Responsibility lies squarely on the government

Dear Editor,

Re: Child vendor abuse 

UN convention on the rights of a child stipulates in Article 4:

“The government has a responsibility to make sure your rights (child under 18 yrs of age) are protected. They must help your family to protect your rights and create an environment where you can grow and reach your potential.”

In my humble opinion, this is about a flourishing working economy with lots of job opportunities. That is the responsibility of a government, if the parents can find good employment. Then the children will not be subjected to child labour to help the family get by. 

However, Jeff, Holly and Stui see things differently, their interpretation of ‘government responsibility’ is all about creating laws to punish parents and accusing parents for sending their children on the street. 

It’s horrible and horrendous, 9 point something million dollars of taxpayers and foreign donations is spent on government officials and their children but there’s nothing for the common man’s children.

In Article 5:

“Your family has the responsibility to help you learn to exercise your rights, and to ensure that your rights are protected.”

What can the common person do if he’s reaching his limitation as a human being trying to find ways to support the family? 

Subsistence farming which is favored by Jeff is quite labour intensive and the whole family is required to pitch in. 

If this is the only method of survival, then shall we ridicule the common man for utilising every pair of hands he can find to help pay the bills and buy food? 

So a child may missout on education which is a must in this modern world but we should never demoralized the common man, he is merely prioritising things to make sure the family can live another day. 

The problem lies squarely with government and it’s failed economy and policies. No employment opportunities mean the government is failing the people and therefore the government not only violates the rights of the people to decent standards of living. 

The government also is failing the children and they’re the ones violating the UN convention on the rights of a child living in Samoa right.


Le Mafa P

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