Monday, 20 May 2013
Can We Really Live Without househelps?
It started out when a guy sent a tweet to Gidi_Traffic asking for leads to help him secure a househelp, he specified female, aged 12-15 and this caused a stir on twitter, and I’m honestly wondering what the uproar was about after all employing the services of under aged persons in our homes is as old as anyone can think of in Nigeria. This is not to support the trend but I feel we shouldn’t come out in public and cast stones when most of us are guilty of same deeds especially the married ones. The concept of child labour stresses that when you engage the services of under aged persons, it deprives them of their childhood, their ability to attend regular school, leaves them vulnerable to exploitation and wanton abuse and this is mentally, physically, socially and morally dangerous. Most people would argue that their “wards” attend school regularly and are treated well but is that enough? What yardstick does society use in evaluating what level of care should be given to these kids? Would you allow your househelp sit on the dining table with the rest of the family? Would you send them to the same school where your own kids have been enrolled? Especially where you have to pay huge amounts as fees? How far are you willing to go to ensure that you are not labeled an “abuser”? Most importantly who do we blame for the child labour malaise? The parents who give up these kids due to harsh economic conditions? The employers of child labour who cannot do their chores? Or the government for not ensuring condusive economic environment for families, not enacting proper punitive laws protecting the rights of these kids?