Child labour occurs across many sectors of the Indian economy, including in those which are tightly integrated into global production networks (GPNs). On the basis of an original study of the Delhi garments sector, this paper explores the evolving relationship between the nature and functioning of GPNs, the incidence of highly exploitative social and labour relations (including those associated with child labour), and the production and reproduction of chronic poverty and vulnerability. Two questions frame the discussion:
- To what extent, in what ways and under what circumstances does chronic poverty foster patterns of exploitative employment within GPNs for poor and vulnerable workers, including children?
- To what extent, in what ways and under what circumstances can the incorporation of these workers into GPNs be said to produce or reproduce chronic poverty and vulnerability?
Our arguments are rooted theoretically in the concept of \"adverse incorporation?, and developed by combining analysis of how accumulation occurs in contemporary GPNs with an exploration of the social processes in which these forms of accumulation are embedded. Child labour is simultaneously an outcome of these processes of adverse incorporation and itself a key mechanism through which they can be produced and reproduced.
Phillips, N.; Bhaskaran, R.; Nathan, D.; Upendranadh, C. Child labour in global production networks: Poverty, vulnerability and ‘adverse incorporation’ in the Delhi garments sector. CPRC Working Paper 177. Chronic Poverty Research Centre, London, UK (2011) ISBN 978-1-906433-79-6