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Child Labour and the Global Economy: Abolition or Acceptance?

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This article traces the evolution of international attitudes toward child labour, and outlines its relationship to the global economy. It examines the way in which international treaties promulgated by the International Labor Organization (ilo) have conceived of child labour over time. At the national level, the most extreme pro-child labour position may be found in recent Bolivian legislation that recognizes work performed by children as young as ten years old. Much has been written on the problem of conflicting global values on child labour, but all agree that exploitative forms should be eliminated. The author updates her earlier recommendation that the World Trade Organization should place conditions on participation in the global economy by requiring its member states to honour core ilo standards. Eliminating exploitative child labour could thus be linked indirectly to the global economy, by requiring the elimination of children’s work detrimental to the child’s full development.

Affiliations: 1: Professor, Suffolk University Law School, Boston, ma, USA

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/content/journals/10.1163/15718107-08402007
2015-06-01
2018-07-16

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