180 children are currently held in the prisons of Madagascar accused of stealing vanilla. They are often held in appalling conditions for years without a proper trial. Many children around the world suffer a similar fate.
In Madagascar, selling vanilla is a trading policy, it sells for at least $150 in exporting markets . Stealing vanilla is a highly common crime there. It is a big business for the African island, an expensive commodity and people will try to get hold of it and sell it to make some more money for their often very poor families. Children are suffering a great deal in Madagascar just for stealing something as small as vanilla. The prison conditions there are abysmal. All these children have are concrete beds without mattresses and all are confined to tiny cells, cramped together. They are prisoners alongside 2000 other adults, many of whom have committed really big crimes and the prisons are only meant to hold 280 prisoners. Some haven't seen their mums in years because their families are very poor and can't travel to the prison. A BBC investigation dated 1st October 2019, found out that many of these children can spend more than 3 years in prison for that theft without even a trial. And when they go to trial, most of them don't even get a lawyer to defend them. In prison, they are miserable, dirty and only get one meal a day and no-one to care for them when they fall ill.
Those are only some of the many children being held in prisons across the globe, children in Iraq are being punished because of things their parents did , Palestinian children have been captured and are being put into Iran's prisons for doing nothing more than protesting against grown up politics. Innocent children everywhere are suffering in terrible conditions, they only have each other to rely on.
According to the latest figures from Human Rights Watch and the UN's Child Fund, UNICEF, an estimated 1 million children are behind bars around the world today.
In my eyes, it's wrong to send children to jail at such young ages, in such poor living spaces. Human wrights groups are protesting against this but people in power just won't listen !
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