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Encyclopedia > Child labor
A young boy recycling garbage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2006
A young boy recycling garbage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2006

Child labor is the employment of children under an age determined by law or custom. This practice is considered exploitative by many countries and international organizations. Child labor was utilized to varying extents through most of history, but entered public dispute with the beginning of universal schooling, with changes in working conditions during industrialization, and with the emergence of the concepts of workers' and children's rights. Child labor is still common in some places. Saigon redirects here. ... For other uses, see Child (disambiguation). ... // Public education is education mandated for the children of the general public by the government, whether national, regional, or local, provided by an institution of civil government, and paid for, in whole or in part, by taxes. ... Labor rights or workers rights are a group of legal rights and claimed human rights having to do with labor relations between workers and their employers, usually obtained under labor and employment law. ... Childrens rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to the young,[1] including their right to association with both Biological parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for food, universal state-paid education, health care...

Contents

Overview

Child Labor is very common, and can be factory work, mining[1], prostitution or quarrying, agriculture, helping in the parents' business, having one's own small business (for example selling food or apparrel), or doing odd jobs. Some children work as guides for tourists, sometimes combined with bringing in business for shops and restaurants (where they may also work as waiters). Other children are forced to do tedious and repetitive jobs such as: assembling boxes, polishing shoes, stocking a store's products, or cleaning. However, rather than in factories and sweatshops, most child labor occurs in the informal sector, "selling many things on the streets, at work in agriculture or hidden away in houses — far from the reach of official labor inspectors and from media scrutiny." And all the work that they did was done in all types of weather; and was also done for minimal pay.[2] Mom and pop store redirects here. ... For other uses, see Sweatshop (disambiguation). ... Of the more than 200 million children working in the world, a substantial percentage are believed to be child domestic workers. ...


According to UNICEF, there are an estimated 250 million children aged 2 to 17 in child labor worldwide, excluding child domestic labor. The most widely rejected forms of child labor include the military use of children as well as child prostitution. Less controversial, and often legal with some restrictions, are work as child actors and child singers, as well as agricultural work outside of the school year (seasonal work) and owning a business while operating it out of school's hours. A Chinese Nationalist soldier, age 10, member of a Chinese division boarding planes in Myitkyina (Burma) bound for China, May 1944. ... The Optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography to the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that the prostitution of children or child prostitution is the practice whereby a child is used by others for sexual activities in return for remuneration or any... The term child actor is generally applied to a child acting in motion pictures or television, but also to an adult who began his or her acting career as a child; to avoid confusion the latter is also called a former child actor. ... A child singer is a child who has a career as a singer. ...


Children's rights

A boy repairing a tire in Gambia
A boy repairing a tire in Gambia
Main article: Children's rights

The United Nations and the International Labor Organization consider child labor exploitative,[3][4] with the UN stipulating, in article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child that: The Republic of The Gambia is a country in West Africa. ... Childrens rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to the young,[1] including their right to association with both Biological parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for food, universal state-paid education, health care... UN redirects here. ... For other meanings of the ILO abbreviation, see ILO (disambiguation). ... Convention on the Rights of the Child Opened for signature 20 November 1989 in - Entered into force September 2, 1990 Conditions for entry into force 20 ratifications or accessions (Article 49) Parties 193 (only 2 non-parties: USA and Somalia) The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child...

...States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.[4]

Current situation in wealthy countries

Further information: Child labor in Canada

In many developed countries,[5] it is considered inappropriate or exploitative if a child below a certain age works, excluding household chores or schoolwork. An employer is often not allowed to hire a child below a certain age. This minimum age depends on the country; child labor laws in the United States set the minimum age to work in an establishment without parents' consent and restrictions at age 16. The United States has adopted numerous statutes and rules regulating the employment of minors, called child labor laws. ...


In the Industrial Revolution, children as young as four were employed in production factories with dangerous, and often fatal, working conditions.[6] Based on this understanding of the use of children as laborers, it is now considered by wealthy countries to be a human rights violation, and is outlawed, while some poorer countries may allow or tolerate it. A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ...


