Les Miserables Labor

Decent Essays
An estimated 168 million children worldwide are engaged in child labor. Nearly 60% of the children are doing hazardous work that directly harms their health, safety, and moral development. Most child laborers worked in the fields. Some fought; and others became slaves. In the fictional novel Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, there are three main problems leading to the loss of childhood. Becoming an enslaved child, being forced into labor, losing their innocence by killing, and all while losing the chance to go through a peaceful childhood. Characters Jean Valjean and Costte have suffered in many ways. Jean Valjean went to jail for of stealing a loaf of bread; and Cosette, who became a child slave for a family. By saying “…dwarfing…show more content…
He wakes up at 6 in the morning daily, and heads straight to the cocoa fields. While he walks to the fields; he sees other children walking to school. “He reaches the fields at sunrise and uses his machete to slice ripe cocoa pods from the tree…carries the cocoa pods…hacks them open and gathers the beans…we expect to see 10 year old… carrying backpacks. Not machetes.” (A Story of Chocolate and Labor) Emmanuel’s work in the fields deprives him of a safe and happy childhood. He loses the chance to develop his academic skills and many more. Alberto, another child laborer, has been working on local corn and coffee farms in the Western El Salvador. He works from 4 in the morning to 6 at night. He lives in a house made of clay and wood. “… [He uses] his bare hands to pluck coffee beans from trees or break up land, plant and harvest corn. He suffers from respiratory sickness; poor nutrition…[it can take] days [for Alberto] to travel through coffee forests to harvest the beans required for a 100 pound bad of coffee bean…earn only $8.00-$10.00 for this work.” (A Child in the Coffee Forests) This shows how Alberto spends his entire childhood harvesting coffee beans and corn. Emmanuel and Alberto both are forced into labor and is not in a safe environment. Both wake up very early in the morning to work, instead of attending
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