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Kids at Work (child Labor)

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Kids at Work (child Labor)

Kids at Work

When you help with household responsibilities after school, you may wipe out dust or wash dishes. However; if you grew up 100 years ago, you may not have gone to school at all. Take a look at these and other historical jobs for kids. You may have worked full time as a “powder monkey”: These boys worked on warships and at forts, carrying gunpowder to the cannons during battle. “Chimney sweeps”: Small children 6 to 8 years old crawled up chimneys and loosened the dirt with a broom. They often worked 12-hour days. “Office boys”: Young boys worked in offices sharpening pencils, stuffing envelopes, sweeping floors, and running everyday jobs. “Vendors”: Children often sold things on city streets. There were newspaper boys, muffin boys, and hot corn girls for example. “Water boys”: Imagine your child working one of these jobs in this technological world. However; 100 years ago, parents forced their children to work because of lack of money and food. All the above are the example of child labor which is one of the most controversial issues around world.

According to the United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO), child labor is defined as an economic activity performed by a person under the age of fifteen. However, not all of these can be considered as child labor because several types of works such as house hold or after school works are considered as formative and a part of child’s learning experience. But the type of work that has become a controversial issue is the abusive, unhealthy and unprofitable work of a child that interferes with the children’s education and self development.

A pediatrician at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York a comment towards the dangers of child labor, “Pound for Pound, children breath more air, eat more food and drink more water than adults, so if there are chemical contaminants in the workplace, children will be exposed to more of them. Children are also less biologically mature and less physically strong, which makes them more susceptible to injury. They are more likely to trip or get caught in machinery, and their bodies have more troubles in breaking down chemical toxins and excreting them.” ( This quotation and example strongly make me believe that child labor is inhumane because it take advantage of the defenseless bodies of young children and it may lead to serious injuries, accidents or even death; therefore, child labor should be abolished.

According to ILO there are approximately “246 million” children around the world that are engaged in child labor. Child labor has been an issue since the Industrial Revolution which began in the 1800's in England (Time for Kids, 2). Today, child labor is still a controversial problem throughout the globe; however it is more prominent in Third World countries where there is not enough law supervision. Imagine children working everyday between the ages of 4-14 that are being exposed in hazardous situations, such us working in farms, working with chemicals or working with dangerous machineries. Some of us are not aware that millions of girls work as domestic servants and are lying on your front to use and abuse. Many children are forced to work in order to pay their family's debts; some are being forced to work into pornography, prostitution or other illegal activities. To make children do such an inhuman work, we are destroying their better future that these kids can bring to themselves by studying.

Children have been used as workers for thousands of years in countries around the world. The rise of child labor in the United States began in the late seventeen and early eighteen hundreds. Industrialization was a strong force in increasing the number of working children. By nineteen hundreds more than two million U.S. children worked (Time for Kids, 2). Children worked in factories, mines, fields and in the streets. They picked cotton, shined shoes, sold newspapers, made clothes and wove fabric. Working conditions were often terrible. Children would work twelve hours a day, six days a week throughout the year. The hours were long, the pay was low and the children were exhausted and hungry. Children who worked the fields spent long, hot days in the sun or went barefoot in mud and rain. These young workers could not attend school and rarely knew how to read or write. According to George Cleing, the National Child Labor Committee was formed in 1904. However, it wasn't until 1938 when the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed that children were freed from the dangerous work” (Email Interview). By working long hours, their bodies become tired very quickly compare to adults body. Adult bones are completely grown compare to children whose bones are in the process of growing. By working hard, they

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