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Child Labor


It is estimated by the International Labour Rights Organization that 1.3 million children work more than 43 hours per week. In Chapter 7, Timmerman discusses how Bangladesh defines "child."

Ultimately, how young is too young to work in your opinion?

115 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. I agree with TN child labor acts and think they're okay. http://www.tn.gov/workforce/article/child-labor. However, I think the age can be younger if they are doing some work on family farms or other businesses.

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  4. In my opinion, anything younger than 16 is too young. In the United States, kids begin looking for summer jobs around 15-16 years old. Anything younger than that, (especially working in factories) can cause problems in a child's growth.

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    1. Actually I think that anyone over the age of 10 and understands what work is can be a great helper. But if we talk about factory work I think 15+ is a good age to start but anyone younger has a great chance of getting hurt.

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  5. In my opinion, i agree with Maggie. the youngest i think you should be able to work is about 15 or 16. however, it's perfectly fine with me to work if you are younger doing simple jobs in a store that's owned by family.

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  7. I agree with Emily. Age 15 should be the youngest a child should be able to work. However, like she said, I believe it's perfectly fine for children younger than 15 to work in family busineses or simpler jobs that don't require anything that would potentially harm them.

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    1. Aka me. My job isn't very strenuous.

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  8. Maggie has worded it very well. However in my opinion if you understand how to work and you need the money, go for it. I think 15-16 is very old to just start working. Of course if its factory work then it's fine, 15 is a good age. But if we're talking about working in publix or a store like that. 12-13 would be a good age to start and learn.

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    1. I agree. As long as the job isn't dangerous or has to many responsibilities the child/teenager should work there.

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    2. I didn't think about younger people at ages of 12-13. I also agree how if you really need money at a young age you need to at least need to work in a safe environment like Jason said.

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    3. The thing is that many people that have to work at a young age work in factories instead of safer environments like Publix, and those safe environments are less likely to hire, anyway. But yes, if they are willing to take on younger teenagers, it would be a good place to start.

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    4. i agree with you Christy a 12 to 13 year old should be able to work as long as its safe and its his/hers decision.

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    5. I agree a 12 to 13 year old should be able to work if their working conditions are safe.

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  9. In my opinion, the age that a child starts working should be based upon condition. Some places aren't very financially stable, so in a family work situation the kids may have to work at an earlier age.

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    1. I agree completely, many people need money to help provide for their families and themselves. If working at a younger age is what it takes to put food on the table then I think that is okay. I know if my family needed me or my sister to work to help out we would try our best to find a job.

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    2. I agree with both of your statements. If the family is poorer and unable to put food on the table, some of the kids would have to step up or risk the family becoming homeless.

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    3. I defiantly agree with both things you said. If the family in finically unstable and the parent's paychecks are not enough, the kid should be able to get a job to earn more money for the household.

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    4. I agree with what you said here, if the parents cannot support their family, the kids have every right to work if they have to, but only if they agree with it.

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    5. I agree completely. If a family is on the brink of becoming homeless, I understand the reason behind allowing the kids to work. Honestly, I don't think the kids would have a problem with working if it meant they could help save the whole family.

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  10. I think that at 15 someone should be legally allowed to work anywhere they want, but if they are younger they can work at less dangerous jobs like stores or other shops.

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    1. I agree with your statement. I see no harm with a a child as young as ten working in a market place or another safe environment . As long as the child is not in harm's way, they could start working as soon as the employers feel that they are responsible enough.

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  11. I think that 14 should be the legal age to employ a child. You have to think about the fact that the children need to make money for their families. By taking that into consideration, I believe that maybe a younger age for children helps them help their family.

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    1. I believe you are right at the age of 14 kids can be given jobs to support their families and better themselves.

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    2. I think 15 should be the youngest a child can work and support for their family.

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  12. I think you need to be about 15 to 16 years of age to handle the responsibility of a job. You understand your responsibilities and know know enough by then to understand what to do in a workplace.

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    1. I completely agree with you, because you should be mature enough by then.

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  14. I believe that you need to be about 15 or 16 to legally have a job. I don't think any ages below that would be able to carry on a job. It takes lots of responsibility and hard work.

