I think of the child laborer era like I think of "sweatshops", in that, given the time and circumstances, the only thing worse than the existing labor conditions is not having any jobs available at all. Similarly, when a sweatshop (I don't think locals call them that) opens up somewhere, it's a comparatively safe and reliable job in a place where people are existing at starvation levels of poverty. Western media crusades to end those practices, without substituting any other employment opportunities for locals. I couldn't find it after a quick search, but there was even a NYT article about how Rwandans were thrilled at the opening of a local sweatshop, because, compared to sifting through garbage for barely-edible food, it provided them with their first real paying job.
If industrialization works, child labor is a transitional phase. Here's an example of that transition, again from the Library of Congress. Ironically, the "normal" child in the poster would be considered a ragamuffin today.
Fullsize image: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/h...r_fullsize.jpg