Mr. Speaker, June 12 is World Day Against Child Labour. The term “child labour” is sometimes difficult for us to understand because in a country like Canada, we are extremely blessed. However, more than 168 million children worldwide do not enjoy the same protection that our children do. I am talking about child slavery. I am talking about children who are sold into debt bondage, children who are required to traffic drugs, children who are forced into armed conflict, and children who are prostituted.
In North Korea, elementary children are forced to work the farm and are beaten and starved if they refuse. In Iraq and Syria, children are captured by ISIS and forced to work in sweatshops. When the girls get a little older, they are sold into sex slavery. Across the Congo, young children are forced to dig through mud in order to mine for diamonds and other precious minerals. These are just a few examples of this abhorrent practice across the globe.
Today, I join with those who are working on the front lines to end child slavery and I call upon the Canadian government to stand up, speak out, and do a whole lot more.