Emory International Law Review

Comparative Approaches to Myanmar’s Child Labor Epidemic: The Role of Compulsory Education
Jack W. Roberts Managing Editor, Emory International Law Review; J.D. Candidate, Emory University School of Law (2016); B.A, History, Brown University (2013). The author would like to thank Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Emory University Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law and Richard F. Doner, Emory University Goodrich C. White Professor of Political Science, for their invaluable guidance and assistance on this work.

Abstract

Long an epicenter of child labor in Southeast Asia, Myanmar (Burma) has recently enjoyed a period of relative political stability, following decades of instability tainted with periods of military rule. However, foreign contractors have recently uncovered instances of continued child labor, which indicate that the issue may be even more prevalent than previously considered. Debate has arisen among Burmese officials over a plan to expand compulsory free education, which currently only applies through grade school—or the early teenage years—to the age of sixteen. It is the hope of many in Myanmar that these efforts will decrease the prevalence of child labor.

While predicting the effects that expansion of compulsory education will have is impossible, an observation of similar plans in China, Brazil, and India over the past half-century demonstrates that there are policies—as well as areas of caution—that Myanmar can potentially adopt to aid the implementation of such an expansion. It is well established that simply changing the law will not have the full desired effect. In observing these three nations as examples, it seems likely that Myanmar could benefit from taking efforts to combat corruption both at the local and national levels, possibly through futher decentralization combined with a centralized oversight mechanism, incorporating assistance from non-governmental organizations and trade unions through more consistent approaches, and finding creative, cultural, and gender-specific methods of incentivizing low income families to send their children to school rather than collect the modest but immediate benefits of sending their children to work.

Introduction

Myanmar—historically known as Burma—is in the midst of a long-fought battle against child labor. 1Education Would Help Stop Child Labor, Say Experts, Democratic Voice Burma (Aug. 25, 2014), http://www.dvb.no/news/education-would-help-stop-child-labor-say-experts-burma-myanmar/43511. The Buddhist-majority 2For a discussion of the tensions involving Myanmar’s Muslim minority, who suffer disproportionately from many of the problems described in this Comment, see Adam B. Ellick & Nicholas Kristof, Myanmar’s Persecuted Minority, N.Y. Times (June 16, 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/16/opinion/nicholas-kristof-myanmar-documentary.html?_r=0. Southeast Asian country of over fifty million residents has dealt with significant child labor problems dating back at least as far as the Industrial Revolution, when the country served as a British colony. 3For a discussion of the theory that child labor was simply exported from industrialized nations to their colonial territories in the years following the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, see Kaushik Basu & Zafiris Tzannatos, The Global Child Labor Problem: What Do We Know and What Can We Do?, 17 World Bank Econ. Rev. 147, 147 (2003). Since Myanmar gained independence in 1948, solutions to the problem have been scarce and ineffective. 4See Foreign Affairs Comm., All Burma Fed’n of Student Unions, Burma’s Child in Education 2 (Aug. 2003), http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/CRC2004-Myanmar-NGO-ABSFU.pdf [hereinafter Burma’s Child in Education]. In August 2014, a Norwegian company, Telenor, which was working to help build Myanmar’s first national mobile phone network, discovered that the child labor situation in Myanmar was considerably worse than earlier estimated. 5Michael Peel, Telenor Uncovers Child Labor Among Myanmar Suppliers, Fin. Times (Aug. 19, 2014, 4:44 PM), http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9eac10b0-27a5-11e4-ae44-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3xcdo05nz. During unannounced health and safety inspections, Telenor discovered over a dozen cases of child labor in violation of the company’s contracts with subcontractors. 6Id.

Some sources point to the conclusion that an outright ban on child labor is not an effective means of ending the practice, due to an economic dependence on the dividends of child labor by families and by the entire national economy. 7See, e.g., Saranya Kapur, Child Labor Bans Actually Make Things Worse for the Poorest Children, Bus. Insider (Nov. 11, 2013, 10:35 AM), http://www.businessinsider.com/banning-child-labor-worse-for-children-2013-11. A proposed method to combat the issue of child labor in Myanmar that has seen some success elsewhere has been to increase mandatory free education. 8Education Would Help Stop Child Labor, Say Experts, supra note 1. Education is currently free for all school age children, but it is only compulsory through secondary school, or the early teenage years. 9Id. Some commentators, both within Myanmar and abroad, argue that extending compulsory education through age sixteen would have a profound positive impact on child labor. 10Id. However, the nation faces questions as to how this change should be implemented and enforced. Critics argue that Myanmar’s problems run deeper and steps must be taken to fight corruption in the country before effective education reform can take place. 11Abdullahi An-Na’im, Cultural Transformation and Normative Consensus on the Best Interests of the Child, 8 Int’l J.L. & Fam. 62, 78 (1994).

