Although child labour has been around for most of human history, it has not been until the United Nations Convention No. 138 on the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment in 1973 that laws were put in place to prevent children from working in laborious environments. This convention was ratified by 156 of the 183 in the ILO (International Labour Organization). In 1999 Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour was established and ratified by 173 of the 183 states in the ILO eliminating things like child pornography, child slavery, and worm that could harm the safety or morals of children. Even with these agreements between countries established, child labour is still prominent throughout most of the world. Not only have major companies like Walmart and Gap violated these agreement, there are many factories throughout third world countries that employ children in hazardous environments. There is an estimated 250 to 304 million children working like this.
Chill labour is a controversial topic discussed around the world. An estimated 168 million boys and girls work in child labour, 85 million in which are involved with hazardous work conditions. Hazardous child labour, meaning working in dangerous industries or workplaces where children are likely to be in interaction with exploitative situations. Mines, or workforces with chemical and pesticides are also included in hazardous child labour. One must ask, why is child labour such an issue? Some of the main reasons are because childhood is an important time period in one’s life because it is the time period in which a human is starting to grow cognitively and behaviorally, physical strains that could lead to life long problems such as disabilities and spinal injuries, being away from school causing a habit of not attending and focusing on priorities. Some types of child labor are forms of slavery, such as the sailing and trafficking of children, informed recruitment of children for use in the armed forces, offering children for prositution, pronography, or pornography performances, offering of a child for illicit activities, trafficking of drugs, etc. Labour that jeopardizes the physical, mental, or moral well-being of a child is considered an act of child labour. because By the 1990’s, the states started to enforce child labor laws. Many children worked in mines, factories, textiles, agriculture, home industries, messengers, bootblacks, and peddlers.