Thursday, February 11, 2016

Transnational Corporations and Child Labor

The Never Ending Global Cycle
By Courtney Heinel
Courtney Heinel, a 2015 graduate of Albany Law School, passed the bar exam in July. She graduated from Ithaca College with a major in Legal Studies, and completed extensive studies in Politics with a concentration in International Relations.
Following her first year at Albany Law, Courtney interned at the law school’s Civil Rights and Disability Law Clinic, and later interned for the Rensselaer County Public Defender’s office.
Last spring, she competed in the Donna Jo Morse Negotiations. Additionally, Courtney served as a senior editor for International Law Studies and then the submissions editor.
In her free time, she enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and reading.

This paper seeks to explore the complex relationship between Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and child labor on a global scale.  By examining how TNCs, through political loopholes, avoid enforcement of basic human rights afforded to children in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), it is possible to see how child labor is perpetuated across generations in a never-ending cycle. While TNCs are responsible for many other human rights violations under numerous conventions and treaties, this paper seeks only to explore the human rights violations associated with TNCs and child labor.

The first section of this paper will briefly introduce the international conventions that govern the rights of the child—the CRC and the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC)—specifically focusing on the provisions governing child labor. The second section will seek to highlight some of the theories that underlay the causes of child labor globally.

The third section will define Transnational Corporations and their influence on child labor within the global community.  The next section will then examine why TNCs pose a problem for the elimination of child labor and explore the various international attempts to regulate TNCs over the past few decades. The fifth section will discuss how the CRC, even though not applicable due to the lack of enforceability against TNCs, is perfectly equipped to deal with the issue of child labor employed by TNCs.

Finally, this paper will conclude by arguing that the international community needs to step in and take action to eliminate child labor. Given that a child laborer today makes a child laborer in the future, protecting children worldwide should be a top priority.
To read the paper, open HERE.