Friday, April 4, 2014

Confronting Child Labor in Global Agricultural Supply Chains

That was the headline for an event at UC Davis School of Law today.  I moderated a panel of high-level representatives from four multi-stakeholder initiatives who are aiming, among other things, to end the "worst forms of child labor" in production of their commodities:  Bonsucro (sugarcane), Ethical Tea Partnership, International Cocoa Initiative, and Better Cotton Initiative.  Many common themes emerged from their presentations, but the two most striking to me as a scholar of law and rural livelihoods were these:  
(1) the difficulty of monitoring and regulating actions in rural places, where informal and local order dominate and 
(2) the need to alleviate rural poverty so that farmers and others in the agricultural production pipeline have more choices.  

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