Child labor is no game
Well worth watching is the documentary, Not a Game, which details several pernicious forms of child labor found in the countries of Latin America. There is also a web site for the documentary which provides additional information.
The documentary has a segment devoted to the "curileros" of El Salvador, children who work in the mangrove swamps of El Salvador, harvesting mollusks. In this dangerous work, children spend hours in the mud of the mangrove swamp gathering shellfish while smoking cigars to ward off mosquitoes and the pain of their bites.
In a recent outrageous editorial, which could only appear in El Diario de Hoy, the writer opined that:
Part of the campaigns against the so-called child labor is the belief that a child, or an adult for that matter, is only educated in the schools. The thousand-year old experience is that the workshop, the farm, the factories, the stores and the businesses are equally effective alternatives.
The title of the editorial? Better to be a curilero than to fall into drugs. As blogger Hunnapuh put it, the attitude expressed here is a throw-back to prior centuries, of a feudal system where the grand landowners were the owner of both the lands and the lives of the people who worked them. But it's alive and well in the owners and editors of El Salvador's most conservative newspaper. Tragically, child labor and these regressive attitudes are no game.