Contributors: CoCo Street ('11), Reina Hasegawa ('11), and Taylor Hughes ('11)

Introduction

2 girls protesting child 'slavery' @1909 NY Labor Day Parade
2 girls protesting child 'slavery' @1909 NY Labor Day Parade
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"In 1900, 18 percent of all American workers were under the age of 16."

Furman Owens, 12-years-old. Can't read. Doesn't know his A,B,C's. Said, "Yes I want to learn but can't when I work all the time." Been in the mills 4 years, 3 years in the Olympia Mill. Columbia, South Carolina.
Furman Owens, 12-years-old. Can't read. Doesn't know his A,B,C's. Said, "Yes I want to learn but can't when I work all the time." Been in the mills 4 years, 3 years in the Olympia Mill. Columbia, South Carolina.


"Child labor- work that harms children physically, mentally, and emotionally or keeps them from attending school.
The International Labor Organization estimates that 246 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 currently work under conditions that are considered illegal, hazardous, or extremely exploitative. Underage children work at all sorts of jobs around the world, usually because they and their families are extremely poor. Large numbers of children work in commercial agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, mining, and domestic service. Some children work in illicit activities like the drug trade and prostitution or other traumatic activities such as serving as soldiers (Continuetolearn.com)."

Different types of labor


The Mill

The Mill: A moment's glimpse of the outer world. Said she was 11 years old. Been working over a year. Rhodes Mfg. Co. Lincolnton, North Carolina.
The Mill: A moment's glimpse of the outer world. Said she was 11 years old. Been working over a year. Rhodes Mfg. Co. Lincolnton, North Carolina.

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Children who work at the mill typically work in the spinning room; there they spin threads. Some boys and girls were so small they had to climb up on to the spinning frame to mend broken threads and to put back the empty bobbins. Bibb Mill No. 1. Macon, Georgia.

The Newsies

Children, typically boys, who sell newspapers. Most of the boys stay out past midnight selling extras. The youngest boy pictured in the group is 9 years old. The 8 year old boy below that picture is selling papers after he just recovered from a second pneumonia attack.He was found later selling papers during a big rain storm.
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Miners

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Perhaps the most dangerous job that a child could have. The dust was so dense that is obscure the boys' view and penetrated the utmost recesses of their lungs. Their work as miners itself is also very dangerous and hard work. The cage used for the transportation of the boys is also very dangerous. The cage is entirely open on two sides, not well protected on the other two sides, and the boys are packed into the cage in large crowds. Boys also endure beatings and harassment from their "slave-drivers". One young driver in the Brown Mine worked from 7 am to 5 pm every day.

Other Typical Jobs for Child Labor

Three young boys under 14 working at a cigar factory. Most of them smoked.
Three young boys under 14 working at a cigar factory. Most of them smoked.

Oyster Chuckers. Even toddlers are working with their siblings or mothers.  They work from 3.30 am to 5 pm every day.
Oyster Chuckers. Even toddlers are working with their siblings or mothers. They work from 3.30 am to 5 pm every day.
8 year old riding a horse rake. A small boy like this one has difficulty keeping his seat on rough ground and this work is more or less dangerous.
8 year old riding a horse rake. A small boy like this one has difficulty keeping his seat on rough ground and this work is more or less dangerous.


Bowling alley boys. Boys set up pins until past midnight.
Bowling alley boys. Boys set up pins until past midnight.




Children are an age group that seems to always be weaker/ less important than other age groups. Children listen to their parents, and when children go to work, they have to listen to the boss. Although children had "always" been servants and apprentices throughout most of human history, child labor reached new extremes during the Industrial Revolution. Because of the extreme gaps between the rich and poor children were driven into working, which kept them from learning and harmed them mentally, emotionally, and physically. Children alone could not stop this problem of child labor. This is why many grown women and men got involved to help this fight for children's rights.


Arguments

  • Child Labor violates a nation's minimum age laws and sends children as young as age 5 into work
  • Child Labor threatens children's physical, mental, and/or health because of hazardous working conditions, serving as soldiers, and taking them away from their parents to work.
  • Child Labor involves intolerable abuse and violates the rights of humans, such as child slavery, child trafficking, debt bondage, forced labor, or illicit activities
  • Child Labor prevents children from going to school, therefore lowering their education and making them unable to succeed.
  • Child Labor uses children to undermine labor standards


Leaders

Lewis Hine
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The photography of Lewis Hine was so important in the fight against child labor laws. Hine once said, "Photography can light up darkness and expose ignorance." His photos made people aware of what was really going on in the factories, making the child labor impossible to ignore. When talking about his work in the Child Labor Movement, Hine explained, "There are two things I wanted to do. I wanted to show the things that had to be corrected. I wanted to show the things that had to be appreciated." He believed that photography could be very useful as an educational tool. The National Child Labor Committee hired him in 1908. Hine's work was a great nonviolent strategy because it showed the wrongs in American industry through undeniable photographs.
This site shows great examples of Hine’s photographs with detailed descriptions to the side: National Child Labor Committee Collection Photographs by Lewis Hine
Felix Adler

Founding chairman of the NCLC
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Florence Kelley
1859-1932, Social and Political Reformer; fought for a limit of eight hours for work day requirements, limit of age for children to 14, and right of children to an education
Owen Lovejoy


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Lillian Wald
Lillian D. Wald (1867 – 1940) was a nurse; social worker; public health official; teacher; author; editor; publisher; activist for peace, women's, children's and civil rights; and the founder of American community nursing (Wikipedia). Her compassion towards human equality is recognized around the world. Her visions are widely copied.

