"The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
According to the ILO (International Labour Office) « today, throughout the world, around 215 million children work, many full-time. They do not go to school and have little or no time to play. Many do not receive proper nutrition or care. They are denied the chance to be children. More than half of them are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities including drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict” e.g. as child soldiers. And please remember that the ONLY thing that gives healing power to a blessing is feeling it in the heart. Words per se have absolutely no power to heal.
From the bottom of our hearts we bless the millions of children worldwide who are living in conditions often bordering on slavery – if they are not outright slaves.
We bless them in their courage, grit and determination, that they may be capable of simply imagining a better future, and never give up on these dreams.
We bless them in their health and strength, that they may survive their usually appalling working conditions and impossible work schedules.
We especially bless those small girls and boys who at the ages of eight or ten are employed in brothels for locals or rich tourists, that the unacceptable abuse to which they are submitted not distort their view of humankind or crush their self-esteem.
We bless them that divine Love may somehow find its miracle path to pull them and all the others out of the pit of extreme exploitation and open a path towards a more dignified life.
We bless the businessmen, civil servants and politicians who tolerate or even encourage such exploitation that divine grace may lift them out of their pit of indifference or hardness of heart and lead them to take firm steps to rein in such conditions.
And finally we bless the Western supermarket chains and consumers who sometimes unknowingly but more often knowingly profit from such conditions that they may waken to their major responsibility in the creation of a world that works for all.