CALL FOR PAPERS: Child Labour’s Global Past (1500-2000)
International conference, Amsterdam, 15-17 November 2006
We live in an age when child labour is almost extinct in some parts of the world, and an enduring phenomenon in others. Depending on the definitions used, the estimated number of child labourers ranges from 180 to 250 million worldwide. Notwithstanding a gradual decline in some parts of the world, overall progress remains inadequate. The eradication of child labour seems to be an insurmountable problem.
In trying to solve this problem, a thorough historical analysis of child labour might be useful. The best way to achieve this is by determining long term developments, not in isolation, but all over the world. The rise and decline of child labour are subject to an interaction of (globalizing) economic systems, levels of technology, legislation, cultural norms, discourse and agency. However, the precise relationship and dynamics between these different factors, and between the different parts of the world, still remain obscure.
This Conference aims to trace and discuss the historical development of child labour from a global perspective. Leading questions are:
Where and why did child labour emerge as a (demand-driven or supply-driven) phenomenon since 1500?
What was its contribution to the economy and to the household?
Which were the mechanisms and the developments that helped to solve the child labour problem in some parts of the world and failed to do so, or did so insufficiently, in others?
The Conference wants to bring together historians from all over the world who have been working on these issues for a particular area. This will provide a framework for international comparison, in order to reassess the historical development of child labour over the last 500 years. The focus will be on analytical and explanatory papers on the significance and function of child labour at the macro- and micro level. Specific attention will be given to the interface between colonialism (and globalization) and the reliance on child labour in the colonial period and thereafter. How did colonialism, globalization, and the international division of labour affect the occurrence and disappearance of child labour in different parts of the world?
For this extensive international comparison, we hope to achieve a maximum geographical spread. A number of scholars have worked on the historical dimension of child labour in the developed countries. In addition to these scholars, the Conference will especially welcome contributions from scholars on the history of child labour in the non-Western world generally.
Paper proposals (max. 500 words) are expected by November 1, 2005. The selection of papers to be commissioned shall be over by December 1, 2005, and papers are expected by July 1, 2006. Depending on the papers’ content and quality, we intend to submit the proceedings of this conference to a prominent publisher.
Conveners: Kristoffel Lieten (firstname.lastname@example.org), Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk (email@example.com), Marcel van der Linden, International Institute of Social History (IISH)/University of Amsterdam
Please send your proposal to (preferably by email):
Postal address: IISH
1019 AT Amsterdam
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