Child labour refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries. Child labour was utilized to varying extents through most of history, but entered public dispute with the advent of universal schooling, with changes in working conditions during the industrial revolution, and with the emergence of the concepts of workers' and children's rights. An employer is usually not permitted to hire a child below a certain minimum age. This minimum age depends on the country and the type of work involved. States ratifying the Minimum Age Convention adopted by the International Labor Organization in 1973, have adopted minimum ages varying from 14 to 16. Child labor laws in the United States set the minimum age to work in an establishment without restrictions and without parents' consent at age 16. The story of child protection is a sorry one. Across the world, children remain vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Poor and orphaned, increasing numbers of children are at the mercy of individuals with intent to harm them, and those individuals are often at the heart of institutions working with children. Child labour is an issue which has always been seen as a diabolic evil in the society. It is a vexed issue, since it is seen to destroy the childhood of many innocent souls. A childhood which is meant to play, to study and enjoy the little joys of life is wrecked by the evil of child labour. Child labour is disquieting not just because of its nature, but because of its target i.e. children. They are the future human resource of our country and have to blossom to their full potential by the right inculcation of values, habits and education. Poverty is widely considered the top reason why children work at inappropriate jobs for their ages. But there are other reasons as well -- not necessarily in this order: 1.
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