Myanmar, of course, is not the first country to face issues with child labor in recent history. Similarly situated countries have used education expansion to combat child labor with mixed success. This Comment will examine three countries that have taken this route in the past half-century—namely China, Brazil, and India—in hopes of finding suggestions and reasons for caution that would best serve Myanmar in its quest to move beyond its reliance on child labor. While these three nations have experienced varying levels of success in eliminating child labor through the expansion of compulsory free education, each nation has implemented plans that could apply in some degree to Myanmar’s social and economic climate. This Comment will attempt to identify the best aspects of these plans in order to search for the most effective strategies for confronting Myanmar’s child labor problem.

Viewing Myanmar through the lens of three significantly larger countries raises issues of comparison. China, Brazil, and India all have populations much larger than that of Myanmar. However, because these nations have the three largest economies that have undertaken vast efforts aimed towards expanding education and eliminating child labor in the past half-century, it seems to follow that at least some of the strategies employed in these countries should have a universal quality that can be applied to countries of a much smaller size. “[G]enuine normative universality” of international children’s rights “is a somewhat paradoxical concept which is yet to be realized in real and concrete terms.” 12Id. at 65. The specific culture of Myanmar means that no international model will perfectly apply to its own problems. Any analysis of international child labor should balance and reconcile “apparently conflicting basic needs as well as rais[e] the question of who defines those needs and for whom.” 13Id. at 77.

Often, a society that produces child labor also produces conditions that would expose children to “excessive exploitation and abuse” in the absence of child labor. 14Id. at 78. China, India, and Brazil are used in this Comment because they are three countries that have prioritized the elimination of child labor as part of an overall movement towards economic development. China is frequently cited as a developmental model for Myanmar. 15See generally Peter Birgbauer, China Lessons for Myanmar Investors, Diplomat (Oct. 27, 2013), http://thediplomat.com/2013/10/china-lessons-for-myanmar-investors/; Johnathan H. Ping, Myanmar in the Global Political Economy: Development Models, The West and China (Bond Univ. Humanities & Soc. Sci. Papers, Paper No. 749, 2013), http://epublications.bond.edu.au/hss_pubs/749. India and Myanmar share a common origin and remnants of the British colonial system. 16See David I. Steinberg, Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know 1–5 (2010). Brazil shares a volatile past filled with periods of military rule. 17See Erik H. Ribeiro, Military Can Still Be Good State-Builders for Myanmar, New Mandala (Oct. 15, 2013), http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2013/10/15/military-can-still-be-good-state-builders-for-myanmar/. It follows that some of the approaches taken or proposed in these other countries should at least have comparative value for the situation in Myanmar.

Ultimately, this Comment details how the expansion of compulsory education will likely improve Myanmar’s child labor situation. However, it also analyzes why simply making education free and compulsory will not alone make a significant impact. To reduce child labor, Myanmar will have to combat corruption and the difficulty and cost of enforcing mandatory education laws. To do this effectively, it will have to create a system in which families view education as more valuable than the wages their children can earn in the workplace. 18See Patrick Winn, Youth Interrupted: Myanmar’s Underage Illiterate Workers, NPR (Sept. 19, 2013, 1:32 PM), http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2013/09/19/224075632/youth-interrupted-myanmars-underage-illiterate-workers. This can be done by reducing the costs associated with schooling, 19See Andrew Kirkwood, What to Do for Burma’s Children 7 (Nat’l Bureau Asian Research, 2009), http://www.nbr.org/Downloads/pdfs/ETA/BMY_Conf09_Kirkwood.pdf. providing incentives to compliant families, 20See Sabine Schlemmer-Schulte, The Contribution of the World Bank in Fostering Respect for ILO Child Labour Standards, in Child Labour in a Globalized World: A Legal Analysis of ILO Action 229, 231 (Giuseppe Nesi et al. eds., 2008). and incorporating the aid of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and trade unions. 21See Andrew J. Morgan, A Remarkable Occurrence: Progress for Civil Society in an “Open” Myanmar, 23 Pac. Rim L. & Pol’y J. 495, 506 (2014). Only with a combination of these efforts will any new law that makes education in Myanmar compulsory have a positive impact on Myanmar’s rates of child labor.

