Child labor
Overview
Child labour refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries. Child labour was employed to varying extents through most of history, but entered public dispute with the advent of universal schooling, with changes in working conditions during the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, and with the emergence of the concepts of workers
Labor rights
Labor rights or workers' rights are a group of legal rights and claimed human rights having to do with labor relations between workers and their employers, usually obtained under labor and employment law. In general, these rights' debates have to do with negotiating workers' pay, benefits, and safe...

' and children's rights
Children's rights
Children's rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to the young, including their right to association with both biological parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for food, universal state-paid education,...

.

In many developed countries, it is considered inappropriate or exploitative if a child below a certain age works (excluding household chores, in a family shop, or school-related work).
Encyclopedia
Child labour refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries. Child labour was employed to varying extents through most of history, but entered public dispute with the advent of universal schooling, with changes in working conditions during the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, and with the emergence of the concepts of workers
Labor rights
Labor rights or workers' rights are a group of legal rights and claimed human rights having to do with labor relations between workers and their employers, usually obtained under labor and employment law. In general, these rights' debates have to do with negotiating workers' pay, benefits, and safe...

' and children's rights
Children's rights
Children's rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to the young, including their right to association with both biological parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for food, universal state-paid education,...

.

In many developed countries, it is considered inappropriate or exploitative if a child below a certain age works (excluding household chores, in a family shop, or school-related work). An employer is usually not permitted to hire a child below a certain minimum age. This minimum age depends on the country and the type of work involved. States ratifying the Minimum Age Convention
Minimum Age Convention, 1973
The Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, is an Convention adopted in 1973 by the International Labour Organization. It requires ratifying states to pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labour and to raise progressively the minimum...

 adopted by the International Labor Organization in 1973, have adopted minimum ages varying from 14 to 16. Child labor laws in the United States
Child labor laws in the United States
Child labor laws in the United States include numerous statutes and rules regulating the employment of minors. According to the United States Department of Labor, child labor laws affect those under the age of 18 in a variety of occupations....

 set the minimum age to work in an establishment without restrictions and without parents' consent at age 16, except for the agricultural industry where children as young as 12 years of age can work in the fields for an unlimited number of non-school hours. See Children's Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act)
Children's Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act)
Children's Act for Responsible Employment is a United States bill that would bring parity of labor conditions to children field workers that are afforded to minors in other occupations...

.

The incidence of child labour in the world decreased from 25 to 10 percent between 1960 and 2003, according to the World Bank.

Historical

During the Industrial Revolution, children as young as four were employed in production factories with dangerous, and often fatal, working conditions. Based on this understanding of the use of children as labourers, it is now considered by wealthy countries to be a human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 violation, and is outlawed, while some poorer countries may allow or tolerate child labour. Child labour can also be defined as the full-time employment of children who are under a minimum legal age.

The Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 became notorious for employing young children in factories and mines and as chimney sweeps. Child labour played an important role in the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 from its outset, often brought about by economic hardship, Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 for example worked at the age of 12 in a blacking factory, with his family in debtor's prison
Debtor's prison
A debtors' prison is a prison for those who are unable to pay a debt.Prior to the mid 19th century debtors' prisons were a common way to deal with unpaid debt.-Debt bondage in ancient Greece and Rome:...

. The children of the poor were expected to help towards the family budget, often working long hours in dangerous jobs for low pay, earning 10-20% of an adult male's wage. In England and Scotland in 1788, two-thirds of the workers in 143 water-powered cotton mill
Cotton mill
A cotton mill is a factory that houses spinning and weaving machinery. Typically built between 1775 and 1930, mills spun cotton which was an important product during the Industrial Revolution....

s were described as children. In 19th-century Great Britain, one-third of poor families were without a breadwinner, as a result of death or abandonment, obliging many children to work from a young age.

In coal mines, children would crawl through tunnels too narrow and low for adults.

