Child Labor

Child labor is a complex phenomenon that has been complicated further by definitional difficulties. Traditionally, many government officials, union representatives, and social reformers have used the term child labor to refer to any wage work by children in the labor market. Oftentimes, they have argued that all such work is harmful to children and, therefore, “child labor” should be prohibited. In recent years, increasing numbers of commentators have come to define child labor more narrowly as that work that is harmful to children as distinct from other forms of work either not harmful or beneficial to their development. The present article uses the terms child work or child employment to refer to children's engagement in any economic activity with the term child labor reserved for ...

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