In the 1990s every country in the world except for Somalia and the United States became a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC. The CRC provides the strongest, most consistent international legal language prohibiting illegal child labor; however it does not make child labor illegal. Convention on the Rights of the Child Opened for signature 20 November 1989 in - Entered into force September 2, 1990 Conditions for entry into force 20 ratifications or accessions (Article 49) Parties 193 (only 2 non-parties: USA and Somalia) The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child...


Current situation in poor countries

Young girl working on a loom in Aït Benhaddou, Morocco in May 2008
Young girl working on a loom in Aït Benhaddou, Morocco in May 2008

Poor families often rely on the labors of their children for survival, and sometimes it is their only source of income. This type of work is often hidden away because it is not always in the industrial sector. Child labor is employed in subsistence agriculture and in the urban informal sector; child domestic work is also important. In order to benefit children, child labor prohibition has to address the dual challenge of providing them with both short-term income and long-term prospects. Some youth rights groups, however, feel that prohibiting work below a certain age violates human rights, reducing children's options and leaving them subject to the whims of those with money. The reasons a child would consent or want to work may vary greatly. A child may consent to work if, for example, the earnings are attractive or if the child hates school, but such consent may not be informed consent. The workplace may still be an undesirable situation for a child in the long run. Aït Benhaddou at evening light Aït Benhaddou is a fortified city or Ksar, along the former caravan route between the Sahara en Marrakech. ... The industrial sector is generally defined as manufacturing, construction, mining, agriculture, fishing and forestry establishments. ... Like most farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, this Cameroonian man cultivates at the subsistence level. ... In economics the informal economy is the system of exchange used outside state-controlled or money-based economic activities. ... Of the more than 200 million children working in the world, a substantial percentage are believed to be child domestic workers. ... Manifestations Slavery · Racial profiling · Lynching Hate speech · Hate crime · Hate groups Genocide · Holocaust · Pogrom Ethnocide · Ethnic cleansing · Race war Religious persecution · Gay bashing Pedophobia · Ephebiphobia Movements Discriminatory Aryanism · Neo-Nazism · Supremacism Kahanism Anti-discriminatory Abolitionism · Civil rights · Gay rights Womens/Universal suffrage · Mens rights Childrens rights · Youth... Informed consent is a legal condition whereby a person can be said to have given consent based upon an appreciation and understanding of the facts and implications of an action. ...


In an influential paper on "The Economics of Child Labor" in the American Economic Review (1998), Kaushik Basu and Pham Huang Van argue that the primary cause of child labor is parental poverty. That being so, they caution against the use of a legislative ban against child labor, and argue that should be used only when there is reason to believe that a ban on child labor will cause adult wages to rise and so compensate adequately the households of the poor children. The American Economic Review (AER) is a quarterly journal of economics published by the American Economic Association. ...


Child labor is still widely used today in many countries,including India and Bangladesh. Even though country law states that no child under the age of 14 may work, this law is ignored. Children as young as 11 go to work for up to 20 hours a day in sweatshops making items for US companies, such as Hanes, Wal-mart, and Target. They get paid as little as 6 and a half cents per item. One of the largest companies in Bangladesh is Harvest Rich, who claim not to use child labor, although the children only got 1d per week.[citation needed]The United Nations and the International Labor Organization consider child labor exploitative,[4][5] with the UN stipulating, in article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child that:


...States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.[5]


Campaigns against child labor

Two girls wearing banners with slogan "ABOLISH CHILD SLAVERY!!" in English and Yiddish. Probably taken during May 1, 1909 labor parade in New York City.
Two girls wearing banners with slogan "ABOLISH CHILD SLAVERY!!" in English and Yiddish. Probably taken during May 1, 1909 labor parade in New York City.

