Trends in Modern Child Labor Laws

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Modern children in the United States have plenty of opportunities in the present-day world. They receive a good education, have time for their hobbies, and pursue their dreams. However, the situation is not the same for all the children in the country, and the government is trying to eliminate the disparities. The main reason for them lies in the presence of child labor, and U.S. government departments and agencies are working to protect the children and provide them with equal rights.

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There is a row of initiatives and laws restricting child labor in the United States and ensuring children’s rights to the proper education and leisure time. The first law considering child labor is the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (“Youth and labor,” 2016). It helps to prevent employers from hiring children for dangerous work and limits the amount of hours children under 16 are allowed to work.

However, the task of the federal agencies is not only prohibiting the improper use of child labor but also creating necessary conditions for the children employed in the areas allowed for them. Such initiatives, as YouthRules!, are providing “positive and safe work experience” for working children (“Youth and labor,” 2016, para.2). It includes all the necessary information on required working conditions and single state laws for children of different age categories all over the country.

Another aspect of the government’s concern is the provision of employment opportunities and assistance in the future career choice for disabled children. The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is the one to ensure work for this population group (“Youth and labor,” 2016). It offers resources for school-based career preparation, family involvement, and many others. Therefore, all categories of children have the right to future employment and development in the sphere of vocational training.

The federal departments and agencies mentioned above serve the only purpose to provide equal conditions for all U.S. children to ensure their future career development. For this, they need to have enough free time and opportunities to define their interests and values. According to Eli Ginzberg, the stage of 11-17 years is the most important one considering the development of skills that will help children to choose the right profession in the future (Trice and Greer, 2016). Once children fail to gain the necessary experience in their teenage years, they are more likely to have problems with career choice.

There is a row of factors that have an impact on the professional sphere of life. Ginzberg claims that the essential ones include the responsibilities a child has at home and the economic and social circumstances of his or her family (Trice and Greer, 2016). Therefore, the problem of forced or exploitive child labor is a critical issue for the U.S. government. The Office of Child Labor by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) works to eliminate the factors preventing child development due to the necessity to work in families (“Youth and labor,” 2016). The provision of international information on child labor helps to increase awareness among U.S. citizens on the issue.

The U.S. government, with its federal departments and agencies, works to ensure every child with opportunities for future development in the professional sphere and eliminate the disparities between different categories of children. The new policy of the country is concerned with the current worldwide issues, which leads to the creation of child labor programs. The protection of children from forced labor might result in the informed choice of future careers and the presence of necessary skills.

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References

Trice, A. D., & Greer, H. W. (2016). Theories of career development in childhood and early adolescence. Career Exploration and Development in Childhood (pp. 25-37). New York: Routledge.

Youth and labor. (2016). Web.

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