The Relationship between Child Labour and Child Marriage: A Discourse Analysis


UNICEF South Asia


This paper examines arguments about the relationship between child labour and child marriage. It reviews the concepts and frameworks relevant to child labour and forced labour, key concepts related to the child, early, and forced marriage and provides an overview of child labour and child marriage in South Asia. The paper also examines the main threads in the ongoing discourse on the relationship between child marriage and child labour and makes suggestions for further analysis. Notably, the role of children’s agency in marital and work decisions and evidence of other interactions between marriage and work in children’s lives, particularly in South Asia are reviewed. Rather than offering answers or proposing a consensus argument about the nature of child marriage and child labour and how they overlap, or not, the paper suggests some conceptual and empirical questions on consent in marriage, labour in marriage, control within marriage, abuse and labour migration, that might move the discourse forward.

Carol Boender
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