History Of Child Labor Practices In The United States

2632 words - 11 pages

One could not begin to speak of the unspeakable regarding the notion of child labor, not only in the US, but the ugly truth about the practice through out the world, with out making reference to the practice of "employing" children in a historical perspective, i. e., since children have been around. The truth is it - the practice - of putting children to work has always been with us as a species, and most likely will be part of our human story for as long as we exist. However, here in the United States we would like to believe that as a "modern"nation, we can agree as a civilized society, that children have a place as not only gentle creatures of our very fabric, but ultimately also serve as the instruments of our very destiny. For as how our children are reared, for as our adults are formed. Yet our history surrounding child labor practices are anything short of abhorrent and til this day - albeit - not as wide spread or accepted, still persist and to a certain degree overlooked.

It was not until 1832 that child labor was first condemned with the inception of the New England unions' "pact" that put child labor in the sights of those who sought to put some protections in place of the most vulnerable of our society. By the early ninetieth century child labor had peeked as a point of contention among those who would at their own discretion continue employing children for their financial gain and those who would come to see the practice as not only inhumane but bad policy for the sake of posterity. It was not until 1899 that groups such as the Working Woman's Society,National Consumers' League, and in 1904, the National Labor Committee, that child labor was beginning to take root as advocacy in the defense of the injustices of child labor in America.

Throughout the centuries, legal acquisitions and protection has evolved. However, we can still find children being abused. We can still discover children being abused and used as the lowest form workingclass people. Such websites like Human Rights Watch, allow people to keep up with child labor events through the world. Hundreds of thousands of children continue to be exploited in the United States. Many forms of evidence has been gathered that informs people that children as young as eight and younger are put to work in arenas such agriculture, heavy industrial, farms and ranches. The children are victims to five times the fatalities of their adults and older children, who suffer injuries related with these industries. The most extreme child labor employment are sweat shops. Sweat shops are no secret to many people in the world. Sweat ships force children to work in unbearable type conditions. Even though they are protections in place, the illegality of employing children and the consequences that follow are tragic to say the least. This is not only true for the child ,but also for our society as a whole.

Why would someone use child labor? At first glance it would seem that...

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