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The child labor laws in the United States include numerous statutes and rules regulating the employment of minors. According to the United States Department of Labor, child labor laws affect those under the age of 18 in a variety of occupations.[1]

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Child labor laws

In 1852, Massachusetts required children to attend school. In 1853, Charles Loring Brace founded the Children's Aid Society, which worked hard to take in children living on the street. The following year, the children were placed on a train headed for the West, where they were adopted, and often given work. By the late 1800s, the orphan train had stopped running altogether, but its principles lived on.

In 1914 the Arkansas state Federation of Labor placed a child welfare initiative on the ballot prohibiting child labor, which the voters passed.[2]

The National Child Labor Committee, an organization dedicated to the abolition of all child labor, was formed in 1904. It managed to pass one law, which was struck down by the Supreme Court two years later for violating a child's right to contract his work. In 1924, Congress attempted to pass a constitutional amendment that would authorize a national child labor law. This measure was blocked, and the bill was eventually dropped. It took the Great Depression to end child labor nationwide; adults had become so desperate for jobs that they would work for the same wage as children. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which, among other things, placed limits on many forms of child labor.

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