Reasons for the changes in the position of children

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Reasons for changes in the position of children.

There are many reasons for the changes in the position of children. These include the following changes during the 19th and 20th centuries:

  • Laws restricted child labour and excluded children from paid work. From being economic assets who could earn a wage, children became an economic liability, financially dependent on their parents.
  • The introduction of compulsary schooling in 1880 had a similar effect, especially for the children of the poor (middle and upper class were already recieving education). The raising of the school-leaving age has extended this period of dependency.
  • Child protection and welfare legislation, such as the 1889 Pevention of Cruelty to Children Act made the welfare of the child a fundamental principle underpinning the work of agencies such as social services.
  • The growth of the idea of child's rights. For example, the Children Act defines parents as having 'responsibilities' rather than


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