How important is sugar to you and your life? Well, sugar is included in most of your meals and maybe your drinks. Every time you drink a coke or eat a piece of cake, have you ever thought of how hard people have to work to be able to produce that sugar that you eat. And some of you haven’t thought about it because the sugar doesn’t affect your life as much as it affects 2.4 million children that must work 7 hours a day on sugar field in Philippine to earn $ 3.5 because their lives depend on the field. The author of this week article, Kyung Lah has summarized the whole article in one sentence which is” Life not sweet for Philippines’ sugar cane child workers”
“We do not deny that child labor exists in our industry,” said Edith Villanueva, the president and COO of the Sugar Industry Foundation.”It’s a practice among families who are paid piecemeal for their work. They like to employ their children because there’s more income for the families.” While i was reading these quotes, I feel like this person was shrugging it off as a way of life because child labor is so common in Philippines that she doesn’t really care about child labor anymore. And when I read the part where she was willing to pay more money to avoid child labor, I thought that this strategy wouldn’t work because these families are so desperate for money that they would beg the landowners to include their children to work. In my opinion, the way that Villanueva raised the money was just tempted and I think it might bring the opposite effect of avoiding child labor which means raising money bring even more children to work because now they have a better chance of earning more money. I’m not sure if this company raised to money on purpose to get more child to work or they really tried to avoid child labor like what they’ve said before. The main problem about this is that more children go to work and sentencing them to a future in the fields and graduate cutting sugar cane than kids that go to school and want to graduate from high school or university.
“If you don’t change family attitudes and their values, then you don’t change their way of life. There’s a long term solution and it’s really education.” And I think this quote is so true. According to Philippine government, they said that 75 % of child labor will decrease in 2015. I think that is a good news but i don’t think child labor will decrease if we are all waiting for the government to do it because we think it’s their responsibility. To me, 3 years is a long time to wait for a change. Moreover, by that time, even more kids will be old enough to move up to hazardous working place and cutting sugar cane so we should take action as soon as possible. Look at Kony and how much they’ve achieved, I just heard about the campaign about a month or two ago and now one of his top leader is arrested. If we all get involved then I think child labor in Philippine might end in less than 3 years. Only a small action such as using less sugar in our daily life and drink less coke can actually decrease the number of child labor.