Cindy Ragab


Under the fierce rays of the desert sun, in the heat of the summer, young children are forced to remove pests from cotton crops for eleven hours per day, search for recyclable goods among animals and the pungent stench of city dumps, and are sold to elderly male tourists through temporary marriages by their parents. This is the hideous reality for millions of child laborers in Egypt. Child labor is a manifestation of the pains of extreme poverty on the world’s most vulnerable population. Childhood is lost. Children are forced to take on responsibilities that in normal circumstances push adults to the brink. The accumulation of tasks from school, home, work and the community systematically chip away at these children’s abilities to be productive citizens in the future. The negative repercussions that result from child labor affect both the children, on an individual level, and the global economy, on a macroeconomic scale. The vicious cycle created by child labor is real and must be attacked in a strategic manner that takes into account all of the factors that lead to the practice.

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