In Laura Offenhartz Greene's book Child Labor: Then and Now, child labor is described as "the abuse and misuse of children at work work that exploits children- (p. 9). In every nation, in all times, employers have exploited children and continue to do so even in today's modern world. Over the past three hundred years, drastic reforms have been created and laws against child labor have been put into effect, yet the struggle against child labor continues. Many organizations are working towards a world that does not involve child labor, however the battle is ongoing, and an effective solution seems distant. Child labor is a plague that is constantly affecting millions of people around the world. The history of this epidemic is extensive, and although much progress has been made in the form of laws banning child labor the problem does not seem to be improving due to poverty levels and continuous industrialization, especially in developing nations.
"Child labor" is, generally speaking, work for children that harms them or exploits them in some way (physically, mentally, morally, or by blocking access to education). However, there is no universally accepted definition of "child labor,"" varying definitions of the term are used by international organizations, non-governmental organizations, trade unions and other interest groups. Writers and speakers don't always specify what definition they are using, and that often leads to confusion. The International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions variously define the appropriate minimum age of work as age 15, or 14 in developing nations (Child's Labor Organization). For the purpose of this essay, I will be using the ILO conventions. .
Child labor comes in many forms, some employers pay low wages or no wages at all, others force children to work excessive hours or fail to provide them with a safe, healthy working environment. If this exploitation is severe enough, permanent physical, psychological, intellectual, social, and moral damage "even death "can result.