Research Handbook on Labour, Business and Human Rights Law
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Research Handbook on Labour, Business and Human Rights Law

Edited by Janice R. Bellace and Beryl ter Haar

Inquisitive and diverse, this innovative Research Handbook explores the ways in which human rights apply to people at work, through national constitutional provisions, judicial decisions and the application of rights expressed in supranational instruments. Key topics include evaluation of the role of the ILO in developing and promoting internationally recognized labour rights, and the examination of the meaning of the obligation of business to respect human rights, considering the evolution from international soft law to incorporation in codes of conduct and the emerging requirement of due diligence.
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Chapter 14: Freedom from child labour: a fundamental right

Constance Thomas


The chapter provides an historical perspective on the development of international instruments on child labour. It shows how and why the prohibition of child labour gradually spread across industries and different regions of the world, beginning with the setting of minimum age laws and culminating in the recognition of freedom from child labour as a human right. It offers conceptual clarity on what is, and what is not, considered to be child labour, according to the fundamental international labour standards. While recognising the impressive inroads that have been made in the prevention and reduction of child labor worldwide, largely through holistic multiparty action at national and community levels, it makes a case for the business community to step up its contribution to the elimination of child labour in a more effective way.

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