Child labour

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Children going to a 12-hour night shift in the United States (1908).

Child labour refers to the employment of children in remunerative activities not related to their education.


  • Alas! to think upon a child
    That has no childish days,
    No careless play, no frolics wild,
    No words of prayer and praise.
    Man from the cradle, 'tis too soon
    To earn their daily bread,
    And heap the heat and toil of noon
    Upon an infant's head.
    To labour ere their strength be come,
    Or starve — such is the doom
    That makes of many an English home,
    One long and living tomb.
    • Letitia Elizabeth Landon A Birthday Tribute, Addressed to Her Royal Highness the Princess Alexandrina Victoria, on Attaining her Eighteenth Year (published for 24th May 1837) From a subsidiary poem in one of the footnotes.
  • When you are living in a globalized economy and a globalized world, you cannot live in isolation, all the problems and solutions are interconnected, and so the problem of child labor in any part of the world is your problem. … The world should have one thing in mind — if the children are exploited in any part of the world, if the children are deprived of their childhood in any part of the world, the world cannot live in peace … The world cannot be human.
  • No sooner does a divine gift reveal itself in youth or maid than its market value becomes the decisive consideration, and the poor young creatures are offered for sale, as we might sell angels who had strayed among us.
  • We must speak up for the children of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan who are suffering from terrorism, poverty, child labour and child trafficking. Let us help them through our voice, action and charity. Let us help them to read books and go to school. And let us not forget that even one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.

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