effects on young people. Chapters 1–6 of this report provide a description of the sources of data on the extent of work and of work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among children and adolescents, as well as the limitations of those data; a summary of the research on the consequences of working; and a review of the laws and regulations that govern child labor.
After reviewing the data and literature and examining the U.S. laws and regulations on labor by children and adolescents, the committee agreed on a number of principles that guided their formulation of recommendations. These principles are based on a developmental framework, which recognizes that the needs and abilities of children and adolescents differ from those of adults. The tasks in which children and adolescents engage must be commensurate with their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social abilities. These principles, which represent the judgment and values of the committee, form the basis for ensuring that the work performed by children and adolescents will be safe and healthful and will not compromise their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.
Guiding Principle 1: Education and development are of primary importance during the formative years of childhood and adolescence. Although work can contribute to these goals, it should never be undertaken in ways that compromise education or development.
Guiding Principle 2: The vulnerable, formative, and malleable nature of childhood and adolescence requires a higher standard of protection for young workers than that accorded to adult workers.
Guiding Principle 3: All businesses assume certain social obligations when they hire employees. Businesses that employ young workers assume a higher level of social obligation, which should be reflected in the expectations of society as well as in explicit public policy.
Guiding Principle 4: Everyone under 18 years of age has the right to be protected from hazardous work, excessive work hours, and unsafe or unhealthy work environments, regardless of the