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Child Labor

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Child Labor
Today, Child Labor laws exist to ensure children are able to get an education and be employed under safe conditions. History tells a different story to the meaning of child labor. History explains how the industrial revolution changed the lives of young children during this time. Children as young as four years old were put to work, some worked under very hazardous conditions and were treated cruely. According to the Unicef website,” many children are put to work in ways that often interfere with their education, drains their childhood of joy, and crushes their right to normal physical and mental development”.
This paper examines the history of child labor, the hazardous jobs these children endured, and the medical conditions resulting from such conditions. In addition, this paper examines meetings held within communities, and among organizational leaders on both the state at national levels addressing child labor issues and how to combat them. In the United States company owners use to hire children to work in factories because they were not hard to work with. The children would listen and do what they had to. By 1900 the factories moved south. Lots of children were hired in factories that dealt with textiles, agriculture and many others. During the twentieth century the number of child labor increased. The National Child Labor Organization worked to end child labor. They also worked to get children free education. In 1938 the government took control of the hours and ages that children could work. In Pakistan minors worked long hours in factories and as house servants. They suffer from lung diseases and other infections. Children that search for medical waste to recycle suffer from deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Nothing is being done to stop child labor. In India children are treated like the children in Pakistan. They work in factories that make matches, fireworks, incense sticks, and foot wear. Children work inadequate factories. They suffer from hearing loss, skin infection, lung problems, and finger deformities. When children work in hospitality like jobs they’re exposed to physical violence, mental trauma, and sexual abuse. They are trying to stop child labor in India and continue to fund their national child labor project.
When we look into sweatshops we see the many different age groups of children that are forced, abducted, or born into this working life style. In the developing countries in “today’s day and age about 250 million children are between the ages of 5-14” (Sweatshop Ins and Outs) and in others we see up to the age of 22 who are working hard to perform their duties for their wages. The reason children get used in these types of shops is because they are less likely to complain about the money and they are easy to control. They learn to listen and not complain about the poor conditions that they are going through every day. These duties and wages are to pay for food for themselves and or their families to survive. Sweatshops have many different jobs to help companies make a bigger profit, some of the items that are made in sweat shops would be shoes, clothing, rugs, coffee, chocolate, and toys; just to name a few. Different sweatshops have different hours for their employees, theses hours do not allow children to attend school, study, be a child, or even have a life. The way they keep children working is out of not knowing any better of a life style with no education or parents around to tell them differently. They also get beaten, locked up in rooms with many people in the sweatshops only let out to go to work. Some are not able to go see their families, they are even taken to other countries where they do not speak the language and have no way to communicate or escape. A “child could work anywhere from 40-70 hours per week” (Benjamin W. Powell, 2004) and work 5-7 days a week depending on the marketing demands. The people that work in the sweatshops get treated very badly not given time to take lunches, or breaks like most people get with their jobs.
Many medical concerns are a problem that children face when put in the poor conditions of work environments. The harsh conditions of hot warehouses or the elements of working outside can bring about the flu, and when untreated can become phenomena or bronchitis. Silico- tuberculosis can be caused due to the extensive exposure to dust. There are also the dangers of infectious diseases, tetanus and the exposure to carbon monoxide or asbestos; making it difficult to breath.
These children work long hours doing physical labor, resulting in exhaustion and lack of sleep. The continuous stress causes the development of the mind and body to be hindered resulting in stunted growth, poor digestion and lack of focus. The lack of focus can cause safety concerns while working (Parker, Overby, 2005).
Child labor is found in 76 of 197 nations, and increases every year (McKenna, 2012). Some of the countries that child labor is most common include Ethiopia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, India, China and the Philippines (McKenna, 2012). While child labor does continue to increase, there is the effort to stop the need and use of children in the work force.
By increasing the awareness to the dangers and abundance of child labor it will aid in stopping it. Programs to get children out of the work environments and into the classrooms will increase the education and availability of work when they become adults. With the creations of unions for the adults, the individuals will begin to prosper and reduce the need for children to work in order to bring more money into the homes (Parker, Overby, 2005).
Community meetings that are held for the victims of child labor, or to combat people that are currently being victimized by illegal child labor are held frequently in countries with these problems. Communities and their residents are trying to fight the people who are exploiting these young children ages 5-14. These meetings are held to inform local community members on current events with the industry and how to help themselves and their families. Some of the highest targeted families who fall victim to illegal child labor are the families that are uneducated in how dangerous and potentially life threatening it is for their young children.
Social outreach programs as it pertains to child labor, have been few and far between until the last 10 years. The department leading the recent charge in the funding of these social outreach programs is the Department of Labor. This program offers grants to organizations that work to improve access to and qualify of education programs as a means to combat exploitive child labor in places like Angola and other third world nations. Projects funded under this solicitation will provide educational and training opportunities to children as a means of removing and/or preventing them from engaging in exploitive work or the worst forms of child labor ("Federal Funds For Organizations That Help Those In Need", 2013). This department has been the leading the United States of America's charge against the countries and the people that try and exploit these young children and their families.
According to Union of internal associations (1907-2013), there are currently meetings being held to attempt to find a solution to the problems of child labor. The range of legal and illegal activities people are having children do is staggering! The most current organizational meeting will be held in the United States Between February 18th -21st. The goal of these specific meetings is to address child protection, human sex trafficking, health care, and other abuse issues. This is a global organization and will be holding two of these meetings one here in the US and the other meeting will be held in Senegal.
As far as local organizations and monitoring goes there are levels to monitoring child labor. According to International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) (2001), there is a local level where the community is expected to participate and the governmental level. The local level would consist of teachers, counselors, police, and people in human service positions. The governmental level would consist of just what it states, the local governors, and other leaders need to take the initiative to push for these protection laws to pass. It seems to be everyone’s responsibility to ensure that once passed, these laws are enforced but once again there are check points in place to ensure that child labor is recognized and is being reduced here in the US and in many other countries where this issue is more prominent.
The history of child labor displays the unjust and many times inhumane ways this vulnerable population was treated and suffered. Sweatshops are an excellent example to the suffering and long drooling hours these children endured everyday. Not to mention the illnesses that occurred because of the work conditions they were subjected too. Thanks to the meetings communities held and our leaders determination to stop such cruelty on both the state and national levels, laws exist today to protect these children. However, in many places of the world child labor still exists. Children are still suffering both physically and mentally.
We all must play a part in stopping such abuse. Children must have first claim on our attention and resources. Children need to be the heart of our thinking; they must be protected and allowed the education they rightly deserve. The fight to end child labor must never stop until it is completely eliminated.

References
Benjamin W. Powell, D. B. (2004, September 27). The Independent Institute. Retrieved from http://www.independent.org/publications/working_papers/article.asp?id=1369 Federal Funds for Organizations That Help Those in Need. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.in.gov/ofbci/files/GrantsCatalog.pdf
International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC). (2001). International Labor organization. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/grants/sga0301/drtbpannex3.pdf
McKenna, L (2012) Child Labor Is Making A Disturbing Resurgence Around The World

http://www.businessinsider.com/countries-worst-child-labor-risks-2012-1?op=1#ixzz2mlj8bBDS
Parker,D.L.; Overby, M (2005) A Discussion of Hazardous Child Labor http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1497784/
Sweatshop Ins and Outs. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sweatshopinsandouts.weebly.com/: http://sweatshopinsandouts.weebly.com/employees.html
Unicef. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.childinfo.org/labour.html
Union of internal associations. (1907-2013). Fraud monitor. Retrieved from http://www.uia.org/content/3914

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