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  15. If you know at least most of the dangers of a workplace, being a helper or having a small job seems fine to me, but I think you should at least be 15-16 to have an actual job.

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  16. I think that if you help a family out on a farm then that is fine, but if you are working away from your family you should be at least 14 to legally work to help provide for your family.

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  17. I feel they it is okay to start working a young age, but it is very hard for me to put an exact number on it. I think that many situations are different and looking at previous comments makes me see the different point of views, but reading the book I have found that many children are the main providers in there family. Without them they wold not be able to afford food or anything that they have now. In my opinion I think that it them working is what it takes it is okay.

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    2. I agree that in some situations it is necessary for a child to work at a young age, but I think children should try to not drop out of school. If a child drops out of school at a young age, then they will not receive the education they need to be hired in jobs lucrative enough to support their family. This means that their children will have to start working at a young age like their parents did, which leads to a cycle of poverty.

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    3. I agree with Shali and Cheyenne. Shali said that the children are the main providers of the families, which is true. But Cheyenne stated that these children are dropping out of school too early to look for jobs. If one member of the family stayed in school a bit longer they would eventually receive a better education, which would then lead to a better job, and better pay. Soon the children of that one member would be able to stay in school longer, and be able to get better jobs and pay, just like their parents did. In time, you would created a productive cycle, that helps many people.

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    4. I agree with the points Shali made that even though the kid may not be very old in most cases the child was the main provider for the family.

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  18. It's different if you're working at a family business, but if you have to work at a factory or convenience store you should be about 16, maybe. They should be able to realize the consequences of getting hurt, but sometimes they have no choice because they have to provide for their families.

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    1. I agree working at a family business is different because you are with your family and they can take care of you. I believe that if you are going to work at a factory you should be at least 16.

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  19. In my opinion I believe that anyone under the ages of 15-16 is too young to work anywhere, especially in a factory! I think it'd be ok to start looking for a job around the age of 16, because you should be mature enough by then to take on that kind of responsibility.

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  20. In my opinion, the age that is to young to work is any age at which work interferes with a child's primary education. If a child leaves school to work it will be hard for them to find a better job later on, because they will not have the education necessary to pursue a university degree. I think it is fine for a child to do work with a family business or after school as long as it is not dangerous.

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    1. I agree that a child should not leave school to work before they at least finish primary education

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    2. I agree with this as well, so they can at least have a summer job or a small one on the weekends that doesn't interfere with any education.

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    3. I completely agree. I don't think that there is a job that should interfere with anyone's education. If they really need a job one on the weekends or during the summer is the best option.

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  21. In my opinion, I think that you should legally be at least fifteen years old to work at an actual job. If you are younger, then you can work on smaller jobs to understand the responsibility you have to take on. However, I do not think that it's right for a child to drop out of school and face financial issues later in life because they didn't get enough education. But after reading the book and stepping in to some of the the workers shoes, I understand why they work at such a young age. It's because they need to make money to support their parents and siblings.

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  22. My thoughts are that kids should not start working until the age of 16. That is when they start to gain some responsibility. It will help them later on down the road when they have more responsibility like working a factory. If they start to young, they could also get burned out. The body can only do so much as a little kid. If they want to get smaller jobs that's ok like cleaning or walking dogs. They are not ready to work in a factory under the age of 16.

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  23. In my opinion, children shouldn't be allowed to work until the age of 15 or 16. By that stage in their lives, they will have had some education and understand that they do need to have a job to earn money to help their families. Any child under the age of 15 shouldn't be allowed to work because they are too young and inexperienced. They need all the education they can receive.

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    1. I agree that children need to revive all the education they can get but some children that lie about their age to work in a factory are doing it for their family to survive.

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    2. I agree, kids need the education to be able to handle the responsibilities of working.

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  25. I believe that children should not have to work until they are at least 15 unless, it is a family business, and I also do not agree with the fact that some children don't attend school because they have to work in a factory to help there family. If they work instead of attending school it could potentially ruin there future. Therefore i believe they shouldn't work until they are at least 15.

