Child Labor

Why are children not equal to adults in the workplace?

What is Child Labor?

Child labor is defined as different work amounts for different ages of children.


  • Ages 5-11: at least one hour of economic activity or twenty- eight hours of household chores per week
  • Ages 12-14: at least fourteen hours of economic activity or twenty- eight hours of household chores per week

Background Info

  • Has been part of history, but became popular during the Industrial Revolution
  • Children have been involved in agriculture, mining, factory work, domestic servitude (servant), prostitution, and other jobs such as selling food or goods on the street, or collecting items for recycling
  • Many laws and restrictions have been attempted to be put in place, but failed
  • Some laws and restrictions exist, but some aren't enforced or are simply ignored

Benefits

Some of the benefits of child labor are...


  • Children can help their families financially
  • Children will feel like they are contributing to the family
  • Children would get an opportunity to learn about the work they are doing
  • Children will have already had a job and that they can pursue when they get older

Dangers

Some of the dangers of child labor are...


  • Children are forced to work in dangerous jobs
  • Children have no say about their work
  • Some jobs pay nothing or almost nothing
  • Children get abused in the workplace
  • Children are forced to work long hours with little breaks
  • Often times children are forced to quit school to get more work hours in to earn more money
  • Children work in jobs that threaten their mental and physical health
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Children's Stories

Michelle

Michelle lives in the Philippines and is forced to work because her father passed away. She has to support her family at the age of only fifteen. She mines in a creek Monday to Wednesday from seven or eight in the morning until four in the afternoon. She is only paid 300-500 pesos a day for that work. That is the same thing as earning seven to eleven U.S. dollars per day. While in the creek her and her friends get spasms. Sometimes they occur in her hands, sometimes they are in her legs, and sometimes her entire body shakes. This happens to her two out of the three days she works and sometimes she has to skip school because the spasms are so bad. One of the things she said was, "I don't particularly like the work, but I have no choice. Our daily living depends on it."
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Joseph

Joseph is sixteen years old, but he started working when he was twelve. He lives in the Philippines. He is in his fourth year of high school, but misses at least one to two days per week. He works on Saturday, Sunday, or on the days that there are no classes from seven to three or four. He works in the water either unloading bags or going underwater using the air compressor for one to three hours. He wasn't taught how to breathe or go down, he just went. He has a skin condition that changes the color of his skin, but it doesn't hurt him. He continues to work so he can have a source of income.
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Child Labor in the Philippines

This is a link to a website about child labor in the Philippines. You get to hear some of their stories and see what they have to do in order to support their families.

Why are children not equal to adults in the workplace?

Conclusion

I think that children are not treated equally in the workplace because they are desperate and gullible. Most children that are involved in child labor normally come from poor families that don't have a lot of money and other items. They desperately want to support their families, so they do whatever it takes to earn money. Children start working very young these days and they don't know any better, so they just obey and do the dangerous jobs. Adults know better and are generally more respected in society than children. Adults often times get paid more than children do, even if they are doing the same work. Children will do anything so they just go along with it. Michelle is a young girl who is forced to work in order to provide for her family. She said, "I don't particularly like the work, but I have no choice. Our daily living depends on it." This just goes to show that children will do whatever it takes no matter what the cost is. Overall, I think that children are not treated equally in the workplace.

Bibliography

  • "Child Labor." History. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 08 Dec. 2015.
  • "Child Labor." United States Department of Labor. U.S. Department of Labor, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
  • "Child Labor." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.
  • A little boy working. Digital image. Modern Day Slavery. WordPress.com, 29 May 2009. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.
  • Saludes, Mark Z. Joseph. Digital image. Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch, 2014. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
  • Saludes, Mark Z. Michelle. Digital image. Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch, 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
  • "What ... If Something Went Wrong?" | Human Rights Watch." Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch, 29 Sept. 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.