Left - At 5 ., boys going home from Monougal Glass Works. One boy remarked, "De place is lousey wid kids." Fairmont, West Virginia. Mid - A few of the young workers in the Beaumont Mill. Spartenburg, South Carolina. Right - Fish cutters at a canning company in Maine. Ages range from 7 to 12. They live near the factory. The 7-year-old boy in front, Byron Hamilton, has a badly cut finger but helps his brother regularly. Behind him is his brother George, age 11, who cut his finger half off while working. Ralph, on the left, displays his knife and also a badly cut finger. They and many youngsters said they were always cutting themselves. George earns a dollar some days usually 75 cents. Some of the others say they earn a dollar when they work all day. At times they start at 7 . and work all day until midnight.
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Should it be illegal for you to ask your kids to take the trash out or vacuum a room?
No. However, we also pay people to do those things when they do them in larger quantities. So, whether it's acceptable is a matter of degree and safety. It's fine when your 10-year old helps vacuum, but not so much when they replace a fuse or the clean gutters - even if those can be quickly, they can be hazardous.
Should children be allowed to work in Bangladesh? Yes.
Should they be allowed to work 12 hour shifts? Probably not.
Should they subjected to unsafe working conditions? No, but who should be?
The alternative to child labor is not a first-class western education.