In 1915, Wald founded the Henry Street Neighborhood Playhouse to serve as a cultural center for human appreciation. She also lobbied for laws against child labor, to allow all children to attend school. She helped establish the United State Children’s Bureau.

The New York Times named Wald as one of the 12 greatest living American women in 1922 and she later received the Lincoln Medallion for her work as an "Outstanding Citizen of New York."

In 1937 a radio broadcast celebrated Wald's 70th birthday; Mrs. Sara Delano Roosevelt read a letter from her son, President Franklin Roosevelt, in which he praised Wald for her “unselfish labor to promote the happiness and well being of others.

Although Wald had a compassion for a number of groups and acted for all of them, Wald had a special place in her heart for ending child labor.

Organizations

Federal Children's Bureau
Official Website for the National Child Labor Committee
Child Labor Coalition
Child Labor Coalition Site/page

Action


Here are some videos that have both facts and interesting images about child labor in the US.:

The Fight to End Child Labor

Important Dates of Non Violent Action

5 September 1882
Thirty thousand workers marched in the first Labor Day parade in New York City including many children.

24 February 1912
Women and children were beaten by police during a textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

2 June 1924
A child labor ammendment to the U.S. Constitution was proposed; only 28 of the necessary 36 states ever ratified it.

  • 1832 New England unions condemn child labor.
  • 1836 Early trade unions propose state minimum age laws.
  • 1836 First state child labor law Massachusetts requires children under 15 working in factories to attend school at least 3 months/year (1st great breakthrough)
  • 1842 States begin limiting children’s work days. Massachusetts limits children’s work days to 10 hours; other states soon pass similar laws—but most of these laws are not consistently enforced
  • 1876 Labor movement urges minimum age law. Working Men’s Party proposes banning the employment of children under the age of 14
  • 1883 New York unions win state reform. Led by Samuel Gompers, the New York labor movement successfully sponsors legislation prohibiting cigar making in tenements, where thousands of young children work in the trade
  • 1892 Democrats adopt union recommendations. Democratic Party adopts platform plank based on union recommendations to ban factory employment for children under 15
  • 1904 National Child Labor Committee forms. Aggressive national campaign for federal child labor law reform begins
  • 1916 New federal law sanctions state violators. First federal child labor law prohibits movement of goods across state lines if minimum age laws are violated (law in effect only until 1918, when it’s declared unconstitutional, then revised, passed, and declared unconstitutional again)
  • 1924 First attempt to gain federal regulation fails. Congress passes a constitutional amendment giving the federal government authority to regulate child labor, but too few states ratify it and it never takes effect
  • 1936 Federal purchasing law passes. Walsh-Healey Act states U.S. government will not purchase goods made by underage children
  • 1937 New federal law sanctions growers. Sugar Act makes sugar beet growers ineligible for benefit payments if they violate state minimum age and hours of work standards
  • 1938 Federal regulation of child labor achieved in Fair Labor Standards Act. For the first time, minimum ages of employment and hours of work for children are regulated by federal law

Outcome

Here is an article from the New York Times published in 1915 about the Child Labor Bill being passed: New York Times: 1915 It goes into detail about Congress's meeting and the opinions of some of the House and Senate members.

References and Resources:

http://voices.teachingmatters.org/node/1375

https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=Children%27s+Labor+Movement&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

Child Labor in US History
Clark-Bennett, Robin, Carol Hodne, and Jennifer Sherer. "Child Labor in U.S.
History." Child Labor Public Education Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr.
2011. <http://www.continuetolearn.uiowa.edu/laborctr/child_labor/about/
us_history.html>.

http://www.history.com/topics/child-labor
Yellowitz, Irwin. "Child Labor." History.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.
<http://www.history.com/topics/child-labor>.

American Labor
"American Labor." United States History. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.
<http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1678.html>.

Progressive Era: Child Labor

Child Labor in Factories

History of Child Labor

Child Labor Cartoon

Trattner, William I. Crusade for the Children: A History of the National Child
Labor Committee and Child Labor Reform in America. N.p.: Quadrangle Books,
1970. Print.

Portrait of Lewis Hine: http://www.geh.org/fm/lwhprints/htmlsrc2/m197810590046_ful.html



Child Slavery - Sex Trafficking

Emma Major

http://www.polarisproject.org/

http://www.ijm.org/

http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/

http://www.innocenceatlanta.org/

http://www.childrenofthenight.org/