Doctoral thesis

Decolonising the Global Child Labour Regime: The ILO, Trade Unions, and Organised Working Children

ContributorsVan Daalen, Edward
DirectorsHanson, Karl
Defense date2020-11-24

Primarily based on interviews, participant observation, and archival sources this thesis presents a longue durée socio-legal history of the development of the global child labour regime (1857–2017). Its focus lies with the colonial and post-colonial dynamics between the West and the Third World. By making these roles and dynamics explicit, the thesis challenges the mainstream notion that child labour is prohibited by international law because it is a fundamental human right to be free from child labour. Instead, it shows that the economic and political interests have primarily shaped the regime, but that this has been structurally countered by working children themselves, who's resistance has played a crucial role in this history of international law making. The thesis concludes that the complexity of this history has to be taken into account if we want to understand the failings and challenges the regime is currently facing.

  • International law
  • Children's rights
  • Child labour
  • The ILO
  • Trade unions
  • Working children's movements
Citation (ISO format)
VAN DAALEN, Edward. Decolonising the Global Child Labour Regime: The ILO, Trade Unions, and Organised Working Children. 2020. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:147891
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