The issue of child labour constitutes an important yet under-researched topic of global significance. The International Conference 'Disputing Child Labour Globally: Legitimation Struggles in the Past and Present', organized by PD Dr Nina Schneider, brings together experts from around the globe to discuss existing knowledge on the subject, as well as priorities for future research and documentation. The conference also serves as an opportunity to integrate historical perspectives into current research frameworks.
The KHK/Centre for Global Cooperation Research invites you to the
Disputing Child Labour Globally: Legitimation Struggles in the Past and Present
The conference explores (de-)legitimation disputes over child labour in historical and global perspective. Covering different moments in time and less-studied world regions like the historical Global South, it analyses the actors who defended (or legitimised) child labour on the one hand, and who opposed and delegitimised it, on the other; their motivations; and their (de-)legitimation practices and media.
Importantly, it seeks to examine disputes over child labour as give-and-take interactions – as a relational interplay between those who defend(ed) and those who oppose(d) it. While the conference aims at mapping child labour disputes in many world-regions, it seeks to move beyond national accounts and to situate the different cases in a global perspective.
The struggle over child labour is not just a good empirical example of 'politics of (de-)legitimation' in global cooperation, but also a very timely global concern. The ILO’s Global Estimates from 2018 specify that 152 million children — 64 million girls and 88 million boys — are involved in child labour worldwide, accounting for almost one in 10 of all children around the globe. With Covid, these numbers have even increased. Lastly, the polemic struggle over child labour persists today; while children who are organised in Latin American children’s trade unions have called for a 'right to work' and promoted humane child labour conditions (e.g. Liebel 1998), the ILO, by contrast, advocates for a complete abolition of child labour by 2025 as part of their struggle for the SDGs.
Panels und topics: - Present child labour opponents and defendants /Transnational organizations and (de-)legitimation struggles over child labour – Historical opponents and defendants: Latin America and Transatlantic, Africa, UK and Europe (and its colonies), Asia – Keynote : Florence Kelley and the Social Origins of Minimum Wage (Kathryn K. Sklar) – Roundtables moderated by Nina Schneider: Comparison and entanglement: promises and pitfalls for a global history of child labour (focus on methods); Global approaches to child labour: first empirical findings and ways forward (focus on empirical findings and future research) – a.o.
In principle, it is also possible to participate in individual panels. Registration is required in any case. For more information and a detailed programme (pdf), please visit the event website.