Child Labor

How would ending child labor affect developing countries?


Child labor is an employment of children below the age of 21 by the law. Sometimes it is by force. It can help the company or the economy but it can be very harmful to the children.


"In the late 1700's and early 1800's, power-driven machines replaced hand labor for making most manufactured items. Factories began to spring up everywhere, first in England and then in the United States. The factory owners found a new source of labor to run their machines—children. Operating the power-driven machines did not require adult strength, and children could be hired more cheaply than adults."

Stopping Child Labor

  • In 1899, 28 states had passed laws not supporting child labor.
  • The U.S. Congress passed two laws, in 1918 and 1922, but the Supreme Court declared both unconstitutional.
  • In 1924, Congress proposed an amendment prohibiting child labor, but the states did not allow it.
  • In 1938, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Starting in 1999, over 160 countries approved an International Labor Organization (ILO) agreement to end child labor.
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  • Let's say a child doesn't have another place to stay after they lose their job. This means they are more likely to end up somewhere not safe or worse. If that child did not lose their job then it would be much safer in that factory.
  • Child labor can help the economy of a country by increasing the literacy rate and the standard of living.
  • If a child helps their parents receive money then his/her family can have more money to support their family. They can buy food, clothing, water, and maybe rent a house or buy a house. For this case child labor can be helpful to the family the child is providing for.
  • Say your father or mother owned a shop or restaurant downstairs of your apartment. Then your parents might need some help with the business. You would most likely work there. This is a good form of Child Labor.
  • Since children don't get paid enough, it is good for the employers. They can buy more machinery and equipment for their company. This is only good for the investers not the children.


  • Injuries from machinery can harm young children which can lead to health problems.
  • Children have to work longer and harder then some adult jobs in countries. They don't have time to do things they want or have an education. Let's say a 5 year-old has to work for 15 hours a day for 7 days. That is 105 hours a week for a 5 year-old.
  • If children work for 12-16 hours a day, then they will not be able to receive an education. Children need an education to help them in everyday life. If children are educated then that could help boost up that countries standard of living.
  • Some children have no clue what they're doing. This means it could be extra dangerous if a child is clueless about his/her job. They could get hurt or worse. Adults are more experienced then children since they are much older.
  • Children are getting paid less then minimum wage while working for longer hours.
Progressive Movement / Child Labor

Final Thoughts

I believe child labor is a good and bad thing. There are good forms and bad forms. For example, say my parents own a restaurant then they might want me to work there so I could help them. This is a good form of child labor. A bad form of child labor is not getting paid enough or getting hurt since the child doesn't know the job very well. Child labor is only when a child is working but under age. It can be a good thing like helping out a family member or it can be bad like working in a factory in India. If child labor would end, there would be no more injuries and children can have an education and an actual life. Or children could sleep longer since they won't have to work. Although, some children might not be able to work with a family business or they might not be safe since they won't be living in an actual place. I think child labor should be banned but not for things like family businesses.


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