Thursday, July 6, 2023

2023 University of Arkansas Law Review symposium on “Children at Work.”

The University of Arkansas Law Review invites authors to submit proposals for papers for its 2023 symposium on “Children at Work.”

In recent months, the U.S. Department of Labor has reported a substantial increase in serious child labor law violations. A New York Times expose uncovered migrant children working in U.S. workplaces, including those that produce Fritos and Fruit of the Loom products. Yet, during this same period, numerous states have introduced or enacted laws to weaken longstanding child labor protections. Meanwhile, laws strengthening child labor laws or enhancing penalties for violations have been proposed in Congress and enacted in Arkansas.

This symposium will explore topics related to child labor in and beyond the United States and may include:

  • What is known about trends in where children are working, how much they work, and why they work? 
  • At what age is it appropriate for children to work? What limitations should there be and who should set them?
  • What are the causes of increased child labor violations? What is the history of child labor and child labor law? How does it compare to other countries?
  • What is the role of the state in protecting children? What are unique challenges in enforcing child labor laws and securing the rights of children? Do current laws and enforcement strategies fall short? If so, how might they be improved?
  • To the extent that children are employees, what are the implications for unions and organizing strategies? How do and should children participate in unions and organizing? Does the National Labor Relations Act adequately address the prospect of minor union members?
  • What is the relationship between immigration policy and child labor? What issues face immigrant children at work? What about the relationship between human trafficking and child labor? How should concerns about child labor trafficking shape federal and state policy?
  • What unique risks do children face in the workplace? What are the benefits of appropriate work by children? What is the relationship between work and educational and other outcomes?

The University of Arkansas Law Review invites authors exploring these and related issues to submit proposals for papers. Selected authors will be invited to present their research at the Law Review’s annual Symposium, which will be held at the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville on Friday, October 13, 2023. If you accept an invitation, the Law Review will provide transportation and accommodation in Fayetteville. Following the Symposium, proposals will be developed into approximately forty-page papers, which will be due by January 5, 2024. Once completed, we plan to publish the papers in Volume 77 of the Law Review.

Proposals should be submitted to the Symposium Editor, John Hudson  ([email protected]) and Professor Annie Smith ([email protected]) with the subject line “Children at Work” by August 1, 2023. Decisions will be communicated by August 7, 2023. Should you have any questions, please contact John and Professor Smith at the above listed emails.

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