CHILD LABOR IN THE GLOBALIZING WORLD: LESSONS FROM THE ASIA/PACIFIC REGION

Conference

Date and Time

February 7, 2001 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM
February 8, 2001 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Availability

By Invitation Only.

Location

Bechtel Conference Center, Encina Hall, Stanford University

FSI Contact

Sarah Bachman

The complex issues arising from child labor have been addressed in several of the most significant ways--yielding the most important lessons--in the Asia Pacific region. It is in the Asia Pacific region too, that the greatest number of child laborers live. This conference will address the complexities of child labor and review the range of key "solutions" to improve the condition of children--especially impoverished, working children--in the region. Some people claim that abusive child labor is an inevitable byproduct of agrarian and developing economies. But is this accurate? What measures will alleviate abuses and hasten the elimination of exploitation? The United States is now the largest contributor to the ILO's International Programme on the Eradication of Child Labor. At the same time, the United States and US-based business have been accused of contributing to increases in child labor, through trade practices that allegedly expand inequality, or through the strong U.S. role in promoting neo-liberal economic policies through the activities of multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the IMF. What role can the United States play in alleviating the problem--and what role is it playing now? Are the critiques accurate? The term "child labor" conjures up images of poor young people, working in unsafe conditions, receiving inadequate wages, their health imperiled for life and their opportunity for education denied. What policies are appropriate to bring the worst practices to a swift though humane end? Much of the debate has been highly polemical, but more recently, the tone of the discussion has begun to change. It has begun to focus on the concrete measures that can be undertaken to improve the conditions under which children work, and to eliminate the abuses and exploitation to which millions of children are subjected. Participants in this roundtable will share the latest empirical findings on child labor in Asia and identify policies that are at the cutting edge in dealing with this issue.

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