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Child Labor

Child labor is a complex phenomenon, beset by controversy and plagued by issues of definition and value-based assumptions. 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. Often, 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 sought to define child labor more narrowly as work that is harmful to children, as distinct from other forms of work either not harmful or beneficial to their development. At the same time, there has been a growing recognition that other forms of work not directly involved in the production of goods and ...

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