Child Labor


The issue of child labor has been prevalent since the first Industrial Revolution. During this time period, cheap labor was in very high demand and many children worked in factories and experienced terrible working conditions. The major surge of industrialization came with the creation of many jobs, and people living in urban cities were urgent to take the jobs in order to aid their living conditions. Earning low wages and working countless hours, children helped earn money for their families. Today, this issue is widespread throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, though there are also some 2.5 million working children in developed economies. This issue is so important because Worldwide, an estimated 211 million children aged under 15 work. Many young children around the world are forced to work in order to provide for their family.

My secondary source explains the life of a young boy who works in a sweatshop in order to survive. Over one million Syrian children live in Turkey, and thousands of them are in factories, sweatshops, or vegetable fields instead of in a classroom. My primary source is the National Child Labor Committee Collection from the Library of Congress, which consists of photographs along with original photo captions. These sources correlate with each other and describe the conditions under which some children work.

Both my primary and my secondary sources address the issue of child labor and its presence throughout history and to this very day. The issue that arises is how to end child labor so young children do not have to work long hours in bad conditions to provide for their families. Industrialization helps us understand this contemporary issue and why it is still evident in some countries today.

Primary source:

Secondary source: (statistics)



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