Belabored: Child Labor, Child Strikes, with Jack Hodgson

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When you hear the words “child labor,” your mind may go to the turn-of-the-century photographs taken by Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine of the grim lives of tiny laborers toiling in mines and urban sweatshops. Or you may think about the children in Africa or South Asia who dig for precious metals or harvest crops on plantations; their exploitation is the target of many international human-rights campaigns and condemnations from various Global North governments. But recent news reports have revealed that child labor is alive and well in the United States in 2023. Fueled in large part by the influx of migrants from Central America, many “unaccompanied minors,” or children living with relatives, have to work to support families back home. Meanwhile, some politicians are actively working to undermine existing child labor restrictions—as weak as they already are—under the pretext that giving businesses the flexibility to employ child workers for longer hours and with less oversight is actually beneficial for society. 

Jack Hodgson, a Lecturer in history at the University of Roehampton, joins the podcast to discuss child labor throughout U.S. history and in the context of labor and civil rights struggles that continue to this day.

Period10 Apr 2023

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