Child Labor

Is child labor questionable?

By: Bethany Barnett

Background Information


  • Children were usually put to work under terrible times in the Industrial Revolution.
  • Children involved in child labor can't go to school or say anything in how their money is used.
  • Children worked in dangerous factories or did other risky tasks without any protective gear.
  • Britain’s Factory Act of 1802, which said children ages 9-13 could work only 8 hours per day and children ages 14-18 could work only 12 hours per day, was a delightful piece of information.
  • The National Child Labor Committee was put together in the United States in 1904 with the goal to ban child labor, but it couldn't get successful bills passed.
  • In 1938, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which banned cruel child labor.

Examples

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Sometimes, children had to work to pay their parents’ debts.
  • If the children didn't work, their parents wouldn't be able to pay for their house, food, or water.
  • For kids 5-11 years old, child labor is said to be involvement in at least 1 hour of economic activity or 28 hours of house work per one week.
  • For kids ages 12-14, child labor is said to be at least 14 hours of economic activity or 28 hours of house work per one week.
  • Children’s or teens’ cooperation in work that does not hurt their health and personal growth or get in the way of their education is usually being said as something good.

Cons

  • Most of the time, boys and girls as young as 6 had to work 12-16 hours per day and were beaten by their bosses if they fell asleep on the job.
  • Child labor is both because of poverty and a factor in the endurance of poverty.
  • Some children were sent to live in other houses to do household chores such as cleaning, laundry, and cooking, mostly because their families didn't have enough money to support them.
  • Children have no power or freedom, and aren't in any place to complain about low earnings or unfair conditions.
  • Another con of child labor are the dangers it can bring to the children working.

Dangers

  • Children involved in child labor are most of the time in conditions that can harm their physical and mental health and safety.
  • Manufacturing processes can expose children to harmful chemicals, dangerous machinery, and hot or suffocating workspaces.
  • Rug weaving also exposes children to dust and fibers in the air that can cause lung damage.
  • Children who work as household servants, most of which are girls, are in high risk of abuse, including sexual abuse.

Examples of Dangers/Cons

ILO Reports on Child Labour Globally

Final Thoughts

Is Child Labor questionable?

As a conclusion, I believe that yes, child labor can be questionable, or doubtable in separate ways, because there are different opinions about child labor, whether they are good or bad opinions, depends on what people think of them as. As you just saw, one of the pros of child labor is that children had to work in order for their parents to pay taxes, or bills,so maybe that's why people think child labor is good. Also, child labor can be questionable in a different way. For example, the people who think child labor is bad may wonder why some other people think child labor is even acceptable. I mean, Isn't child labor bad for the children because of all the dangers it can cause? There are different ways of thinking about it, so I believe that yes, child labor can be questionable.

Bibliography/Citations

"Bolivia's Child Miners." AFP News Footage [Videos] 24 Sept. 2010. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.

"Casa Esparanza." UNICEF Videos. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.

"Child Labor in Mexico." Federal Agency Profiles for Students. Ed. Kelle S. Sisung. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.

"Child Labor." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2014

"Child Labor." Social Issues. Ed. Robert D. Benford. New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1998. Macmillan Compendium. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.

"Gold Mining & Child Labor." Living on Earth 16 May 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.

"Child Labor in Mexico." Federal Agency Profiles for Students. Ed. Kelle S. Sisung. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.


"Resources for Speakers, Global Issues, Africa, Ageing, Agriculture, Aids, Atomic Energy, Children, Climate Change, Culture, Decolonization, Demining, Development, Disabilities, Disarmament, Environment, Food, Governance, Humanitarian, Refugees, Women." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2014.