Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Katherine Cox

First Page



This Article examines development issues that are raised in a legal analysis of international human rights law relating to child labor. In so doing it highlights some of the weaknesses of the present legal approach to the problem. In order to demonstrate better the weaknesses of the system, India is used as an example of a developing country where some of the development issues raised in the legal analysis arise. The second Part of this Article defines the concept of child labor. It undertakes a comprehensive analysis of international legal instruments that deal with the topic of child labor and touches on the relationship between child labor and the right to education. The third Part examines some of the development issues that arise out of that legal analysis and critiques the current legal approach. In particular it focuses on the causes of child labor that cannot be directly attributed to poor economic development and thus warrant a different approach. The final Part of the paper uses India as an example of a country, which, despite progressive legislation and policy, and improved economic development, has not been able to make significant inroads into eradicating the practice of child labor.