Child labour and the violation of child rights : a case of child workers on tea and tobacco plantations in Malawi
AuthorMakwinja, Simon Matthias
The study attempts to determine the extent to which child labour constitutes a violation of child rights. The international documents, especially the CRC, depart from the universal conception of childhood, making children all over the world the same and deserving similar treatment, more so claiming their rights. Using the case of child workers on tea and tobacco estates in Malawi, it examines the notion of childhood which forms the basis to any child rights claims. Employing the cultural politics of childhood, the essay argues that childhood on which child rights are founded is a contested notion. Children are valued differently in all societies across the world. Additionally, the thesis argues that education proposed as a panacea for child labour is also a contested field as its aims and values vary across societies. The western education system may not be the ideal for the lives of children working on tea and tobacco estates. Thus, the basis on which child rights are based, and the proposition of schooling as solution remain problematic in the abolition of child rights. The thesis concludes by recommending the capability approach which provides an alternative to the understanding and protection human rights, children’s rights included. In the capability approach, the end (substantive opportunities) must be achieved freely (freedom of processes) through the most efficient and available means of sustaining economic life, security and welfare of people. The capability approach treats human rights and education from a holistic perspective.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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