The Industrial Revolution in America spurred the growth of child labor, encouraged the development of work unions, and contributed to the formation of employment laws. Child labor is work for children that harms or exploits them either physically, mentally, morally, or blocks their access to education. Child labor is a major problem throughout the world today, especially in developing countries. There is an estimated 250 million child workers, between the ages of 5 and 14, who work either part or full-time. Children are put to work for many reasons, including schooling problems, poverty, and pressure from their parents to contribute to the family income, even at young ages. Also, traditional factors, such as rigid cultural and social roles in some countries contribute to the inaccessibility of education, further increasing child labor. Working children are exploited in terms of their long hours and minimal pay. Though restrictions on child labor exist in most nations, many children continue to be put to work. They must endure poor work conditions and serve as subjects of physical abuse. Unfair employers capitalize on children's inexperience and degrade their innocence by paying them poorly and forcing them to perform difficult tasks. Because there is no international definition of child labor and its factors, it is extremely hard to abolish it. Most countries now have laws against child labor, yet several still continue to utilize children to perform rigid work, giving them unfair wages. Children, as well as adults have gained some justice, but continue in their fight to break free from unjust employers. The struggle to win fair treatment, higher wages, and shorter hours has partly been accomplished by the formation of labor unions, both by adults and children .
In the 1800's and 1900's, the amount of child labor rose immensely, due to the increasing amount of factories being built.