Global Change

Can Photography End Child Labor?

Child Labor


October 09, 2015 13:39 EDT

Are images capable of moving policymakers to act?

Three workers are pouring molten metal in a shipyard in Dhaka. One of them, his face and body covered in soot, is smiling. He seems no older than 10 years old, and this is not a place for him.

Is the photographer just a silent witness to the crime of child labor? Or can images change not only perceptions, but also policies?

Lewis Wickes Hine was an American photographer and sociologist who exposed child labor in the United States during the Industrial Revolution, and whose work shamed lawmakers into introducing new industrial regulations.

Hoping for similar success, photographers around the world today continue to expose the practice that plagues poor communities in mostly developing nations.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy. 

Photo Credit: Wagner T. Cassimiro

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