Children also worked as errand boys, crossing sweeper
Crossing sweeper
A crossing sweeper was a person who would sweep a path ahead of people crossing dirty urban streets in exchange for a gratuity. This practice was an informal occupation among the urban poor, primarily during the 19th century...

s, shoe blacks, or selling matches, flowers and other cheap goods. Some children undertook work as apprentices to respectable trades, such as building or as domestic servants (there were over 120,000 domestic servants in London in the mid-18th century). Working hours were long: builders worked 64 hours a week in summer and 52 in winter, while domestic servants worked 80 hour weeks.

Children as young as three were put to work. A high number of children also worked as prostitutes. Many children (and adults) worked 16 hour days. As early as 1802 and 1819 Factory Acts
Factory Acts
The Factory Acts were a series of Acts passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom to limit the number of hours worked by women and children first in the textile industry, then later in all industries....

 were passed to regulate the working hours of workhouse
Workhouse
In England and Wales a workhouse, colloquially known as a spike, was a place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment...

 children in factories and cotton mills to 12 hours per day. These acts were largely ineffective and after radical agitation, by for example the "Short Time Committees" in 1831, a Royal Commission recommended in 1833 that children aged 11–18 should work a maximum of 12 hours per day, children aged 9–11 a maximum of eight hours, and children under the age of nine were no longer permitted to work. This act however only applied to the textile industry, and further agitation led to another act in 1847 limiting both adults and children to 10 hour working days.

An estimated 1.7 million children under the age of fifteen were employed in American industry by 1900. In 1910, over 2 million children in the same age group were employed in the United States.

Present day

Child labour is still common in some parts of the world
World
World is a common name for the whole of human civilization, specifically human experience, history, or the human condition in general, worldwide, i.e. anywhere on Earth....

, it can be factory work, mining, prostitution
Prostitution of children
Prostitution of children or child prostitution is the commercial sexual exploitation of children in which a child performs the services of prostitution, for financial benefit. The term normally refers to prostitution by a minor, or person under the local age of majority...

, quarrying, agriculture, helping in the parents' business, having one's own small business
Small business
A small business is a business that is privately owned and operated, with a small number of employees and relatively low volume of sales. Small businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships...

 (for example selling food), or doing odd jobs. Some children work as guides for tourists, sometimes combined with bringing in business for shops and restaurants (where they may also work as waiters). Other children are forced to do tedious and repetitive jobs such as: assembling boxes, polishing shoes, stocking a store's products, or cleaning. However, rather than in factories and sweatshop
Sweatshop
Sweatshop is a negatively connoted term for any working environment considered to be unacceptably difficult or dangerous. Sweatshop workers often work long hours for very low pay, regardless of laws mandating overtime pay or a minimum wage. Child labour laws may be violated. Sweatshops may have...

s, most child labour occurs in the informal sector, "selling many things on the streets, at work in agriculture or hidden away in houses—far from the reach of official labour inspectors and from media scrutiny."

According to UNICEF, there are an estimated 250 million children aged 5 to 14 in child labour worldwide, excluding child domestic labour. The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and the International Labor Organization consider child labour exploitative, with the UN stipulating, in article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention on the Rights of the Child
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children...

 that:
...States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. Although globally there is an estimated 250 million children working.


In the 1990s every country in the world except for Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 became a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention on the Rights of the Child
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children...

, or CRC. Somalia eventually signed the convention in 2002; the delay of the signing was believed to been due to Somalia not having a government.
In a recent paper, Basu
Kaushik Basu
Kaushik Basu is an Indian economist who is currently the Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India and is also the C...

 and Van (1998) argue that the primary cause of child labour is parental poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

. That being so, they caution against the use of a legislative ban against child labour, and argue that should be used only when there is reason to believe that a ban on child labour will cause adult wages to rise and so compensate adequately the households of the poor children. Child labour is still widely used today in many countries, including India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. CACL estimated that there are between 70 and 80 million child labourers in India.

Child labour accounts for 22% of the workforce in Asia, 32% in Africa, 17% in Latin America, 1% in US, Canada, Europe and other wealthy nations. The proportion of child labourers varies greatly among countries and even regions inside those countries.