Child labor was approached from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. For example, Karl Marx called for "Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form" in his Communist Manifesto. Concern has also been raised about the buying public's moral complicity in purchasing products assembled or otherwise manufactured in developing countries with child labor. Others have raised concerns that boycotting products manufactured through child labor may force these children to turn to more dangerous or strenuous professions, such as prostitution or agriculture. For example, a UNICEF study found that 5,000 to 7,000 Nepalese children turned to prostitution after the United States banned that country's carpet exports in the 1990s. Also, after the Child Labor Deterrence Act was introduced in the US, an estimated 50,000 children were dismissed from their garment industry jobs in Bangladesh, leaving many to resort to jobs such as "stone-crushing, street hustling, and prostitution," -- all of them, according to a UNICEF study.[2] "more hazardous and exploitative than garment production". The study says that boycotts are "blunt instruments with long-term consequences, that can actually harm rather than help the children involved." Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1024x699, 149 KB)Photograph shows half-length portrait of two girls wearing banners with slogan ABOLISH CH[ILD] SLAVERY!! in English and Yiddish, one carrying American flag; spectators stand nearby. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1024x699, 149 KB)Photograph shows half-length portrait of two girls wearing banners with slogan ABOLISH CH[ILD] SLAVERY!! in English and Yiddish, one carrying American flag; spectators stand nearby. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Yiddish ( yidish or idish, literally: Jewish) is a non-territorial Germanic language, spoken throughout the world and written with the Hebrew alphabet. ... is the 121st day of the year (122nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Malayalam editon of the Manifesto The Communist Manifesto, also known as The Manifesto of the Communist Party, first published on February 21, 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is one of the worlds most historically influential political tracts. ... A developing country is a country with low average income compared to the world average. ... Look up Boycott in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... UNICEF Logo The United Nations Childrens Fund or UNICEF (Arabic: ; French: ; Spanish: ) was established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946. ... The Child Labor Deterrence Act was created by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and ratified by Congress in April of 1995. ...


Today there are several industries and corporations which are being targeted by activists for their use of child labor.


Recent child labor incidents

The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company operate a rubber plantation in Liberia which is the focus of a global campaign called Stop Firestone. Workers on the plantation are expected to fulfill a high production quota or their wages will be halved. As a result, many workers are forced to bring children to work. The International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit against Firestone (The International Labor Fund vs. The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company) in November 2005 on behalf of current child laborers and their parents who had also been child laborers on the plantation. On June 26, 2007, the judge in this lawsuit in Indianapolis, Indiana denied Firestone's motion to dismiss the case and allowed the lawsuit to proceed on child labor claims. The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company was founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900 to supply pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A class action law suit was filed by The International Labor Fund on November 17, 2005 against The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, on behalf of a group of former child laborers, in Liberia. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


A UK investigative report in October of 2007 found children as young as nine working sixteen to nineteen hours a day without pay in India producing Gap for Kids clothing. One child, Jivaj, from West Bengal told The Observer that some of the boys in the sweatshop had been badly beaten. 'Our hours are hard and violence is used against us if we don't work hard enough. This is a big order for abroad, they keep telling us that. 'Last week, we spent four days working from dawn until about one o'clock in the morning the following day. I was so tired I felt sick,' he whispers, tears streaming down his face. 'If any of us cried we were hit with a rubber pipe. Some of the boys had oily cloths stuffed in our mouths as punishment.'[7] For other uses, see Gap. ...


On October 28, Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America, responded, "We strictly prohibit the use of child labor. This is a non-negotiable for us – and we are deeply concerned and upset by this allegation. As we’ve demonstrated in the past, Gap has a history of addressing challenges like this head-on, and our approach to this situation will be no exception. In 2006, Gap Inc. ceased business with 23 factories due to code violations. We have 90 people located around the world whose job is to ensure compliance with our Code of Vendor Conduct. As soon as we were alerted to this situation, we stopped the work order and prevented the product from being sold in stores. While violations of our strict prohibition on child labor in factories that produce product for the company are extremely rare, we have called an urgent meeting with our suppliers in the region to reinforce our policies."[8]


Child labor is used in the production of cocoa powder, used to make chocolate. See Economics of cocoa. For other uses, see Chocolate (disambiguation). ...


