. Summarise the Historical Changes in Childhood Experience and Relate These Changes to Child Development and Rights.

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There is little evidence of what it was really like in the past so it is difficult for a lot of people to re-construct the life of a child, however from what I have researched, and in my own opinion I am going to summarise the historical changes in childhood experience and relate these changes to childhood development and rights.

In the 19th century I think children missed out on most of their childhood as most of them took on jobs such as chimney sweepers, street sellers and farms for example. These were mainly children from poor families who were seen as extra farm hands and were exploited by receiving low pay for long hours and working in poor conditions. Families did not look at how the children were treated and the possible impact on parts of their development (such as their social skills, health and education).

When the government promised all children the same rights in 1989 it helped out a lot of development and gave them a childhood to enjoy. For example;

“The right to be protected from exploitation of labour, drug abuse, sexual exploitation, sale, trafficking and abduction”

This meant children now didn’t have to work and had also been given;

“The right to education, training and special needs support where necessary”

This improved social skills and social relationships as they where able to mix with other children in school and out of school, instead of having to miss school often or not attend at all because of the long hours and also the parents could not afford to lose their financial contributions. Children’s health was not good and child mortality rate was high, mainly due to overcrowding, poor diet and the poor working conditions which so many workhouse children didn’t live to become adults. These are the children who never recovered from years of chronic malnutrition.

“The right to health and medical services”

This gave rights to free healthcare in Britain which originally came out in 1948 (NHS) and a decline in childhood...
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