speak up against child trafficking and child labour

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative

keep the light on

First of all, I just want to say thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my post. I think it's important that we continue to engage in such thought-provoking conversations, that allow us to share our ideas, collaborate and respond to questions that aren't always necessarily being asked of us!

I really found your answer intriguing - especially when you said that many of the people involved may not like the option of employing parents versus their children. You are so correct on so many reasons! - its sad that the idea of relying on children to provide for the family is so heavily entrenched within the cultural aspect of society - because of this its very difficult to break this trend or even amend it (to include education for the children, splitting the burden between the parents and the children, etc.) - furthermore, many at times just like you said people don't like or appreciate the involvement of "outsiders" - they prefer to handle things on their own

I agree with you on the advocating part - we should perhaps advocate for a better life for the children - which includes gaining an education while trying to provide for the family. Many at times, the "professional/self-acknowledged" members of the sex trade (individuals who have been in the sex trade for long periods of time) say that they are in it for so long because of the easy cash it brings to them. For this reason and more, it is so important that the children get educated and realise that there are other options to making money and they do not have to resort to getting involved in devastation (like child labor/prostitution).

Once again thank you so much for responding! I truly appreciate your insight!

Much love & respect xoxoxo

Thank you saving angel. i am happy that my suggestions / post was in line with the discuss and was actually appreciated. thank you for responding

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative

keep the light on