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    1. I agree with you about they should not leave school over a job because there lives could be ruined.

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  26. In my opinion kids that are 14 or 15 could start working if they know what they are doing. If they are around that age they should work for small company's that would not have the kid working to hard or could get hurt. The kids should go to school then after they could go to work. But kids should not leave school for work because education is more important.

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  27. Personally, I believe that 15 should be the legal age to apply for a paying job in town. Other than that, if you are 11 or older and looking for chores to do around the house or yard work to do with a neighbor, I find it completely exceptional.

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    1. I agree completely with that. If you are 11-14 years old it is perfectly fine to do chores or work with a neighbor because you are surrounded by a safe environment.

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    2. I agree with both of you. As kids we should be in a safe environment learning how to handle a little responsibility with our chores and still be kids. At 15 you start to learn the value of money and how you need to save and spend it to take care of yourself.

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  28. For me, I believe that if you're around 11-14 years old, you can do simple jobs like babysitting or lawn mowing, something for just a few hours and not harmful for them. I feel that way because they still need time for school activity and academics, and still have a childhood. If any younger, I just think that they don't have the skills or knowledge to preform the work and they're still a young kid and just starting to get into education seriously. From the age of 15 or 16 years of age I think you're suitable enough to find a part time job to earn some income or just get some job experience for when your older and looking for a career job.

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  29. I think kids should start working when they realize how valuable money is. For kids in poorer countries, that age might be lower than kids in richer countries. In America, most people get their first job around the same time as their first car. That's when most people realize they have to pay for gas and car insurance. In countries like Bangladesh, kids start to work so they can help support their families with stuff as simple as food and water. I believe that none of us (who are posting these comments) realize how much people value money in these poorer countries. We don't know how much they truly need the money until we step into their shoes. That's why it's hard for us to comprehend that kids under 10 are actually working in some places. Those kids need that income for their family and that's why child labor is a thing. Once those countries get developed, I believe child labor will stop. Once that happens, eduction will be more prominent with kids and teens.

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    1. I agree with you stone. I think kids in like Bangladesh know how important money is because money comes by harder for them. They can't just go to their parents and ask for a new bike or something because they know the answer will be " we can't afford that".They know they have to go out and buy it, so they have to get a job to afford it. i do think on the other hand that as you get older the jobs should get harder. Like if your ten you shouldn't be carrying 150 pound boxes that should be for a older kid.

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    2. I completely agree with Stone.. Kids in Bangladesh know that money is important and they need it to survive. Their parents are working hard already to provide food on the table from their family. I think kids completely respect that their parents work really hard for them, even if that means they won't be with them often.. I also think kids in other counties like America don'y value money as much as kids in counties like Bangladesh. Kids in America don't think how important money is, and always taking money for granted. But I also think that younger kids should not be doing the same work as adults. Kids and adults should know what the limit is to work.

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    3. I also agree. I think kids should be able to work when they realize how important money is. I don't think that there should be a definite age at which one should have to work, but rather they get to choose. I don't think that children should be forced into working in sweatshops and getting paid little to nothing. They should work when they realize that they have to to provide

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  30. In my opinion I think children over the age of 14 are okay to work. The older the kid is the more responsibility it will have to do better in a job. Younger kids are able to work simpler easier jobs but working in factories may not be very safe and can put a lot of pressure on younger kids.

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  31. In my opinion, I think that a child can do some form of work around the ages of 13-15. But only if the job is an easy enough task for the child to complete and not harmful or challenging. I think that anything younger than 13-years-old is ultimately too young to work because you don't have enough work ethic by that age yet. Though the kids in the book are even younger than 13-15, they feel a need to have to find work at a young age because they need to make money for the family.

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  32. In my opinion, I think that 13 is a reasonable age to start working. At 13 years old I feel that some jobs would still be too challenging. The children would need to do simple and less dangerous tasks, as they got older putting more on their work load, like they have watched the older employees do!

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    1. I agree i think 13 is better than a 5 year old working that long

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  33. In my opinion, people should be able to work at 13 but work at a younger age if they have to. But when they start working, they are given easier jobs and less hours. As they become more used to the dangers of the job, they should be given harder tasks and more pay.

