Dorte Thorsen argues that, by outlawing child labour entirely, governments are ultimately harming the very people they are trying to protect.

Dr Dorte Thorsen, Gender and Qualitative Research Theme Leader, Migrating Out of Poverty Research Consortium, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex

00:56:46

Overview

Goal Eight of the UN Sustainable Development Goals asks that, by 2025, signatory states bring an end to ‘child labour in all its forms’. However, are there cases in which having the ability to work actually benefits children? Does a flat ban impose a simplistic idea of how to end the potential mistreatment of children without adequately assessing the consequences of doing so? Or is the goal a critical measure in the protection of children from poverty and abuse?

Dorte Thorsen argues that, by outlawing child labour entirely, governments are ultimately harming the very people they are trying to protect. Using examples from around the world, she makes the case that allowing children to work in clean and safe environments is positive for the children themselves and for society. She ends by outlining policies which she believes might be more effective in protecting children from exploitative and dangerous employment.

More information at Chatham House Forum: Is Child Labour Always Wrong?