Mouths gaping, a group of Auckland high school girls could not hide their shock when confronted with videos about girls their age being forced into child labour and child marriages in India.

Two short but powerful videos filmed as part of the Herald and World Vision's Not For Sale campaign, were last week shown to seven 14- and 15-year-old girls from Western Springs College.

Four of them watched what life was like for a young girl to be married off to a stranger.

Paloma Hermans, 14, said it was "really sad" how young she was and that despite her not wanting to get married, that it had to happen.


Tylah-Jade McIntrye, 15, said she "couldn't imagine being in her shoes", and Riley Adams, 14, said she could however relate to the girl's ordeal with her family's struggle to get food on the table.

Angie Matthews said girls shouldn't have to get married until at least 21, when they're adults and can make their own decisions.

The other video, an interview with a girl who worked 12 hours a day making bracelets for less than a cent each, left three of the other Auckland girls sitting in stunned silence for a few moments when it ended.

Zoe Tibutt, 14, said the worst part of it was that the 14-year-old girl had no hope. It was also a huge wake-up call for her.

"We as 14- and 15-year-old's get to go to school. Our parents work and we get to go home and laze about."

Kayla Nadia, also 14, described the girl's situation as "just really heartbreaking".

"We don't even realise how other people's lives are much more affected than we are."

There are 152 million children in work around the world. Around 15 million girls under the age of 18 are married each year - one every two seconds. And 1.2 million children are trafficked every year.


The focus of the Not for Sale campaign is on a handful of Asian countries with the highest rates of exploitation, and where World Vision already has a presence - Myanmar, India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Nepal.

"With the scale of the problem, we can't do everything," said World Vision New Zealand national director Grant Bayldon.

"But we can make a huge difference for the girls in the communities we work with. We know that we have the ability to change thousands of lives."

To donate to the Not for Sale campaign go to World Vision