Child Labor – Work the Fields

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Updated: Jun 16, 2021
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“For hundreds of years, it has been tradition for children to be forced to work the fields, manufacture in factories, and drag coal in the mines. They all did this for mainly one thing: to help keep food on the table have a roof over their heads. But however, Child Labor is now illegal. However, it used to. Many places used to. Including India, Many different Empires of Europe, and lastly, Africa. These all have practiced child labor in some way, and they all have a history.

According to the ILO Minimum Estimate of Forced Labour in the World. (2005),India currently has the most severe concentration of child laborers, their jobs included hard and dangerous parts the they come into at a young age to help support their family. Agriculture is the largest center in which the children most likely work. In most of the time, children work with the crops. It can be hard and hot, with children dying because of lack of healthcare or workplace accedints.. Most reasons why children is due to family factors such as unemployment, disease, or a lack of a good education. In 1757, the East India Company defeated Siraj-ud-Daula, the last Nawab of Bengal, in the Battle of Plassey, and seized control of East India, a region full of agriculture, trade, and industry. The British quickly took control of it and quickly hired children to do manual labor and replaced adult laborer in favor of the small hands and more endurance in factory environments. Another reason many Indian children were hired was because they lack knowledge of their basic rights, they did not cause trouble or complain, and they were often more trustworthy. The innocence that comes with childhood was utilised to make a profit by many and was encouraged by the need for family income. A variety of scientists studied India and discovered, that India facilitates ¼ of the world’s child labor. In this worrying information, India has taken numerous legal precautions including signing the Child Labor Prohibition and Regulation Act in 1984, and earlier, the passing of the Geneva declaration of the Right of Children in 1924. With the Child Labor Prohibition and Regulation Act, there has been over a halving of the number of children in jobs and not allowing children under 14, and from working in dangerous conditions. In 2013, the Punjab and Haryana High Court gave a landmark order that directed that there shall be a total ban on the employment of children up to the age of 14 years, be it hazardous or non-hazardous industries. However, the Court ruled that a child can work with his or her family in family based trades/occupations, for the purpose of learning a family tradition that requires work.

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Systematic exploitation of children in factories continued in many European Imperialist countries and was used between as early as 1650 and as late as the 1950s. In Africa, colonial bureaucrats ordered family modes of work, that is hiring an entire family for work, not just for the adults. Millions of children worked in colonial plantations, mines and as servants. Complex schemes were conceived to where children in these colonies between the ages of 5–14 were hired as an apprentice without pay in exchange for learning a craft. A system of Apprenticeship came into practice in the 1800s whereas a colonial master neither needed the native parents’ nor child’s approval to assign a child to labour, and away to some distant farm to work. Acts similar to these, “earn and learn” programs would work, and thereby then “learn”. Another clever, yet diabolical way to get children working was the Head Tax. The Head Tax was a tax on children who were older than 8 years old. Theis forced the children to work to help pay those taxes. In southeastern asian colonies, Child Labor, or Mui Tsai, was rationalized by that culture as cultural tradition and ignored by British leaders. Dutch East India Company officials also had an excuse with child labor. “Because it saves children from a much more horrible fate.” Proposals to regulate child labour began as early as 1786.

Children working from an early age has become eerily the theme of Africa, whether it’s fetching water from 40 miles away, or digging holes for plants. Children in Africa today are often forced into exploitative labour due to family debt and other financial factors, leading to ongoing poverty. Other types of Child labor is working in commercial farms, begging, and other petty sales like boot shining. In total, there is about five million children who are currently working in agriculture. 30 percent of these children who are picking coffee, there are an estimated 25,000 school age children who work year round, missing the chance of a real job. What careers children pursue in varies by location, like a urban or a rural environment. According to””[email protected]sessionmgr110&vid=4&format=EB&rid=1″”, Children who were born in urban areas often found themselves working for street vendors, washing cars, helping in construction sites, weaving clothing. While the children who grow up on farms or such could be farming, selling crops, or working with animals. To fix the problem of child labor, the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child Act was implemented in 1959.Yet due to poverty, lack of education and plain old idiocy, the legal actions are wholly enforced or accepted in Africa. In the end, there is a consistent challenge for the national government to strengthen its grip politically on child labour, and to increase education and awareness on the issue of children working below the legal age limit.”

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Child Labor - Work the fields. (2021, Jun 16). Retrieved from