Child Labor and Industrialization

So this first article is, 9-Year-Old Child Worker Dies in Bangladeshi Textile Mill, by the New York Times written on July 25th, 2016. The article tells the story of a 9 year old child being killed while working in a textile factory in Bangladesh. Sagar Barman, was working with his family at the factory, when he went to go clean the dust off himself with an air compressor when supervisors stuck it up his rectum and turned it on. He was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead there. Sagar’s father, Ratan Barman, accused 8 individuals who were supervisors of killing his son whom had spoken out against the abuse they instilled on their workers. Acts such as beating them for small mistakes were common in these types of factory settings. Another boy, 12 years old, died a similar death earlier at a motorcycle factory. Within this factory and of the roughly 3,000 workers, 10% of them were children even though the minimum age to be employed to work is 14 years old in Bangladesh. Most times, adult employees want their children to perform “light work” to create more income for the family.

My primary source is Child Labor during the British Industrial Revolution from the Economic History Association. This source goes through from the beginning the timeline of child labor from before the Industrial Revolution in Britain to after and the impacts it had. It also discusses the debates that have risen from this subject during the time period.

These two sources are related because they both deal with the working conditions of child labor and how they are still similar even though they are over 150 years apart. They both deal with the struggle of families dealing with poverty having to make their children work to earn extra income just to survive. Which puts children in horrible working environments that they shouldn’t be in at a developmental stage.

The issue that this raises for me is that child labor, which can be a good thing, usually is abused and taken advantage of which absolutely disgusts me. I started working on small little projects when my father was a carpenter building homes when I was around 10 years old. I would move studs from one side of the house to the other or clean off equipment at the end of the day. That kind of work instilled a strong work ethic and I knew what work was so I wasn’t surprised and upset about it later in life. But when it’s not regulated and owners and supervisors are allowed to run wild and do as they please without having to worry about getting in trouble for children working in horrible working conditions doing jobs that adults are doing, that’s too much. That should be stopped. Back in the Industrial Revolution, children were taken advantage of and could be because the laws weren’t catching up fast enough to what the economy was doing. But that was 150 years ago and the fact that it still happens today astounds me. It just goes to show that not everywhere in the world is up to the par that we in 1st world countries live by.

The good news about this is that looking back at history, child labor is no more in Britain, America, or in developed countries. It took awhile for legislature to catch up to how the country was doing but it eventually did no matter how corrupt. I have the same faith that countries, like Bangladesh, will eventually stop child labor and create a better life for their youth.


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