Recent child labour incidents

Meatpacking

In early August 2008, Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 Labor Commissioner David Neil announced that his department had found that Agriprocessors
Agriprocessors
Agriprocessors was the corporate identity of a slaughterhouse and meat-packaging factory based in Postville, Iowa, best known as a facility for the glatt kosher processing of cattle, as well as chicken, turkey, duck, and lamb. Agriprocessors' meat and poultry products were marketed under the brand...

, a kosher meatpacking company in Postville
Postville, Iowa
Postville is a city in Allamakee and Clayton Counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. It lies near the junction of four counties and at the intersection of U.S. Routes 18 and 52 and Iowa Highway 51, with airport facilities in the neighboring communities of Waukon, Decorah, Monona, and Prairie du Chien....

 which had recently been raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, had employed 57 minors, some as young as 14, in violation of state law prohibiting anyone under 18 from working in a meatpacking plant. Neil announced that he was turning the case over to the state Attorney General for prosecution, claiming that his department's inquiry had discovered "egregious violations of virtually every aspect of Iowa's child labor laws." Agriprocessors claimed that it was at a loss to understand the allegations. Agriprocessors' CEO went to trial on these charges in state court on May 4, 2010. After a five-week trial he was found not guilty of all 57 charges of child labour violations by the Black Hawk County District Court jury in Waterloo, Iowa, on June 7, 2010.

Firestone

The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900 to supply pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. Firestone soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles. The company...

 operate a metal plantation in Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

 which is the focus of a global campaign called Stop Firestone. Workers on the plantation are expected to fulfil a high production quota
Production quota
A production quota is a goal for the production of a good. It is typically set by a government or an organization, and can be applied to an individual worker, firm, industry or country. Quotas can be set high to encourage production, or can be used to limit production to control the supply of goods...

 or their wages will be halved, so many workers brought children to work. The International Labor Rights Fund
International Labor Rights Fund
The International Labor Rights Forum is a nonprofit advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC that describes itself as "an advocate for and with the working poor around the world". ILRF, formerly the International Labor Rights Education & Research Fund, was founded in 1986...

 filed a lawsuit against Firestone (The International Labor Fund vs. The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
The International Labor Fund vs. The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
The International Labor Fund vs. The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company was a class action law suit filed by The International Labor Rights Fund on November 17, 2005 against The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, on behalf of a group of former child laborers, in Liberia.The plaintiffs accused the...

) in November 2005 on behalf of current child labourers and their parents who had also been child labourers on the plantation. On June 26, 2007, the judge in this lawsuit in Indianapolis, Indiana, denied Firestone's motion to dismiss the case and allowed the lawsuit to proceed on child labour claims.

GAP

After the news of child labourers working in embroidery industry was uncovered in the Sunday Observer on 28 October 2007, BBA activists swung into action. The GAP Inc. in a statement accepted that the child labourers were working in production of GAP Kids blouses and has already made a statement to pull the products from the shelf.
In spite of the documentation of the child labourers working in the high-street fashion and admission by all concerned parties, only the SDM (Sub-divisional Magistrate) could not recognise these children as working under conditions of slavery and bondage.

Distraught and desperate that these collusions by the custodians of justice, founder of BBA Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson of Global March Against Child Labour appealed to the Honorable Chief Justice of Delhi High Court through a letter at 11.00 pm. This order by the Honorable Chief Justice comes when the government is taking an extremely reactionary stance on the issue of child labour in sweatshops in India and threatening 'retaliatory measures' against child rights organisations.

In a parallel development, Global March Against Child labour and BBA are in dialogue with the GAP Inc. and other stakeholders to work out a positive strategy to prevent the entry of child labour in to sweatshops and device a mechanism of monitoring and remedial action. GAP Inc. Senior Vice President, Dan Henkle in a statement said: "We have been making steady progress, and the children are now under the care of the local government. As our policy requires, the vendor with which our order was originally placed will be required to provide the children with access to schooling and job training, pay them an ongoing wage and guarantee them jobs as soon as they reach the legal working age. We will now work with the local government and with Global March to ensure that our vendor fulfils these obligations."

