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Child Labor And The International Trading System

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Chapter Summary

Since the 1990s, a highly polarized debate has been conducted over the possibility of using the international trading system as a means of eliminating child labor. One response to the problem of trade/labor conditionality has been to provide not sanctions, but additional trade preferences for countries that observe core labor standards, including the elimination of child labor. Many international trade lawyers have concluded that trade restrictions on goods made with child labor are inconsistent with General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), largely because they would or could amount to disguised protectionism. The European Union's Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is the one example of international trade law taking into account developments in other areas of international law, namely, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Keywords: child labor; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); international law; international trading system; UNCTAD



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