Silent Children

Night is getting late; I rushed myself from the office heading home. 09:30 pm, wow, quite some time I spent at the office today.

The bus terminal was getting quite. There are only few vehicles left, one which could lead me home. There’s only one left, so if I missed this one I have to take a cab home. That wouldn’t be fun, means less people to observe.

From a distance I watched the man dragged the little boy. I saw lots of fears in his eyes. I watched him fought the man with all his strength. Too bad, it was useless. That man was more than twice his size.

It was common view in my city, Jakarta lately. Children under 10 years old, I even saw 2 years old for several of time have to work and provide money for their family and the government still do nothing about it. Most of them singing at near a traffic light or become beggars. Some even wiping vehicle’s windshield for IDR 500-IDR1,000.

Rian is a four grade student, at Pengadegan area in South Jakarta, have to polish costumer’s shoes in front of Mapolda Metro Jaya prison bar. With charged of IDR 2,000 for each pair of shoes he could help his parents to pay for his tuition fee.

According to Head of National Children Protection Commission, Seto Mulyadi (known as Kak Seto) as reported in Suara Pembaruan Daily, the social paradigm especially parent has changed and most of them were wrong. For most parent of the upper level of society, medium or lower (marginal), the children are fully theirs, so not surprising if children have no rights to give opinion or to participate.

Mulyadi added parents are fully in control of their children’s life and future and the children can only follow their parent’s will. The fact is the children have the rights to determine their own life. Children have the rights to say “no” for the job or activity which they don’t like or reverse.

Based on data published on Suara Pembaruan by Yayasan Mutiara Indonesia managed by Kak Seto, the number of working children in 2007 increased around 373.3% compare to 2006. In 2006, there are 764,386 children rose to 2,854,123 on 2007. And most of those children working as a house keeper, prostitute and working on the street.

On daily basis, those children earn around IDR 20,000-IDR 30,000 which have to be given to their parents to fulfill their daily needs or others. The worse part is most of those parents acted as a supervisor, watching their children working from other side of the road where they work daily.

It is mention in Law No 23 year of 2002 Regarding Protection on Children that children have the rights to live, grow, to be protected and to participate, which unfortunately neither the government, society or parents pay much attention on that.

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