On October 28, Joe Eastman, president of Gap North America, responded, "We strictly prohibit the use of child labor. This is non-negotiable for us – and we are deeply concerned and upset by this allegation. As we've demonstrated in the past, Gap has a history of addressing challenges like this head-on, and our approach to this situation will be no exception. In 2006, Gap Inc. ceased business with 23 factories due to code violations. We have 90 people located around the world whose job is to ensure compliance with our Code of Vendor Conduct. As soon as we were alerted to this situation, we stopped the work order and prevented the product from being sold in stores. While violations of our strict prohibition on child labor in factories that produce product for the company are extremely rare, we have called an urgent meeting with our suppliers in the region to reinforce our policies."

H&M

In December 2009, campaigners in the UK called on two leading high street retailers to stop selling clothes made with cotton which may have been picked by children. Anti-Slavery International
Anti-Slavery International
Anti-Slavery International is an international nongovernmental organization, charity and a lobby group, based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1839, it is the world's oldest international human rights organization, and the only charity in the United Kingdom to work exclusively against slavery and...

 and the Environmental Justice Foundation
Environmental Justice Foundation
The Environmental Justice Foundation is a [non-governmental organisation]] founded in 2001 by Steve Trent and Juliette Williams that promotes the non-violent resolution of human rights abuses and related environmental issues in the Global South...

 (EJF) accused H&M
H&M
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB is a Swedish retail-clothing company, known for its fast-fashion clothing offerings for women, men, teenagers and children....

 and Zara
Zara (clothing)
Zara is a Spanish clothing and accessories retailer based in Arteixo, Galicia, and founded in 1975 by Amancio Ortega and Rosalía Mera. It is the flagship chain store of the Inditex group; the fashion group also owns brands such as Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, Oysho, Uterqüe, Stradivarius and...

 of using cotton suppliers in Bangladesh. It is also suspected that many of their raw materials originates from Uzbekistan, where children aged 10 are forced to work in the fields. The activists were calling to ban the use of Uzbek cotton and implement a "track and trace" systems to guarantee an ethical responsible source of the material.

H&M said it "does not accept" child labour and "seeks to avoid" using Uzbek cotton, but admitted it did "not have any reliable methods" to ensure Uzbek cotton did not end up in any of its products. Inditex
Inditex
Industria de Diseño Textil, S.A. , more commonly known as Inditex, is a large Spanish corporation and the world's largest fashion group. It is made up of almost a hundred companies dealing with activities related to textile design, production and distribution...

, the owner of Zara, said its code of conduct banned child labour.

India

In 1997, research indicated that the number of child labourers in the silk-weaving industry in the district of Kanchipuram in India exceeded 40,000. This included children who were bonded labourers to loom owners. Rural Institute for Development Education
Rural Institute for Development Education
The Rural Institute for Development Education is a secular, non-governmental organization dedicated to empower poor and disadvantaged residents in rural Tamil Nadu, India...

 undertook many activities to improve the situation of child labourers. Working collaboratively, RIDE brought down the number of child labourers to less than 4,000 by 2007.

On November 21, 2005, an Indian NGO activist Junned Khan, with the help of the Labour Department and NGO Pratham mounted the country's biggest ever raid for child labour rescue in the Eastern part of New Delhi, the capital of India. The process resulted in rescue of 480 children from over 100 illegal embroidery factories operating in the crowded slum area of Seelampur. For next few weeks, government, media http://www.tehelka.com/story_main39.asp?filename=cr050708laterdayslave.asp and NGOs were in a frenzy over the exuberant numbers of young boys, as young as 5–6 year olds, released from bondage. This rescue operation opened the eyes of the world to the menace of child labour operating right under the nose of the largest democracy in the whole world.

