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Child Labor in the United States

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What is Child Labor?Child Labor is work that harms children or keeps them from attending school. Around the world and in the U.S., growing gaps between rich and poor in recent decades have forced millions of young children out of school and into work. It is estimated that 215 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 are currently working under conditions that are considered illegal, hazardous, or extremely exploitative.1 Underage children work many different types of jobs that included commercial agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, mining, and domestic services. Some children were involved in illicit activities that included drug trade, prostitution, and other traumatic occupations that included serving as soldiers. Child Labor involved threatening children’s physical, mental, or emotional well- being. It involved intolerable abuse, such as slavery, child trafficking, debt bondage, forced labor or illicit activities and prevented children from going to school. History behind Child Labor in the United States: Forms of labor included child slavery that existed throughout American History. As industrialization moved workers from farms and home workshops into urban areas and factory work. Children were often preferred, because factory owners viewed them as more manageable, cheaper, and less likely to start a rebellion.2 Growing opposition to children in the North caused many factories to move to South. By early 1900’s, states varied considerably in whether they had implemented child labor standards.3Child labor peaked in the nineteenth century. American children worked in large numbers in places like mines, glass factories, textiles, agriculture, canneries, home industries, and as newsboys, messengers, shoe shiners and peddlers.... ... middle of paper ... ...them to move in crowded spaces in factories or mines where adults would not fit. Children were easier to manage and control and most importantly paid less than adults. Although child labor has been substantially eliminated it still causes a problem in a few areas of the economy. The United States has yet to eliminate all abuse and violations. United States has come to meet the intentions of child labor reform byhelping to determine the laws and general practice andchildren should not be full time workers like adults. Meaning children should be in schooling programs getting their education instead of working in hazardous areas and putting themselves in harms way. I’m thankful for child labor reforms that were developed throughout history allowing me not to have to work in such harsh conditions. These reforms allow me to obtain an education to strive in society today.
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