Nepalese kids still in need

Central and North Burnett Times - - VOICE OF THE BURNETT -

AS FAM­I­LIES across Aus­tralia en­joy the week­end, it’s easy to for­get what life is like for kids who are, at this very mo­ment, be­ing robbed of their child­hoods. Millions world­wide are forced into back-breaking work for very lit­tle, or no, pay.

In Nepal, more than a year af­ter twin dev­as­tat­ing earth­quakes killed thou­sands and oblit­er­ated large parts of the coun­try, Plan In­ter­na­tional is con­tin­u­ing its cru­cial task of re­build­ing schools and run­ning safe spa­ces for chil­dren.

Un­for­tu­nately, we con­tinue to re­ceive re­ports of chil­dren be­ing forced into labour. It is es­ti­mated some 1.2 mil­lion chil­dren, some as young as five years old, are cur­rently work­ing in Nepal.

This is the sad reality of what can hap­pen in a de­vel­op­ing coun­try fol­low­ing a large-scale dis­as­ter. Fam­i­lies lose their liveli­hood and chil­dren are pulled out of school to work to survive. Chil­dren who have been or­phaned are par­tic­u­larly at risk, as they may be forced to work or co­erced and traf­ficked by cor­rupt in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

It’s hard to con­front, but it’s es­sen­tial we don’t turn our backs on th­ese kids. It may have been 14 months since the earth­quake tore their lives apart, but we must not for­get them.

The good news is that every day Aus­tralians do have the power to help get chil­dren back to the class­room so they can en­joy their right to child­hood.

You can get in­volved in sup­port­ing Plan In­ter­na­tional Aus­tralia’s work to cre­ate child safe spa­ces, to in­ter­cept when chil­dren are at risk of be­ing traf­ficked and to re­move chil­dren from work and get them back to school where they be­long. To do­nate /give/chil­dren-in-cri­sis.

IAN WISHART Plan In­ter­na­tional

Aus­tralia CEO

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