Next few years Junned Khan did extensive campaigning on the issue of children involved in hazardous labour, advocating with the central and state governments for formulation of guidelines for rescue and rehabilitation of children affected by child labour. In 2005, after the rescue, Junned Khan, collaborated with BBA to file petition in the Delhi High Court for formulation of guidelines for rescue and rehabilitation of child labour. In the following years, Delhi's NGOs, came together with the Delhi Government and formulated an Action Plan for Rescue and Rehabilitation of child labour.

Primark

BBC recently reported on Primark
Primark
Primark is a clothing retailer, operating over 223 stores in Ireland , the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium...

 using child labour in the manufacture of clothing. In particular, a £4.00 hand embroidered shirt was the starting point of a documentary produced by BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's Panorama
Panorama (TV series)
Panorama is a BBC Television current affairs documentary programme, which was first broadcast in 1953, and is the longest-running public affairs television programme in the world. Panorama has been presented by many well known BBC presenters, including Richard Dimbleby, Robin Day, David Dimbleby...

programme. The programme asks consumers to ask themselves, "Why am I only paying £4 for a hand embroidered top? This item looks handmade. Who made it for such little cost?", in addition to exposing the violent side of the child labour industry in countries where child exploitation is prevalent. As a result of the programme, Primark took action and sacked the relevant companies, and reviewed their supplier procedures.

Child labour is also often used in the production of cocoa powder, used to make chocolate
Chocolate
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

. See Economics of cocoa.

Defence of child labour


Concerns have often been raised over the buying public's moral complicity in purchasing products assembled or otherwise manufactured in developing countries with child labour. However, others have raised concerns that boycott
Boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

ing products manufactured through child labour may force these children to turn to more dangerous or strenuous professions, such as prostitution or agriculture. For example, a UNICEF study found that after the Child Labor Deterrence Act
Child Labor Deterrence Act
The Child Labor Deterrence Act was created by United States Senator of the Democratic Party Tom Harkin of Iowa, and was first proposed in the United States Congress in 1992, with subsequent propositions in 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999...

 was introduced in the US, an estimated 50,000 children were dismissed from their garment industry jobs in Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, leaving many to resort to jobs such as "stone-crushing, street hustling, and prostitution", jobs that are "more hazardous and exploitative than garment production". The study suggests that boycotts are "blunt instruments with long-term consequences, that can actually harm rather than help the children involved."

According to Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, academic, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades...

, before the Industrial Revolution virtually all children worked in agriculture. During the Industrial Revolution many of these children moved from farm work to factory work. Over time, as real wages rose, parents became able to afford to send their children to school instead of work and as a result child labour declined, both before and after legislation. Austrian school
Austrian School
The Austrian School of economics is a heterodox school of economic thought. It advocates methodological individualism in interpreting economic developments , the theory that money is non-neutral, the theory that the capital structure of economies consists of heterogeneous goods that have...

 economist Murray Rothbard
Murray Rothbard
Murray Newton Rothbard was an American author and economist of the Austrian School who helped define capitalist libertarianism and popularized a form of free-market anarchism he termed "anarcho-capitalism." Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the...

 said that British and American children of the pre- and post-Industrial Revolution lived and suffered in infinitely worse conditions where jobs were not available for them and went "voluntarily and gladly" to work in factories.

British historian and socialist E. P. Thompson
E. P. Thompson
Edward Palmer Thompson was a British historian, writer, socialist and peace campaigner. He is probably best known today for his historical work on the British radical movements in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, in particular The Making of the English Working Class...

 in The Making of the English Working Class
The Making of the English Working Class
The Making of the English Working Class is an influential and pivotal work of English social history, written by E. P. Thompson, a notable 'New Left' historian; it was published in 1963 by Victor Gollancz Ltd, and later republished at Pelican, becoming an early Open University Set Book...

draws a qualitative distinction between child domestic work and participation in the wider (waged) labour market. Further, the usefulness of the experience of the industrial revolution in making predictions about current trends has been disputed. Social historian Hugh Cunningham, author of Children and Childhood in Western Society Since 1500, notes that:
"Fifty years ago it might have been assumed that, just as child labour had declined in the developed world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so it would also, in a trickle-down fashion, in the rest of the world. Its failure to do that, and its re-emergence in the developed world, raise questions about its role in any economy, whether national or global."


