ISSN 1753-0849

Childhoods Today Online JournalChildhoods Today

An online journal for childhood studies

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Volume 1 Issue 2 - December 18, 2007

An Autobiography of Child Work: a reflexive account

Birendra Raj Giri

The child labour debate has moved away from advocating total abolition to identifying ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ work activities for children. In particular, ILO Convention No. 182 has prioritised ‘intolerable forms’ to target those children who are working in the most appalling conditions. The necessity of this narrow focus in terms of practical policies cannot be underestimated, but it does ignore the fact that some forms of work, which may not match the indications of hazard (e.g. household work) may well be detrimental to a child’s health and well-being. In this reflexive autobiographical article, I discuss these issues by presenting my childhood work and study experiences in a remote village of Nepal, and my commitment to become a child labour/work researcher.