New Login   

Suhasini Kanwar

Gurchathen S. Sanghera
Year 2016, pp. 326, Rs. 995.00

VOLUME XL NUMBER 11 November 2016

In Child Labour in India explores not just the issues around child labour in India, but also encompasses a study of the mechanisms and politics which are at play when it comes to human rights and child labour around the world. At the very outset Gurchathen S. Sanghera rightly points out that child rights must be understood and situated in the global dynamics of economic, social and political relations between the developed and developing nations (the global north and south as it is designated). The book is divided into five chapters, each with a distinct idea being explored. Sanghera provides a backdrop to the issue by exploring, in substantial detail, the politics of human rights. Using many examples he elucidates how rights are a ‘double edged sword’ and how hierarchical relationships have been perpetuated and promoted through the rights debate. Very insightful is the explanation of the ‘northern model of childhood’ and the ‘civilizing mission’ of the global north. Through the social constructionist account of human rights, the reader can begin to comprehend and appreciate how rights can either empower or dominate and promote hierarchical relationships. The text of the chapter is complex and introduces the reader to the different layers related to the issue. It also sets the tone for understanding the notions of rights, ideology and hegemony which are referred to in the following four chapters. Sanghera then traces the history and conception of the human rights movement, international children’s rights law and child labour. Tracing the various declarations of child rights, this chapter serves as an encyclopaedia for building understanding of the child rights movements around the globe.The idea of childhood, the construction of a globalized childhood and how childhoods are shaped by international laws, all find explicit articulation. The work of Phillippe Aries and Chris Jenks are cited to substantiate the social construction of childhood and its criticality. This helps to draw a vivid contrast in the relatively carefree model of childhood in the West, as opposed to childhood in India, which is shaped and coloured by the structural inequalities that exist in society and the social history of their genesis. Juxtaposing academic discourse with the trajectory of human rights’ development, the author further discusses how the causes of child labour have been found to be situated in poverty, restrictions of tradition, absence of education and lack of development in India, all of which ...

Table of Contents >>
Please or to Read Entire Article

Free Access Online 12 Back Issues
with 1 year's subscription
Archive (1976-2011)
under construction.