A conceptual framework for understanding contemporary child slavery

Cecilia Nana Derby, Florida International University


This thesis developed a conceptual framework aimed at enhancing our understanding of contemporary child slavery. A new variety of slavery exists today, the result of forms of forced servitude that existed alongside slavery many centuries ago. This is tantamount to slavery. There is, however, a critical lack of awareness about important aspects of the reality of this new child slavery. The framework and definitions of slavery in usage today, though interesting and sufficient to cover historical situations, are unable to adequately describe the conditions of the child slavery. Using existing literature and research, this thesis conceptualized children's labor in a manner that allows a clearer perception of the exploitation of their labor within and beyond the household. Explanatory factors such as culture, the age of victims, the number of hours worked and the ability or not of the victim to volunteer or withdraw their participation in the specific activities were employed to determine if particular situations should be considered as child slavery, repressive child labor or merely as child work. Important distinctions were made between the use of children's mental and physical energy in defined activities. ^

Subject Area

Sociology, Theory and Methods|Women's Studies|Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations

Recommended Citation

Derby, Cecilia Nana, "A conceptual framework for understanding contemporary child slavery" (2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1413665.