Troubling Issues of Child Labor in Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

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The novel Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys does an excellent job illustrating the troubling issue of child labor. The extent of child labor in a country is directly linked by the nature and extent of poverty within it. Child labor deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity. It is detrimental to physical and mental development. Today, there are an estimated 246 million child laborers around the globe. This irritating social issue is not only violates a nation’s minimum age laws , it also involves intolerable abuse, such as child slavery, child trafficking, debt bondage, forced labor, and illicit activities. In Between Shades of Grey , Lina and her ten year old brother are unrightfully charged 25 years of…show more content…
“ Worldwide, there are an estimated 246 million children engaged in child labour. Some 180 million children aged 5–17 (or 73 percent of all child labourers) are believed to be engaged in the worst forms of child labour, including working in hazardous conditions such as in mines and with dangerous machinery. Of these children, 5.7 million are forced into debt bondage or other forms of slavery, 1.8 million are forced into prostitution or pornography and 600,000 are engaged in other illicit activities.”
-(Karen Dukess, UNICEF Media)
Poverty struck parents who are out of options are often tricked into selling their children to middlemen for a few dollars. They are fooled into thinking that their child will receive care, a free education, and their wages will be sent back to the family. The harsh reality is seen when the child is denied an education and becomes a frequent victim of maltreatment, physical and psychological abuse by supervisors; a major will never see their family again. However, there is still a small beacon of hope. In Nepal, some children, like Maya Lama, are rescued. Maya was only ten when she was initially forced to work grueling 16-hour shifts in a carpet factory in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. Though child labor is illegal in Nepal, Maya became one of the estimated 1.6 million working children. Established in 2000, the minimum age for most work is 14 years old for work, with the exception of plantations and

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