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  34. In my own opinion, people should be able to start labor at the age of 14 because that is when most people get more mature and get more stronger. But they should have less hours and somewhat easy jobs because they get stronger and they need some sleep and some play time.

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  35. In my opinion i think between 11 and 13 would be a good age for kids to start to work because they'll be learning discipline while they start to mature. Knowing with current labor laws today they will be very limited to the jobs that'll be available for them like dog walking , babysitting , and lawn mowing.

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  37. I think ages between 10-14 is a good place to start working, as long as the labor isn't to hard and its safe. But this could be a bad thing because a child's parents could force a kid to work to young and thats what is good about the legal age now. So i think a child should be able to work as long as it his/her choice and is responsible enough to carry out a job.

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  38. In my opinion the age for starting work is 13-15. The reason why is because at this age the child can take responsibility and seems mature than a 5 or 6 year old. When it comes to the work place or field it should be safer for everyone. Also for the child or children they should be able to have other options like helping with the house or any errands they can help run for their neighbors. They should also be able to live or visit their family for a period of time.

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  39. I think that 13 would be a more appropriate age 13 is still pretty young but its better than a 5 or 6 year old working 46 hours a week. I don't think a 13 year old should work that either but a 13 ear could work longer than a 5 year old.

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  40. I think 12 or 13 is the youngest a child should work because they are old enough to know what they are doing without getting hurt and are a little bit responsible. While a really young child thats 5 or 6 has a better chance of getting hurt.

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  41. I feel that kids should not be able to start working at a paying job until they are at least 15 years old. Most kids that age start maturing and realizing how to handle some more important responsibilities in their lives. I think any child that is working under 15 years old will not be able to follow through with some of the tasks that come with jobs that pay. Fifteen is also around the time when you start driving which would make it easier for kids to get to and from their jobs without having to rely on their parents. As kids we should not be forced to work at a young age we should be able to have fun with our friends and live our lives like kids do until we become adults.

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  42. I believe that 12 is the youngest age that a child should be able to work because they are old enough to know what to do and they are more responsible compared to a younger child that would have no clue what to do

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  43. I believe that 14 is the youngest age a child should be able to work. Having a job is a big responsibility and i don't think many kids younger than this age can deal with having a job. In my opinion kids should be able to have a childhood and have fun while they are young then once they grow up and become mature then they should start working.

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  44. I believe that as a kid, if you have a job at a younger age than 15 or 16 you don't understand what the hard work you are putting in is for. If a 10-12 year old kid is working, I don't think they would understand what they are working for. A child should be able to play and have good childhood memories, not look back and tell their children they worked in a factory as a kid.

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    1. I agree with you. With age comes maturity and thats a big reason why I think you shouldn't work if you don't understand what you're working for.

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    2. You do have a very good point there. Kids need good childhood memories and maybe shouldn't be wasting them on work that they don't understand what its for.

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  45. I feel that a good, happy childhood is crucial to a healthy adulthood. Although, if necessary, a child may have to start working before their childhood is over. If that is necessary to feed the family, a child should work at a safe environment, such as a shop. I think that if the job is dangerous to ones health, you should be 18 in order to work there.

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  46. I believe that, if in a secure environment, children shouldn't work until they are mature, at least age 14-15. The only exception to this is if the parents cannot support the family, and the children must work to not go hungry. If that is the case, the child has every right to work, as long as they agree with it and are not mistreated.

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    1. I agree with you even if the children must be younger then 14-15.

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    2. I also agree if a child needs to provide for his/her family thats fine.

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  47. I think that children at least need to be 14-15 years old to work at a store. I still believe that age is a little young but if needed it should be allowed. Children at a younger age can mow lawns or do things that don't involve having to get a actual job. I think that you need to be at least 20 if not older to be able to work in a factory due to the working conditions.

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  48. I think 14 is the youngest age you should be able to work. I think most kids work when they realize how valuable money is. Like many kids in the US start working at 16 because they realize that they need gas for their cars and it doesn't come free. But in other countries kids start working at a very young age because they need food and necessities to support their family.