According to Thomas DeGregori, an economics professor at the University of Houston
University of Houston
The University of Houston is a state research university, and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1927, it is Texas's third-largest university with nearly 40,000 students. Its campus spans 667 acres in southeast Houston, and was known as University of...

, in an article published by the Cato Institute
Cato Institute
The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who remains president and CEO, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc., the largest privately held...

, a libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 think-tank operating in Washington D.C., "it is clear that technological and economic change are vital ingredients in getting children out of the workplace and into schools. Then they can grow to become productive adults and live longer, healthier lives. However, in poor countries like Bangladesh, working children are essential for survival in many families, as they were in our own heritage until the late 19th century. So, while the struggle to end child labour is necessary, getting there often requires taking different routes—and, sadly, there are many political obstacles.

The International Labour Organization’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), founded in 1992, aims to eliminate child labour. It operates in 88 countries and is the largest program of its kind in the world. IPEC works with international and government agencies, NGOs, the media, and children and their families to end child labour and provide children with education and assistance.

See also

  • Bacchá
    Bacchá
    Bacha Bazi , also known as bacchá or bacha bereesh is sexual slavery and child prostitution in which prepubescent and adolescent boys are sold to wealthy or powerful men for entertainment...

  • Child abuse
    Child abuse
    Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional mistreatment, or neglect of a child. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Children And Families define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or...

  • Child labour in Bangladesh
  • Child labour in India
    Child labour in India
    The problem of child labor exploitation is a major challenge to the progress of developing countries. Children work at the cost of their right to education which leaves them permanently trapped in the poverty cycle, without the education and literacy required for better-paying jobs...

  • Child migration
    Child migration
    Child migration is the migration of children, without their parents, to another country or region. In many cases this has involved the forced migration of children in care, to be used as child labour.- Australia :...


  • Child prostitution
  • Child slavery
    Child slavery
    -History:In the past, many children have been sold into slavery in order for their family to repay debts or for crimes. Sometimes this is also to give the children a better life than what they had with their family....

  • Child soldiers
  • Children in cocoa production
  • Children's rights movement
    Children's rights movement
    The Children's Rights Movement is a historical and modern movement committed to the acknowledgment, expansion, and/or regression of the rights of children around the world...

  • Concerned for Working Children
    Concerned for Working Children
    Concerned for Working Children is a non-profit organization based in Bangalore, India and known internationally for its work in empowering children to become the key protagonists in solving their own problems...

  • Firestone Liberian controversy
    Firestone Liberian controversy
    Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC is a subsidiary of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Headquartered in Indianapolis, the company operates the largest contiguous rubber plantation in the world in Liberia, which first opened in 1926....

  • Guaranteed minimum income
    Guaranteed minimum income
    Guaranteed minimum income is a system of social welfare provision that guarantees that all citizens or families have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions. Eligibility is typically determined by citizenship, a means test and either availability for the labour...

  • History of childhood
    History of childhood
    The history of childhood has been a topic of interest in social history since the 1960s.-Preindustrial and medieval:Wilson rejects a widely held popular opinion that medieval and early modern child reading was indifferent, negligent, and brutal...

  • International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour
    International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour
    The International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour is a programme that the International Labour Organization has run since 1992...

    , IPEC
  • International Research on Working Children
    International Research on Working Children
    The Amsterdam-based foundation for International Research on Working Children was established in 1992 in order to generate more research on child labour. It has developed into a professional organization which is closely in touch both with the academic world and with development practitioners...

  • Labour law
    Labour law
    Labour law is the body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which address the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations. As such, it mediates many aspects of the relationship between trade unions, employers and employees...

  • Unfree labour
    Unfree labour
    Unfree labour includes all forms of slavery as well as all other related institutions .-Payment for unfree labour:If payment occurs, it may be in one or more of the following forms:...

