The book addresses various issues related to child-based policies in 1989, the UN adopted the Child Rights convention. Since then, the rights of children, particularly the participation of children in social and political decision making, have become an action slogan for many NGO’s. At the same time, the ILO has formulated new policies on worst forms of child labour. Since then, the occurrence of child labour in developing countries, specifically in export oriented industries, has become a focus of international attention and of many government initiatives. The book is unique in its kind. It combines an analysis of both the concerns, child rights and child labour, and it does so while combining anthropological, economic and political approaches. It draws on field work in various countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The book covers the entire range of issues related to the life of the most marginalized children in the world. It looks at agency, the universality of rights, rights versus needs, the definitions and causes of child labour, child labour and education. Further this excellent work looks at the impact of globalization, and the various policy options, including child labour unions and trade related measures. Written in an academic, yet accessible style, the book will benefit university courses on child rights as well as the staff in child-centred organizations. It combines a discussion on theoretical insights and policy instruments with the reality in the field and thus offers scopes for a more practical understanding of interventions which would benefit the most marginalized children. The book is designed to become an authoritative compendium on child-based policies, reforms and a source book for future interventions to protect the children of the world.
G.K. Lieten (Belgium, 1946) is the professor of Child Labour Studies at the University of Amsterdam and at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. He is also the Director of the Institute for Research on Working Children (IREWOC). He has worked extensively on South Asia and presently conducts research on child labour, street children, violence against children and education around the globe.