Childhood Labor in India: issues and complexities

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Childhood Labor in India: issues and complexities

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Title: Childhood Labor in India: issues and complexities
Author: Viruru, Radhika
Abstract: It is estimated that more than 12 million children in India under the age of 14 engage in paid labor at least part time, due mostly to economic reasons. Dominant discourses about childhood however conceptualize childhood labor not only as unethical but as exploitation. This article explored will the tensions between Western notions of childhood (within which paid labor is considered taboo) and the realities of children's lives in India, arguing that childhood labor must be contextualized and understood not only as a colonial legacy but also as part of its socio-cultural context. The author argues that separating children from the world of work fosters a culture of childhood that emphasizes entitlement over participation and privileges the rights of the consumer over children's rights as citizens.
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/ciec.2008.9.3.224
http://hdl.handle.net/10576/10428
Date: 2008

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