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    1. I agree with you Morgan, the youngest age a child starts work depends on their living circumstances.

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  49. It's depends on the job. I think 10 is a good age to do farm work. 12, I believe, is a good age to babysit and things like that if they are responsible enough. Factory work, however, I think should be for people who are 15 1/2 years old and up.

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    1. I think that is a great age to start working at those ages as well.

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    2. I disagree and think 14 or 15 is a good age to start

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  50. I personally think that there should be no particular age in which a child has to work, but rather when they feel they need to work. We as americans for the most part don't know the struggle that most of these families are going through to get enough money to provide for their families. Also as Americans we get the thought that the working conditions are unbearable, which they are near, but if you had no other choice to provide for your family, no matter how much money you are getting paid, then you would probably take the terrible job. On the other hand I think that the working conditions should be better and that the worker should get paid more. In the countries were the factories are, the minimum wage should be raised, so the people could have enough money to support themselves and/or families.

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    1. I agree with your point the minimum wage should be raised so people can support themselves and their families.

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  51. Some children simply need the money to support themselves and their families. So I would say whenever they want to. In the book Timmerman says that clothes are no longer just clothes and each item holds an untold story. So maybe one of the stories behind one of my t-shirts is that a kid who wanted to help out his family started making clothes.

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  52. In my opinion, the age a child starts work depends on the condition the family is in. Many children do not have a choice to work, because they must help support their family. In a lot of children cases they are the only healthy member of their family, due to poor living conditions. Also, the age a child starts work depends on the working facility. The child would be in harm's way if working at a sweatshop with unqualified conditions.

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  53. I think you should be at least 13-14 to start working because it helps build responsibility. And they should be smart enough to learn and not get hurt while doing it. If they are younger and need money to support their families they can be something like a bag boy at a store.

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  54. I think you should start helping your parents do things when you are 5 or 6. Then start doing your own chores as you get a little bit older. At the age 13-15, I think it would be a good age to start working. I think it would help them see the real world and teach them responsibility to help them in later years to come.

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    1. I believe that is the perfect age to start working, because those are the prime years of learning and listening.

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  55. I think kids should start doing chores when they are quite young but i don't think they should have real jobs until at least a teenager. Getting a job at this age can teach them responsibility and teach them how to start supporting themselves and their family. I also don't think they should get factory jobs until they are at least sixteen not any younger because the job can take away from their childhood. One thing I do have to say about getting a job is I don't think kids really should get jobs till they are able to drive unless they are the only ones that can support their families.

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  56. I thinks kids should do some sort of chores but not a job that you work forty three hours a week.
    I think the right age to go into a job like that is like eighteen and on.

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    1. I disagree, I feel as that children should be able to help their family at a younger age like 13 if they felt it was the right thing to do.

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  57. I think that you should work when you are about 16 but before then you are to young to work because it would take away from your childhood.

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  60. I believe the perfect age to start working can range from what the job is. Overall to be safe, I believe the best age to start working is around 15 or 16 because this is really the transition between a child and an adult. These few years really prepare children to eventually become adults.

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    1. I agree, the 15-16 range is a good age to start work. The child needs to be safe while working as well. If you put a 12 year old out there they are more likely to get hurt.

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  61. If a family is in need of money their kids should be more than happy to help out by working a few hours.

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  62. I think you should start working around the age 14. I believe kids should be able to enjoy their childhood before they are tied down with a lot of responsibilities.

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    1. I agree that is a good age to start working.

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  63. i think kids should have to work if its what benefits there family

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  64. In my opinion you could start working around 14 to help your family and loved ones at home

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  65. I think that child labor is extremely wrong and should be illegal all across the globe, and i think that everyone should start working at 14 or 15

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  66. I think that children should start working at 13 to help to their family if needed.

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  67. I think that children should not have to work or take on an important job until they are a legal adult, leave the adult things in life to the adults.

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  68. i think children at the age of 13 should take simple jobs so they can get used to the wage system and such things until they are young adults

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