Sunday, July 6, 2008

Morality in Destitution-


In 1989, I was a recipient of a writing award given by the Commission on Human Rights chaired by the late Mary Concepcion Bautista. It was a national essay writing contest with the theme, "Promoting the preservation of the rights of a child".

The protection of children's rights is provided for in the Philippine Constitution, for your child is your moral responsibility. This is the ideal situation. But the truth tells us that this is not always the case.

A television documentary in 1990 exposed the illegal activities of some small capitalists in the Visayas region which practiced child labor. They hired children with ages ranging from nine to twelve years old. They were forced to work like animals under inhuman conditions.

The time they spent working should have been spent for school.

Until now, I could not understand why their parents remained silent about the whole situation instead of fighting for the rights of their kids. Were they silent because they used their kids to help raised money for their respective families? Those children braved their fate just to help their parents survive poverty at their homes. It was obvious that the real poverty that engulfed those poor kids was not the absence of money but caused by apparent parental neglect.

A caring and a responsible parent need not justify child abused and exploitation as the only way to solve destitution. There is such a thing as morality in poverty. Why let the children suffer such fate? They were not born with a condemned fate.

Let this also be a call to unjust souls not to exploit the rights of children just to sustain their own selfish interest for if a twist of fate turns unfavorably on them, it is definite that they would not allow their own flesh and blood to be a victim of evil souls.

Did it not occur to them that once in their lives they were children too?

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