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We Could Use Another Lewis Hine Today

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Tipple Boy, (see Photo 150) Turkey Knob Mine, Macdonald, W. Va. Witness E. N. Clopper. Location: MacDonald, West Virginia.
Tipple Boy, (see Photo 150) Turkey Knob Mine, Macdonald, W. Va. Witness E. N. Clopper. Location: MacDonald, West Virginia.

Child labor in the early 20th century

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Child labor in the early 21st century

Lewis Hine’s photographs of child labor were wonderful and did a lot to change the world. This is a great collection of the photographs. My only concern with such a collection is that child labor still produces a lot of our products today and we don’t know it, so I wish this was mentioned. For instance:
It took a 4-year fight by the Harry Potter Alliance to ensure that chocolate produced for Harry Potter-themed products was not produced by child labor.

Children are picking your fruits and vegetables in Mexico.

Human Rights Watch did an entire report last year on the use of children on tobacco farms in Virginia and North Carolina.

We have senators such as Tom Cotton who want to repeal child labor laws in the U.S. today.

I could go on. Child labor is not a thing of the past, especially with the globalized production system that has outsourced so much formerly American production to poor nations so that employers can take advantage of the exploitative labor conditions Americans spent the 20th century fighting to end. That includes child labor. We need Lewis Hine’s around the world, letting us know of these horrors.

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