Argumentative Essay On Child Labor

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The September 1906 edition of Cosmopolitan magazine includes a story of a Native American chieftain. He was given a tour of New York, and saw high rise skyscrapers and the Brooklyn Bridge. He observed people at the circus and in poor tenements. At the end of his journey, several men asked him “What is the most surprising thing you have seen?” He replied: “Little children working” (Schuman). Although this may have seemed surprising to the chieftain, it was not uncommon in 20th century America. Child labor is the illegal act of using children in industry or business, even when conditions are inhumane. According to the United Nations, about 168 million children aged 5 to 17 are engaged in near-slavery practices such as bonded labor, sexual exploitation, or in illegal activities like drug trafficking (Child). Therefore, child labor should be stopped because it is essentially slavery, undermines basic human rights, and has detrimental impact on any child’s overall well-being. Child Labor should be stopped because of corporations or businesses exploiting them and treating them almost like slaves. This trend was not uncommon in the past as it is present as in the 19th century, similar things happened: In the 1870s in New York, Italian “padrones” bordered child slavery under the name of apprenticeship. Italian parents were often deceived into arrangements, supposedly for teaching them how to play an instrument. However, this was a lie as they were “swept” off to America where they were forced to become street performers with all earnings going to the padrone. Defiant children were often beaten because of this misconduct. (Schuman) Imagine yourself in that situation, how depressing it would be to be taken from your family, and your earnings stolen by someone that abuses you on a regular basis. This is the grim reality of people in the past as well as today, but how can we stop it? In 2006, 97 delegates attended the Global Child Labor Conference in an attempt to eradicate the worst forms of child labor by 2016. Although these efforts have led to a decrease in working children, this rate of decrease has slowed and without further action, will likely fail to make a significant change. The violation of basic human

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