Reviewing child labour and its worst forms: Contemporary theoretical and policy agenda

Journal of Modern Slavery 6 (4):32-51 (2021)
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The global response to child labour is based on the standards set by three major international conventions. This review examines the historical development of the conceptualizations of various forms of child labour, relevant views and perspectives, contemporary theoretical underpinnings, and policy suggestions. The emerging evidence shows that child labour incidences in all its forms have increased in many parts of the world, and the global target to eradicate child labour by 2025 seems unattainable. The evaluation indicates that the current global age-based abolitionist policy to fight child labour has lost some ground. The covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation and the worst forms of child labour have become even more widespread and deeply normalized in many contexts and communities. The current scholarship of child labour remains critically ignorant of the relevant societal and cultural norms. Contemporary theorists and empiricists emphasize on constructing knowledge with the children and families engaged in child labour and focusing on finding innovative community-led alternatives to the worst forms of child labour. Regulations, policies, and support programmes must recognize the economic contribution of working children and work towards the children's best interests.

Author's Profile

Md Mahmudul Hoque
Coventry University


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