Working Paper

ACHA Working Paper 4

Theorising ‘Harm’ in Relation to Children’s Work

Published on 17 November 2020

A central and implicit issue that shapes the present political and institutional consensus surrounding child labour is the notion of harm.

Although efforts to address children’s work rest firmly on assumptions about what is harmful, no coherent theory of harm exists. In this paper, we critically explore ‘harm’ in the context of children’s work and call for a more situated and nuanced approach, incorporating ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ dimensions. Such an approach has important implications for future research and policy action.

Cite this publication

Maconachie, R.; Howard, N. and Bock, R. (2020) Theorising ‘Harm’ in Relation to Children’s Work, ACHA Working Paper 4, Brighton: Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture, Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/ACHA.2020.003


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