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Research Proposal on Child Labor

This is a research proposal example on Child Labor:
In America’s history we have had many problems with child labor. That is why “in 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt passed the Fair Labor Standards Act” (World Book 455). Child labor laws has helped the children in America greatly by not having to work long hours, having a minimum wage, and the worker must be at least 16 years of age before they can work. However, Child labor is still a problem in other undeveloped countries now.

We have child labor laws because, “from the mid 1800s to the early part of this century, many young children were employed in what we now call “sweatshop conditions” (Russell Freedman 93) . These children spent many hours working hard at dangerous jobs instead of going to school and getting a good education. Many factories and other firms hired children because they could be paid less than adults and get away with it. Furthermore, the children were overworked and underpaid, often working 16 hours a day, six days a week, and earning only pennies an hour. Kids often were also injured or killed while working under these brutal conditions.

The child labor laws came into effect to stop these abuses and help young people go to school. These laws were passed to protect the health, safety, and well-being of young workers while at the same time affording them an opportunity to gain an education. “Many children among the age of 10, were hired by factories, this is why countries passed laws to stop the abuses of child labor” (Child Labor Coalition 4). Many children work today, but most are teenagers in the USA, Canada, Britain, and hold part-time jobs. The working conditions for youth today are carefully regulated by the law. I know the working rules are true by when I worked at Express in the mall, my friend who was only 17, was not allowed to work past 9p.m. during the week or weekend because she wasn’t 18, and maintained a full-time student status. However, in Asia, and other parts of the world, millions of girls and boys hold full-time jobs. In some countries, children under 15 form a large part of the total working force, and there is little or no control over the working conditions they work in.

Employment of Child labor created no major social problems until the factory systems of labor began. Children would work in the fields for their parents all of the time. Children worked for lower wages than adults, and were not so likely as adults to cause labor troubles. Factories wanted to use the children’s small, quick fingers for machinery work.

Children often performed jobs that really required adult strength to do. Many children worked to help support their parents in raising the families, work for their unemployed or disabled parents. Uneducated, the only work they were capable of doing was unskilled labor in sweatshops. Today, companies like Mattel and Levi’s offer benefits to employees all over the world, and FA8000, which is an education program for children unable to finish high school. They will help educate their workers.

The first federal child labor law was passed in the U.S. Congress in 1916. This law “set standards for the hiring of children by industries involved in interstate or foreign commerce”( Encyclopedia of American History).

Young kids are allowed to work in factories in foreign countries because other countries have different child labor laws or may not be as willing to enforce their existing laws. In some places in the world, families are so poor that children must work to put food on the table. Children having to work at such a young age is unfortunate. Many organizations, including the United States Government, are working to end oppressive child labor throughout the world and help all children obtain an education.

There are many things being done about sweatshops in foreign countries. The Department of Labor outlined ten steps that need to be taken to eliminate illegal child labor around the world. Last summer the Department helped to launch a campaign called Foul Ball which makes sure that soccer balls are stitched by Pakistani adults and not children who should be in school. The Department is also cooperating with such international groups as the United Nations and the International Labor Organization.

Why no one ever did anything about these sweatshops if they were so bad was because over the years many tried to improve these conditions for kids. Finally, the Fair Labor Standards Act was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on June 25, 1938. This important law limits the conditions which children may work to those that protect their health and safety and do not interfere with their education.


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