Take a profound look at the photo above. Do you recognize this girl? She could be you, your daughter, me, or any one of us. Realizing this and the fact that we are all interconnected is integral in our growth and development into a truly humanitarian world, where leadership is based upon living and leading according to virtues and selflessness, rather than merely fulfilling the often evil needs of the ego. Learning to observe other individuals as a part of ourselves is a key factor in our willingness to express love, and compassion, towards other human beings. Mirroring ourselves in other people enhances our spiritual growth, as we realize that we receive what we do send out to others.
The girl on the photo above is one of all 1,9 billion children worldwide. She is one of our future leaders. The continuous growth of young population worldwide presents us with an ever-increasing, huge potential for greatness enabling us to develop the world into a positive direction, focusing upon virtuous leadership qualities, individuals growing and developing into responsible leaders who focus on creating sustainability and thus developing stable economies across the world.
Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest leaders throughout the history of mankind, already long ago highlighted:
“Education is the most powerful catalyst for change in the world”.
Through education we are given the opportunity to improve, and to influence, the course of evolution. Education is not only a privilege for a certain amount of children – it is a basic human right for every child in this world. Nevertheless, in today´s world, an estimated amount of 57 million children worldwide do not have access even to primary schooling, due to a number of reasons contextual to poverty. In certain geographical regions, there is an immense shortage of teachers. This is especially the case in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Child labor is another reason for children being denied access to education. Although child labor has decreased, currently an estimated amount of 168 million children are part of the global workforce. This alarming number is an actual problem that needs to be resolved, and we are all driving forces in allowing this positive change to take place.
Every child has the right to education, to a safe childhood, and to at least one responsible adult taking care of them. If this particular adult is having problems with raising a child according to the Rights of the Child, he or she needs support, education, and interaction from adults who possess a larger amount of awareness and wisdom in regard with this. A child, not knowledgeable about his or her rights, needs support and protection from responsible adults.
Child labor and a shortage of education lead to multidimensional problems across our globe. Solving these problems across societies is possible, and will quickly lead to improvements that benefit us all:
- Education is helpful in decreasing poverty, increasing both welfare and justice in the world.
- Education allows us to develop a more balanced world, where sustainable economic development can be created and maintained.
- Abolishing child labor and granting every child the possibility of having a childhood also leads to a world where an increased amount of adult population has access to work. The major industry employing children is agriculture (almost 100 million children involved), followed by the services sector (54 million), and industry (12 million). In addition, there is an estimated amount of 300.000 child soldiers in our world today. The APAC region (Asia and the Pacific), employs an estimated amount of 78 million children, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (59 million), Latin America and the Caribbean (13 million), and Middle East and North Africa with 9 million. Would you send your own children to work while personally staying at home? Could you imagine seeing your own child, or children in your neighborhood, being forced to become child soldiers? However much this may sound as a cliche, the capability of putting ourselves in the shoes of others, even thinking about our personal childhoods, helps us understanding that we are all responsible for helping children of this world.
- Education allows us to create and to build a better future, a future where children of today become responsible adults of tomorrow, making better decisions, and developing humanity into a greater state than the reality we are living in today.
How does this involve businesses, and business decision-makers? In EVERY possible way!
Responsible organizations all over the world, global enterprises, multinationals, but also small business owners, understand the importance of developing sustainable business practices, reducing poverty through participation in the creation of a balanced global economy, and the implementation of a CSR strategy together with an action plan in all activities, including at least following major factors:
- The definition of what CSR (corporate social responsibility) signifies in the first place.
- In all business activities, making sure that the CSR strategy is successfully actualized, especially in terms of supply chain and human resources management. In other words, this signifies a transparency in all business activities, making sure that no child labor is involved at any stage of production processes.
- Efficient and thorough communication of the CSR strategy to all stakeholders, including business owners, shareholders, employees, customers – anyone, who is involved in the activities of the organization.
Mankind is more peaceful than ever throughout its history. Despite of this, we are faced with severe societal problems that need to be resolved. An increasingly globalized world and technological evolution, where access to information has become easier than ever for the majority of world population, together enhance and help us in the development of increasingly sustainable economies, where every child has, not only the right, but also the possibility, to a childhood it deserves, and where every adult has access to work, and being part of the global labor force – working together for the development of a sustainable, flourishing global economy.
More information, detailed reports, and numbers are available through a number of sources, including the following:
Amnesty International. Children and Human Rights: http://www.amnesty.org/en/children
ILO. Child Labour: http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/child-labour/lang–en/index.htm
ILO. Global Employment Trends 2013: Facts and figures by regions: http://ilo.org/global/research/global-reports/global-employment-trends/2013/WCMS_202299/lang–en/index.htm
UNICEF FACTSHEET: Child Soldiers:http://www.unicef.org/emerg/files/childsoldiers.pdf
UN Millenium Development Goals. Millenium Project: http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/goals/
Thank you for taking the time for reading, liking, commenting, and sharing this article! Together we can drive essential changes and be catalysts for positive improvements, and development, on a global level.
Your participation, and becoming part of a global change and development movement, is extremely valuable.
Keep in mind:
“You are not a drop in the ocean – you are the entire ocean, in a drop” (Rumi).
Every voice counts and every positive action is needed.