Child Labor in the 1800s (December 15th, 2010)

(Boys Reloading Spools on a Machine)

Kristen is so amazing. I <3 her!

Headline Article: How much work is to much work?

Maine is the poorest state when it comes to enforcing child labor laws.

´╗┐The newest scandal to hit our presses this week is, Child Labor. It is a growing epidemic even though there are laws in place saying that children should not be put to work in these factories and mills. How are the decreasing rates in child labor explained if so many children are still working? It's simple, when inspectors come the children are hidden away so that they are not found. Since the inspector isn't nessacarily looking for children, it would be easier to keep them hidden.

These children are becoming workers at very young ages. A few children have even been as young as five years old. They are given huges knives and sent to repair machines that are running and dangerous because they are the only ones that can fit in the small spaces.

These children are getting paid for their work. The oldest children may get a few dollars a week (between $4-$5) but is this worth the constant danger that they are put in everyday they go to work. 5 year old children are given large butcher knives to cut up sardines many are missing fingers and limbs.

(Boy working on a machine)

(Children Working at a Mill)

Presidential Snapshots: William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft was the 27th president, hand picked by Roosevelt, who then decided to run against him later on but lost. Was president during the progressive era. He supported the 'Square Deal' policy which tried to get a balance between employers and employees. Taft often sided with conservatives more than with progressives. His administration pursued more antitrust suits than Roosevelt's administration.

(A Little Boy Working at a Factory)

Child Labor Today: China

Today in China, it is against the law for children under the age of 16 to work. Even so, 10-20 million children are working in factories everyday. Many of these children are girls working o uspport their families and maybe even help send their brothers to school. These children are still working because the Chinese law prohibiting them from working is poorly enforced. Fake papers, have been used by the children to get hired, the papers falsify their ages. Some employers and factories even provide these papers for the children. Circumstances are so bad, that children are now being kidnapped to work. In 2000 84 children were taken

(Photo taken by Lewis W. Hine. Picture of young men standing outside the factory they work in.)

from a chineses province called Guzhou and made to put together Christams Lights, the youngest of these children was 10.Some places that these children might work in include:
  • Factories
  • Resturants
  • Salons
  • Pick up trash
  • Work in mines
  • Lay pipes
  • Dig ditches

Most of these jobs are so low-paying, dangerous, and tedious that only children take the jobs because no adult will do them. In a way these conditions for Chinese children are somewhat the same as what the conditions were for children workers in the 1800s.