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Child Labor CFS Spr14

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Julie Jenkins

on 29 February 2016

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Transcript of Child Labor CFS Spr14

Slavery Convention of 1956:
--"Any institution or practice whereby a child or young person under age of 18 years, is delivered by either or both of his natural parent or guardian to another person, whether for reward or not, with a view to the exploitation of the child or young person or of his labor."
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
--defines child below the age of 18, unless under law applicable to child, majority is attained earlier
--govs should make sure children are not abducted or sold
--govs should protect children from work that is dangerous or harmful to their health or education
ILO Convention 182 (1999) on Worst forms of child labor:
"1. all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt-bondage, serfdom and forced or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict
2. the use, procurement or offering of a child for prostitution, production of pornography or pornographic performances
3. the use, procurement or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs
4. work which, by its nature, or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health and safety or morals of children.
Child Labor: Child Prostitution
How do WE define childhood?
When do we become adults?
--"the real child prostitute is the young Asian child in a brothel, abused, infected with AIDS and discarded by a selfish Westerner."
problematic b/c doesn't cover the range of child prostitution & has shaped interventions...
--other types neglected b/c not seen as 'proper prostitutes', innocent, victims....
Thailand-- long history of domestic and foreign prostitution, including child prostitution
--How has sexuality and gender been constructed historically?
--'elite' middle-class women
--against prostitution generally
--understands tourism as a type of 'prostitution'
competing factions agreed child prostitution problematic
-compelling symbol of 'Westernization'
"Although 1 million child prostitutes in Asia is now an accepted figure used by NGOs worldwide, it has little factual basis..."
--based on guesswork that is then taken as fact
--used incorrectly-- "tourists create a demand for more than one million 'fresh' child prostitutes every year"
legislation centered on:
--policing sex tourism
--monitoring brothels, bars
--allowing for prosecution of men for sex crimes abroad
--What kind of prostitution does Montgomery find in Baan Nua?
- What factors need to be considered?
--How do the children conceptualize their actions & clients?
Trap of 'culture':
--exploiters: "..early or incestuous sex behavior is the norm, so that Western notions of child hood or sexuality have no meaning in these contexts"
--Thai elite: "until poor families are taught that it is not right to sell their children, everything else is rhetoric"
--economic choices
What is to be done?
--police intervention?
--removal from parents?
--economic intervention?
concept of childhood socially constructed:
--Victorian middle-class ideals taken up in mid-late 19th century
--'family wage'-- men breadwinner, women home-keeper, children education
Thai (lower economic status):
children are 'investment'
--contribute to household when young, and support parents later (debt can't be repaid)
--youngest daughter- takes care of parents in old age and inherits the house
--eldest son-- ordained as Buddhist priest
--not an envied status-- lowest in hierarchy
--adulthood reached parenthood-- but socially ambiguous -
--ability to look after others
--suffrage at 18
--compulsory education till 12
--can't legally work full-time till 14
--min. age for marriage 17
--defines childhood universally based on age of 18
--doesn't characterise child labor as being present when with parents
How has this shaped how child labor generally and its worst forms, specifically, is defined?
--presumes that children shouldn't be economic contributors to family unit
--presumes that childhood is a universal category

How is childhood conceptualized in Thailand?
How would you approach this type of research?
--Would you agree not to intervene or call the police/social services?
Montgomery argues that activist representations fulfill the needs of the activists more than the child prostitutes...Why?
Is sex tourism in Thailand the problem?
-How does she deal with the dualism of 'universalism' and 'moral relativism'?
Why are representations of child prostitutes problematic?
--How do the children gain status & prestige?
--Is this the same for both boys & girls?
--How do the children think about morality and Buddhism?
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