have always been exploited for their labor.
The idea of children
having specific rights has only emerged relatively recently.
Victorian England and 19th century USA, Canada, Japan,
Australia and New Zealand, children were commonly used as cheap
labor in mills, factories, mines, workshops and wealthy homes.
by social reform movements led to the Factory Act 1883, the Mine
Act 1842 and the Factory Act 1867 in England, which regulated working hours,
protected young children and improved working conditions.
Compulsory education, introduced by the Education Act 1870,
further limited child exploitation.
laws were passed in most States of the USA, New Zealand and in the
Canadian and Australian colonies.
20th Century, growing awareness world-wide led to the
International Labour Organization (an agency of the United
Nations) to develop standards for the protection of child labor,
culminating in the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 1999.
all countries now have laws which set a minimum age for
These laws are not always enforced, and so the
exploitation of millions of children continues.