Tuesday, December 16, 2008


It is an unfortunate fact that children around the world can become the victims of many forms of exploitation. These include having to work as child labourers, suffering from commercial sexual exploitation and becoming child soldiers. Jerit cyclists [the children] as reported by Pathmawathy in Malaysiakini were seen as some form of child exploitation by the state's police chief.

From Malaysiakini
S Pathmawathy | Dec 16, 08 1:01pm
The state's police chief said the Jerit cyclists were stopped in Rawang to "save (the children) from being misused and exploited by irresponsible people".

2. Children end up in appalling situations for a number of reasons, and do not choose to be exploited. The underlying cause is most often poverty. But in Jerit case it is political not poverty.

3. There are international rules to protect children , and prevent them from being exploited, but more needs to be done to make sure these rules are enforced.

4. Of course children are curious about the world, and it seems no matter how much information that you give them they are continuously seeking more. Political views are typically something that children at least initially pick up from their parents. Regardless of a parent’s political affiliation and viewpoint, it is only fair to teach children about a bigger picture so they can grow up informed and capable of making their own decisions.

5. Teaching children about politics can be either a path you choose for them or a doorway to their own political feelings. This is a nice thought but how do you go about giving them a big picture. A lot of children find politics boring. Finding ways that political decisions impact them and their family is one of the fastest methods of not only attaining their interest, but also showing them that political decisions are important.

6. But, whatever we do, we must not be seen as exploiting children, especially in the case of JERIT. There are laws to protect children from exploitation.

further reading:
Child labour
Child Sexual Exploitation
Child soldiers