Original Lecture = “Cambria”
Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Added on notes = “Arial Narrow”
Week 5: Children and youth as producers and consumers
I/ Children and work
II/ Young people and work in Canada
III/ Commodification of childhood
IV/ Children as consumers
Idealized childhood is complicated by processes of production (work) and consumption.
There are diverse and culturally specific distinctions between what is considered acceptable and unacceptable
work for children.
Children are consumers, and childhood itself is commodified.
I/ Children and work
What are some kinds of work that young people do that you feel okay about? Why?
What are some kinds that you feel uncomfortable with? Why?
A) Childhood outside market relations review
• Public/private spheres
• Innocent childhood
• Other discourses of childhood and adolescence
• Children became associated with that protective environment
• Childhood innocence = keeping them out of danger and cutthroat aspects of the marketplace
• Some people have talked about children as developing
B) Acceptable child work?
• As becoming
o Link to training
o Link to idea of rite of passage
• As vital contribution...
o Domestic labour
o Labour within families
o Paid work
o Child as being?
o Children are learning skills but also punctuality and training
o We may also think differently about teenagers and work because certain jobs are seen as okay for teens
but not for children
• Link to innocence, protection and becoming
1. Legislated provincially
• Minimum ages
• Protecting education
• Conditions of work
• Protecting development Tuesday, February 4, 2014.
• Exceptions: e.g. agriculture, babysitting
• We see an ongoing relationship of work vs. school
• Not a federal law, but rather a provincial law
• 14 is the age that is used as a cut off as to whether or not you can work (in a paid environment)
• Recognizes that schooling is the first priority and that work should be secondary
• We are inconsistent in terms of age and what it means
• In Canada, education, safety, concerns of development are inconsistencies
2) Within UN CRC
• Article 32.1 States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation
and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or
to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
• Article 28: Right to education
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education… [and] make them
available and accessible to every child.
3) “Worst case” labour
• A lot of regulating going into work
• The kind of work that folks are very much against
• Seen as expendable because there isn’t much money put into their training
• E.g. hazardous work: estimated 115 million children worldwide
• E.g. child soldiering
o Article 38.2 States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not
attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.
o Article 38.3 States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age
of fifteen years into their armed forces...
o And the Optional Protocol increases this provision to age 18.
o Estimated 300 000 worldwide
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m7DjtN2H4U&feature=related – Ishmeal B (child solider)
• E.g. prostitution
o Hard to know how many people are involved or how the conditions are in these areas
o Some are trafficked into it (not always forced into it)
o Article 34: States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and
sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national,
bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent:
(a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity;
(b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices;
(c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performan