Industrialization and Child Labour
Child labour may well be morally repugnant but economists go beyond this and rationally argue for policies that will help children. Traditional arguments based on perfect competition are unhelpful and even suggest child labour may be a good thing. The argument is made persuasively in Krugman’s “In Praise of Cheap Labour”. Legislating higher wages for some group will quite likely reduce overall employment and make workers as a class worse off. Banning child labour may force children away from legitimate work to work that is off the books and not necessarily legal.
Given that the sex trade is highly profitable and illegal it is easy to imagine this may well make children far worse off.
As the Industrial Revolution gathered pace thousands of factories sprang up all over the country. There were no laws relating to the running of factories as there had been no need for them before. As a result, dangerous machinery was used that could, and frequently did, cause serious injuries to workers. To add to these dangers, people were required to work incredibly long hours-often through the night. Perhaps one of the worst features of this new industrial age was the use of child labour.
Very young children worked extremely long hours and could be severely punished for any mistakes. Arriving late for work could lead to a large fine and possibly a beating. Dozing at a machine could result in the accidental loss of a limb.
People began to realize how bad these conditions were in many factories and started to campaign for improvements. There was much resistance from factory owners who felt it would slow down the running of their factories and make their products more expensive. Many people also did not like t.
.. According to CRY, child labour is not being addressed properly and the conviction rate is also low. It’s not that only the hospitality sector is employing children as workers, but household manufacturing sector and many other sectors are doing the same. Many organizations are trying to help child labour today, but not many are taking action. The problem is that the big corporations are making too much money and do not want to give in because they might loose some.
They do not care about the rights of children, as long as they make them their products for cheap in large quantities.
I believe all of the major corporations, ex: Walmart and Nike, have been made to think this is better than them starving and dying on the street. They just want to make Americans happy by providing them with cheap materials so they can rake in the profit that we do not care about.