Where after all do universal human rights begin? Taking a sociological approach to children’s work in India



“Where after all do universal human rights begin?” That was the question posed by Eleanor Roosevelt, the driving force behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She continued:

In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.

Yet often research and discussion on and about rights have mainly focused on legal frameworks and settings, such as the functioning of the United Nations human rights treaty bodies, or the introduction of national legislation intended to…

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