The debate on child labour and working children offers a promising domain to explore how children and children’s organizations engage the in-between space between local and international understandings of children’s rights. Empirical studies of children's opinions and understandings of their rights and their translations will be undertaken to further explore the interrelations and flux between the concepts living rights, social justice and translations, an original conceptual framework that aims to better understand the complex ways in which children’s rights come into play in international development (Hanson & Nieuwenhuys, 2013).
In order to follow the trajectories of children’s local opinions and understanding of their rights, the project will concentrate on the encounters of working children’s organizations with local and global actors and on the travels of the claim to recognise children’s right to work in dignity. Starting from a study of the moral foundations of working children's local practices, the study will follow their contacts with powerful institutional actors and official positions on the abolition of child labour. It will investigate how children's claims have had an impact on, or have been impacted by, other actors and discourses in the child labour policy making network, in which working children have had minor access.
This interdisciplinary research project's central research questions ask How children’s perspectives on their rights (living rights) circulate in transnational realms? And in what way these perspectives interact with possibly competing perspectives upheld by transnational actors? How can insights into these interactions contribute to enrich our understanding of the continuum between local and international translations of children’s rights?
Hanson, K. & Nieuwenhuys, O. (2013) Reconceptualizing Children’s Rights in International Development. Living Rights, Social Justice, Translations, Cambridge: University Press.