A history of legislation and attitudes towards British, non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australian children

Sitarani Kerin

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This chapter describes the Aboriginal child within the wider social, political and economic landscape of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in Britain and Australia. Assisted migration from Britain increased the number of destitute children in the Australian colonies. Industrialisation in the Australian colonies occurred after the emotive campaigns against child labour in Britain and thus, while children could be and were employed in factories, there were no industries built around the exploitation of young children. The current gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians stems from that time. The chapter discusses the major employers of children in pre-industrial Britain were agriculture, workshops, ironworks and mines, and children continued to be employed in these occupations during the industrial revolution. During the second half of the nineteenth century, growing concern for the welfare of children within the family led to the introduction of protective legislation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAboriginal Children, History, and Health
Subtitle of host publicationBeyond Social Determinants
EditorsJohn Boulton
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781315666501
ISBN (Print)9781138955240, 9781138955257
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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