Child Labour in the Industrial Revolution

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Child Labour

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  • Gracie! We've been chosen for the job!
  • Yeah, but hiring us costs our boss less because we're just kids. It's better than nothing... Let's get going. Don't want to be late on our first day!
  • Why us? Aren't adults supposed to work?
  • I'm 7 years old and I'm a scavenger. Everyday I work long hours, crawling under running machinery to pick up loose bits of cotton. It's very scary and loud and my arms sometimes go weak while I'm working. Luckily I haven't been hurt yet.
  • I'm 10 years old and I'm a piecer. I work everyday from 6am to 6pm without a break. I stand in one position all day long and by the end of the day my fingertips are always bleeding. I don't mind because I still get paid.
  • I am a hurrier. I being coal through the caves by towing it in a truck, attached to my hips by a big belt. I'm only 4 years old and this belt can permanently damage my pelvic bones so I may later die during childbirth.
  • I'm 8 years old and I'm a trapper. My job is to sit in the darkness all day long while listening and waiting for the hurriers to come past with the coal. Being 8 years old, it's hard to work here because I hate sitting alone in the dark all day only to get paid a tiny amount.
  • My job is to be a scarecrow. To stand here for hours and hours. Alone, sad and tired. I get paid next to nothing and if I'm lucky a bird will fly by once every 2 hours. It's a lonely job. Any job as a child is not fun, and we all work long hours, sometimes 12 hours at a time with no breaks. We work to support our families and to make our mums proud.
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