Milton Friedman's Defense of Child Labor

Child laborer, New Jersey, 1910
Child laborer, New Jersey, 1910

According to economist and capitalist Milton Friedman, children's participation in economic activity was commonplace prior to the Industrial Revolution as children performed labor on their farms or for their families. Friedman, the author of the phrase Miracle of Chile and educator of the economists at the University of Chicago, popularly referred to as the Chicago Boys, claimed that the Industrial Revolution saw a net decline in child labor, rather than an increase.[9] He claimed this to be supported both by economic theory, referred to by some journalists as Market fundamentalism, and empirical evidence.[10][11] According to Friedman's theory, before the Industrial Revolution virtually all children worked in agriculture. During the Industrial Revolution many of these children moved from farm work to factory work. Over time, as real wages rose, parents became able to afford to send their children to school instead of work and as a result child labor declined, both before and after legislation. Download high resolution version (1013x800, 417 KB) Rose Biodo, 1216 Annan St. ... Download high resolution version (1013x800, 417 KB) Rose Biodo, 1216 Annan St. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American Nobel Laureate economist and public intellectual. ... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... The Miracle of Chile is a phrase coined by Milton Friedman in 1982 to describe the liberal, monetarist economic reforms implemented in Chile under the government of President Augusto Pinochet. ... The Chicago Boys (c. ... Market fundamentalism (or free-market fundamentalism) is a conviction that free markets are generally beneficial. ...


Yet Friedman's theory posited that the absence of child labor is a luxury that many poor states cannot yet afford, and that to prohibit it is to prevent the overall economic growth necessary to eventually relieve a society of the need for child labor. In poor societies he claimed that children will be put to work by their families by whatever means necessary. Moreover, in addition to possibly increasing family costs on a depleted family income, in the absence of a public school program, parents may have to forego potential labor time and income, to care for their children.[9]


However, the British historian and socialist E.P. Thompson in The Making of the English Working Class draws a qualitative distinction between child domestic work and participation in the wider (waged) labor-market.[6] Further, the usefulness of the experience of the industrial revolution in making predictions about current trends has been disputed. Economic historian Hugh Cunningham, author of Children and Childhood in Western Society Since 1500, notes that: Edward Palmer Thompson (1924-1993) was a historian probably best known for his work The Making of the English Working Class, which included his reassessment of the Luddite movement. ... The Making of the English Working Class is an influential work of English social history, written by E. P. Thompson a notable a New Left historian; it was published in 1963 (revised 1968) by Victor Gollancz Ltd, and later republished at Pelican, becoming an early Open University Set Book. ... Of the more than 200 million children working in the world, a substantial percentage are believed to be child domestic workers. ...

"Fifty years ago it might have been assumed that, just as child labor had declined in the developed world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so it would also, in a trickle-down fashion, in the rest of the world. Its failure to do that, and its re-emergence in the developed world, raise questions about its role in any economy, whether national or global."[11]

Big Bill Haywood, a leading labor organizer and leader of the Western Federation of Miners and a founding member and leader of the Industrial Workers of the World famously claimed "the worst thief is he who steals the playtime of children!" [12] William Dudley Big Bill Haywood (February 4, 1869–May 18, 1928) was a prominent figure in American radical unionism as a leader in the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) and later as a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). ... Western Federation of Miners famous flyer entitled Is Colorado in America? The Western Federation of Miners (WFM) was a radical labor union that gained a reputation for militancy in the mine fields of the western United States. ... The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international union currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. At its peak in 1923 the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. ...


According to Thomas DeGregori, an economics professor at the University of Houston, in an article published by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank operating in Washington D.C., "it is clear that technological and economic change are vital ingredients in getting children out of the workplace and into schools. Then they can grow to become productive adults and live longer, healthier lives. However, in poor countries like Bangladesh, working children are essential for survival in many families, as they were in our own heritage until the late 19th century. So, while the struggle to end child labor is necessary, getting there often requires taking different routes -- and, sadly, there are many political obstacles."[13]. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Institutes stated mission is to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and peace by striving to achieve greater involvement...


Austrian school economist Murray Rothbard also defended child labor, stating that British and American children of the pre- and post-Industrial Revolution went "voluntarily and gladly" to work in factories. [1] The Austrian School, also known as the “Vienna School” or the “Psychological School”, is a heterodox school of economic thought that advocates adherence to strict methodological individualism. ... Murray Newton Rothbard (March 2, 1926 – January 7, 1995) was an influential American economist, historian and natural law theorist belonging to the Austrian School of Economics who helped define modern libertarianism. ...


