Working children and young people occupy a relatively weak and easily exploitable position in work relations and in the labour market. As a social group, they share this problem with various other structurally- disadvantaged social groups in society (examples are women, e!liiiic minorities or migrants and the disabled). However, they are the only-one among such groups whose exploitation is generally addressed by attempts to remove them completely from the labour market, rather-17 than by efforts to improve the terms and conditions under which they work. What is the basis for treating the 'child labour~,:p~oblem in such a different way: i.e. by demanding special laws and regulations excluding this category of persons from access to employment, rather than by demanding the abolition of discrimination against them?

child labour, comparative analysis, employment, historical analysis, labour law, working conditions
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Inaugural Address delivered on 16 June 1994 as Professor of Rural Sociology at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

White, B.N.F. (1994, June 16). Children, work and 'child labour' : changing responses to the employment of children . Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from