The 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Child Labour exploitation

Michele Riondino

Abstract


On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a reflection on how the international community in the 20th century responded to issues of child labour and child rights provides context for the work still to be done. International bodies as well as Nation States have made Declarations and adopted Conventions with varying degrees of tangible impact on the lived experience of children, particularly those most vulnerable to abuse and neglect, child labour and poverty. There are both unique contributions and uniting principles apparent across each development, from the ILO’s Convention No. 5 in 1919 through to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and more recently, the UN’s 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Dialogue around the rights of children has shifted from a primary focus on child labour, to the protection of children from violence and abuse, to not only protection from harm but the promotion of the holistic development of children, and consideration of the best interests of the child.