  • Human trafficking
    Human trafficking
    Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...

  • Debt bondage
    Debt bondage
    Debt bondage is when a person pledges him or herself against a loan. In debt bondage, the services required to repay the debt may be undefined, and the services' duration may be undefined...

  • Trafficking of children
    Trafficking of children
    Trafficking of children is a form of human trafficking. It is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receiving of children for the purpose of exploitation....

  • Exploitation
    Exploitation
    This article discusses the term exploitation in the meaning of using something in an unjust or cruel manner.- As unjust benefit :In political economy, economics, and sociology, exploitation involves a persistent social relationship in which certain persons are being mistreated or unfairly used for...

  • Sweatshop
    Sweatshop
    Sweatshop is a negatively connoted term for any working environment considered to be unacceptably difficult or dangerous. Sweatshop workers often work long hours for very low pay, regardless of laws mandating overtime pay or a minimum wage. Child labour laws may be violated. Sweatshops may have...

  • Legal working age
    Legal working age
    The legal working age is the minimum age required by law for a person to work, in each country or jurisdiction.Some types of labor are commonly prohibited even for those above the working age, if they have not reached yet the age of majority. Activities that are dangerous, harmful to the health or...

  • London matchgirls strike of 1888
    London matchgirls strike of 1888
    The London match-girls’ strike of 1888 was a strike of the women and teenage girls working at the Bryant and May Factory in Bow, London.-The strike:...

  • Newsboys strike of 1819
    Newsboys Strike of 1899
    The Newsboys Strike of 1899 was a youth-led campaign to force change in the way that Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst's newspapers compensated their child labor force. The strike lasted two weeks, causing Pulitzer's New York World to reduce its circulation from 360,000 to 125,000...

  • Street children
    Street children
    A street child is a child who lives on the streets of a city, deprived of family care and protection. Most children on the streets are between the ages of about 5 and 17 years old.Street children live in junk boxes, parks or on the street itself...



International conventions and other instruments:

Further reading

  • Baland, Jean-Marie and James A. Robinson (2000) 'Is child labor inefficient?' Journal of Political Economy 108, 663–679
  • Basu, Kaushik, and Homa Zarghamee (2009) 'Is product boycott a good idea for controlling child labour? A theoretical investigation' Journal of Development Economics 88, 217–220
  • Bhukuth, Augendra. "Defining child labour: a controversial debate" Development in Practice (2008) 18, 385–394
  • Emerson, Patrick M., and André Portela Souza. "Is Child Labor Harmful? The Impact of Working Earlier in Life on Adult Earnings" Economic Development and Cultural Change 59:345–385, January 2011 DOI: 10.1086/657125 uses data from Brazil to show very strong negative effects—boys who work before age 14 earn much less as adults
  • Humbert, Franziska. The Challenge of Child Labour in International Law (2009)
  • Humphries, Jane. Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution (2010)
  • ILO, Investing in every child: An economic Study of the Costs and Benefits of Eliminating Child Labor
  • Ravallion, Martin, and Quentin Wodon (2000) 'Does child labour displace schooling? Evidence on behavioural responses to an enrollment subsidy' Economic Journal 110, C158-C175

History

  • "Child Employing Industries," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 35, Mar., 1910 in JSTOR, articles by experts in 1910
  • Goldberg, Ellis. Trade, Reputation, and Child Labor in Twentieth-Century Egypt (2004) excerpt and text search ]
  • Grier, Beverly. Invisible Hands: Child Labor and the State in Colonial Zimbabwe (2005)
  • Hindman, Hugh D. Child Labor: An American History (2002)
  • Humphries, Jane. Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution (Cambridge Studies in Economic History) (2011) excerpt and text search
  • Kirby, Peter. Child Labour in Britain, 1750-1870 (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Mofford, Juliet. Child Labor in America (1970)
  • Tuttle, Carolyn. Hard At Work In Factories And Mines: The Economics Of Child Labor During The British Industrial Revolution (1999)

External links


Child labour in diamond industry

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