Author(s): Bekir GÜZEL

Child labor first became a problem according to today’s legal dimension in the 16th and 17th centuries although it dates back to old times in the historical period. In those centuries, the most important reason for this is the popularity of slavery in western communities notably in North America. In the 18th and 19th centuries with the Industrial Revolution in Europe, the problem of child labor reached its peak. In spite of the national and international attempts, today it continues to be one of the most important social problems in underdeveloped and developing countries. From the historical perspective, history of the fight with the child labor has advanced parallel to the history of social politics. Further, it could be stated that social politics emerged in order to fight with child labor. The first precaution on this matter began in 1801 in England with the banning of children’s working under the age of eight. One year later, with the Factory Act law; children’s working hours, night shifts and working conditions were arranged in England again. These developments were followed by some socio politic precautions in other European countries. In the 20th century, with the increase of unity sentiment in western societies, workers supported the idea of social politics and it caused the establishment of International Labor Organization which deals with legal defense of this demand in 1919. ILO launched a research in 2000 within the IPEC programme. In 2013, the institution published an interim report (2000-2012) of this research which will involve the years between 2000 and 2016. The research was planned as five year-periods and the data was periodically shared in the years 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. The data of the fifth and the last period is expected to be published after 2016. In this study, the problem of child labor in the 21th century is discussed with the help of the data obtained within the IPEC programme.


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