See also

Organized Labour Portal

International conventions and other instruments: Image File history File links Syndicalism. ... The legal working age is the minimum age required by law for a person to work, in each country or jurisdiction. ... Manifestations Slavery · Racial profiling · Lynching Hate speech · Hate crime · Hate groups Genocide · Holocaust · Pogrom Ethnocide · Ethnic cleansing · Race war Religious persecution · Gay bashing Movements Discriminatory Aryanism · Neo-Nazism · Supremacism Fundamentalism · Kahanism Anti-discriminatory Abolitionism · Civil rights · Gay rights Womens/Universal suffrage · Mens rights Childrens rights · Youth rights... The International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) is a programme that the International Labour Organisation has run from 1992. ... A Chinese soldier, age 10, member of a Chinese division boarding planes in Myitkyina (Burma) bound for China, May 1944. ... The Optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography to the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that the prostitution of children or child prostitution is the practice whereby a child is used by others for sexual activities in return for remuneration or any... The Amsterdam Foundation for International Research on Working Children (IREWOC), has been founded in 1991 in order generate more research on child labour. ... Youth activism is best summarized as youth voice engaged in community organizing for social change. ... The London matchgirls strike of 1888 was a strike of the women and teenage girls working at the Bryant and May Factory in Bow, London. ... On July 18, 1899, the tensions between newspaper and their distributers aka newsboys over a ten cent price hike which had started late the previous year came to a head with a mob attacking a delivery wagon in Queens. ... Ravensburg: Sculpture of the Ravensburg Child Market by Peter Lenk The Swabian children (German: Schwabenkinder) were peasant children taken from poor families in the Alps of Austria (especially Vorarlberg, Tyrol and South Tyrol) and Switzerland to work on German farms. ...

The Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, known in short as the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, was adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 1999 as ILO Convention No 182. ... The Worst Forms of Child Labour Recommendation was adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 1999 as ILO Recommendation No 190. ...

References

  1. ^ Child labor in Kyrgyz coal mines. BBC NewsChid labour is legal in many countries however many people won't believe it.. Retrieved on 2007-08-25.
  2. ^ a b The State of the World's Children 1997. UNICEF. Retrieved on 2007-04-15.
  3. ^ Worst Forms of Child labor Recommendation, 1999. International labor Organization. Retrieved on 2006-10-05.
  4. ^ a b Convention on the Rights of the Child. United Nations. Retrieved on 2006-10-05.
  5. ^ Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Retrieved on 2006-10-05.
  6. ^ a b E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, (Penguin, 1968), pp. 366-7
  7. ^ Child sweatshop shame threatens Gap's ethical image | Business | The Observer
  8. ^ Gap Inc. - Media - Press Releases
  9. ^ a b Friedman, Milton. Take it to the Limits: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism." Interview. February 10 1999.<http://www.uncommonknowledge.org/99winter/324.html#top>
  10. ^ Nardinelli, Clark. "Child Labor and the Factory Acts." Journal of Economic History, Dec. 1980.<http://www.jstor.org/view/00220507/di975653/97p03175/>
  11. ^ a b Hugh Cunningham, "The Employment and Unemployment of Children in England c.1680-1851." Past and Present. Feb., 1990
  12. ^ WOBBLIES! A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the world edited by Paul Buhle and Nicole Schulman p.294.
  13. ^ DeGregori, Thomas R., "Child Labor or Child Prostitution?" Cato Institute.

Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 105th day of the year (106th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 5th October (Serbia). ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 5th October (Serbia). ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 5th October (Serbia). ... is the 41st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Human Rights Watch: Child Labor (2260 words)
Child labor ranges from four-year-olds tied to rug looms to keep them from running away, to seventeen-year-olds helping out on the family farm.
Child agricultural workers frequently work for long hours in scorching heat, haul heavy loads of produce, are exposed to toxic pesticides, and suffer high rates of injury from sharp knives and other dangerous tools.
Child trafficking is prohibited under international law as both a "practice similar to slavery" and one of the "worst forms of child labor.” States have an urgent and immediate obligation to eradicate trafficking in children.
Child Labor - MSN Encarta (822 words)
Child Labor, designation formerly applied to the practice of employing young children in factories, now used to denote the employment of minors generally, especially in work that may interfere with their education or endanger their health.
The use of child labor was not regarded a social problem until the introduction of the factory system.
But in 1922 the Child Labor Tax Law, as it was known, was ruled unconstitutional for being overtly “prohibitory and regulatory.” In 1924 both houses of Congress passed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, empowering Congress to limit, regulate, and prohibit the labor of persons under 18 years of age.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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