Are we sleeping?

When we think of child labor, visions of children working in brick kilns, silk factories, restaurants, farms, tea and coffee estates spring to mind. While those definitely constitute child labor, there are other not so obvious forms of child labor we don’t think about.

CBS recently shot a reality show with children called “Kid Nation”. They encamped 40 kids in an abandoned ghost town in New Mexico for more than a month and had the kids perform on camera for more than 14 hours at a stretch, seven days a week, making their own meals. No studio teachers, parents or guardians were present.

The reason for the reality show? Executive producer Tom Forman (the same guy who did “Extreme Makeover. Home Edition”) was bored with the existing crop of reality shows.

New Mexico’s labor laws were extremely lenient at the time the show was shot and did not include television in their child labor laws. It has since been changed to ensure such incidents don’t happen again. But what of the kids who were already affected by this?

Here is an example of child labor happening under our noses. But what are we doing about it? Most of us will probably get some popcorn and settle ourselves to enjoy the first season of “Kid Nation” when it airs in fall. And what about CBS? No law suit has been filed against them so far either.

We need to wake up!

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