Child labour is making a child work more than the legal amount of hours depending on their age. It is usually forceful and illegal, by physically, mentally or socially harming the child. What is child labour?
Child Labour in the Industrial Revolution
Many factory workers were children.
They worked long hours and were often treated badly by the supervisors or overseers.
Sometimes the children started work as young as four or five years old.
A young child did not earn much, so the owner hired many children for cheap labour.
Most children were forced to work because they did not have food or a home, or the their family could not care for them.
The children often worked in poor conditions since there was no law or work regulation at the time.
Many children worked in the cotton mills or mines.
The mill owners often took in orphans to their workhouses, they lived at the mill and were worked as hard as possible.
They spent most of their working hours at the machines with little time for fresh air or exercise.
Other jobs included match making and chimney sweeps.
It took time for the government to decide that working children ought to be protected by laws. People such as Lord Shaftesbury and Sir Robert Peel worked hard to persuade the public that it was wrong for children to suffer health problems and to miss out on schooling due to work.
Child labour in the industrial revolution happened in developing cities, such as London and in other unbanizations in Britain.
Child Labour in Modern Time It is estimated that there are 218 million child labourers around the world, who work long hours under harsh, dangerous and exploitative conditions.
Globally the majority of child labourers come from the poorer sections of society.
Social exclusion and discrimination, a result of poverty and ethnic and gender biases, are important factors that keep children out of school and force them to work.
• 73 million working children are less than 10 years old.• Every year, 22,000 children die in work-related accidents.• The largest number of working children-122 million-are in the Asia-Pacific region.
Similarities between Child Labour of the Industrial Revolution and in Modern Times. Both during the industrial revolution and in present day, children were:
Hired to work for low wages.
Manipulated or beaten.
Targeted to work if poor or marginalized.
Treated unfairly and worked long, hard hours.
Worked in poor conditions or in dangerous work sites.
Kept from enjoying the lifestyle a child should have.
Started work at a young age.
Were not cared for by their factory or business owner.
Did not receive appropriate breaks during the work day.
Differences between Child Labour of the Industrial Revolution and in Modern Times In the 19th century child labour was mainly in Great Britain, now it happens in developing countries around the world. There are different jobs today in which child labour is happening such as recycling needles. Today there are no chimney sweeps. During the Industrial Revolution there was no law regulating child labour. Today there is legislation in many countries around the world, but this practice still continues. Back then it was common and expected for children to be working at a young age. Today it is moral unjust to hire young children and to make them work under exploitive conditions but this practice continues. Today there are way more cases of child labour than there were during the Industrial Revolution. Today many cases of child labour are from poor parents selling their children to pay off their debt – bonded labour.
Why is child Labour Happening? Child Labour happens because: Of poverty in families – the family may send their child to work for more income. Bonded Labour – when parents send their children to work to pay off their debt. Children can be manipulated or beaten and do not fight back. Children don’t form labour unions. They are obedient and submissive. Children don’t need to be trained or skilled to perform many of the jobs they are given. Nimble fingers and small statures could prove a beneficial to some jobs. There is usually a surplus of children, so employees may force them to work for them. Poor families cannot invest in education for children, so they are forced to work. Many children do not have adequate school facilities, so they work. These countries do not have free education for all, which can prove difficult to sending working children to school. Also, children are hired because employers can get away with paying them lower wages. Child labour is encouraged by buying goods produced or manufactured by children.
What was Done to Stop Child Labour During and shortly after the Industrial Revolution During the Industrial Revolution, some legislation was passed in efforts to protect the employment of children. Some laws included were: Cotton Factories Regulation Act of 1819 (which set the minimum working age at 9 and maximum working hours at 12) And the Ten Hours Bill of 1847 (which limited working hours to 10 for children and women). Later, many countries banned child labour, including
What is Being Done Today to Stop Child Labour?
Free the Children is an organization that is also working to eliminate child labour.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the biggest human rights treaty in history. 191 countries (almost every country in the world) agreed to recognize the right of children , and for them to be protected from economic exploitation and 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.
Things you can do yourself to try and stop child labour include:
Not buying products made by child labour.
Supporting programs or donating money in efforts to make poor families financially stable so they can care for their children instead of sending them away to work.
Buy fair trade products.
Raise awareness to others about the issue of child labour.
There are many programs trying to eliminate child labour. Some include: The International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), which was created in 1992 to focus on the progressive elimination of child labour, which they achieve through strengthening the capacity of countries to deal with the problem and promoting a worldwide movement to combat child labour. IPEC currently has operations in 88 countries.