Did a child make these shoes? Kids push government to be more clear
Clothes, chocolate and makeup are some of the products made by kids around the world
When you go to the store and buy sneakers, you don’t often think about where they came from.
Knowing exactly who made them is impossible.
There’s a good chance that it was actually a child who was forced to work and paid very little.
It’s a sad reality: Rather than going to school or playing with their friends, many kids around the world are being put to work. It’s called child labour.
Eight-year-old Laila works at a brick-making factory in Afghanistan. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
And it’s something 16-year-old Mira Gillis is hoping to change.
“It's important to realize that there's other kids in other countries who don't get the same privileges we do,” she told CBC Kids News.
The Windsor, Ont., teen is part of a new campaign called No Child for Sale.
It’s sponsored by World Vision Canada, which is an organization that tries to help children and families living in poverty and who are mistreated.
“It’s very difficult to find out where our products are coming from,” said Gillis.
Mira Gillis, second from left, is one of 10 teenagers who are part of a campaign to end child labour. (World Vision)
The goal of the campaign is to force the federal government to tell Canadians if children made the products they are buying.
It’s called supply chain legislation.
“The legislation would make sure that [we] as consumers don't have the responsibility of finding out where our products are coming from,” Gillis told CBC Kids News from her school in Windsor, Ont.
“It would be the Canadian government that would make sure that we don't have to put the time and energy into that.”
That way, Canadians would know if the company that makes the products is exploiting children, says Gillis.
Gillis hopes that by being part of this campaign, she can help make a difference in the lives of children around the world.
“I believe … knowing that someone in another country, their age or younger, had been forced to make the product in unsafe working conditions, [it] would make kids not want to buy those products,” she said.
CBC Kids News spoke to Mira Gillis.
1) Why did you want to get involved in this project?
2) What should kids in Canada know about child labour?
3) Are you confident politicians will see this campaign and make changes?
What is a petition?
World Vision is asking people to sign a petition so Canada can adopt supply chain legislation.
A petition is a way to get decision makers, such as politicians, to see how popular an idea is.
Members of the public are encouraged to sign the petition, if they agree.
The more people who sign it, the more likely the government is going to take notice and make changes.
Petitions are also a way to teach the general population about a topic.