I. The Current Situation: Economic Realities and a Lack of Incentives

A study of 5,000 children across fourteen townships in Myanmar in 2006 found that more than one third of children between the ages of seven and sixteen are employed. 22Ministry Nat’l Plan. & Econ. Dev., U.N. Children’s Fund [UNICEF], Situation Analysis of Children in Myanmar 116 (July 2012), http://www.unicef.org/eapro/Myanmar_Situation_Analysis.pdf. As many as half of these underage laborers are employed in what are described as hazardous jobs, including mining, working as child soldiers, and even prostitution. 23Winn, supra note 18; see also Int’l Labour Office, Children in Hazardous Work 3–4 (2011), http://bit.ly/1UUoLM6 [hereinafter Children in Hazardous Work]. Due to healthcare problems in the country, children are often forced to work when a parent becomes ill, often with an illness that would be treatable with sophisticated modern medicine. 24Winn, supra note 18. The Human Capital Theory is at play in Myanmar; 25For a discussion of how the human capital theory applies in Myanmar, see Sandee Pyne, Migrating Knowledge: Schooling, Statelessness and Safety at the Thailand-Burma Border (Aug. 8, 2007) (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Maryland) (on file with the Digital Repository, University of Maryland). for many Burmese families, the perceived present value of the potential wages children can make in the workplace are greater than the perceived future value of an education for those children. 26Id. at 21; Children in Hazardous Work, supra note 23, at xv−xvii; Winn, supra note 18.

Myanmar’s volatile political climate has presented additional barriers. Corruption siphons off much of the little funding that does make it to the local school level. 27See United Nations Dev. Programme, Tackling Corruption, Transforming Lives: Accelerating Human Development in Asia and the Pacific 62–65 (2008), http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/rhdr_full_report_tackling_corruption_transforming_lives.pdf; Simon Montlake, Myanmar Democracy Icon Suu Kyi Taps ‘Crony’ Capitalists for Charity Funds, Forbes (Jan. 16, 2013, 5:11 AM), http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmontlake/2013/01/16/myanmar-democracy-icon-suu-kyi-taps-crony-capitalists-for-charity-funds/#2715e4857a0b1936bd204fe6. Corruption is also present in the classroom, where money and influence can often purchase good grades, leading to a loss of credibility for state-sponsored education. 28Education in Myanmar, Arohana, http://arohanascholarships.org/education-in-myanmar/ (last visited Feb. 3, 2016). The nation’s frequent military clashes have further destabilized the education system, as well as increased the prevalence of child soldiers. 29See Hilary Whiteman, The Fight to Free Myanmar’s Child Soldiers, CNN (Nov. 1, 2013, 2:17 AM), http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/15/world/asia/myanmar-burma-child-soldiers/. As recently as 2012, Maplecroft, a risk analysis firm from the United Kingdom, ranked Myanmar’s child labor problem as being the worst in the world—worse than North Korea and Somalia. 30Child Labor Index, Maplecroft, https://maplecroft.com/about/news/child_labour_2012.html (last visited Jan. 18, 2016) (citing child labor statistics from 2012). The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) negotiations with the Burma Army and rebels have reportedly had “some success,” although instances of children serving as soldiers continue to be reported. 31San Yamin Aung, Govt to Start Child Labor Elimination Policy in December, Irrawaddy (July 18, 2014, 7:32 PM), http://www.irrawaddy.com/burma/govt-start-child-labor-elimination-policy-december.html. The instability, combined with the effects of recent natural disasters 32In 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed tens of thousands and crippled Myanmar’s already weak infrastructure. The death toll was escalated in part due to the military junta’s lackluster attempts to warn individuals in the delta region of Myanmar. See Michael Casey, Why the Cyclone in Myanmar Was So Deadly, Nat’l Geographic News (May 8, 2008), http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/05/080508-AP-the-perfect.html. and health crises, 33HIV and AIDS have taken a large toll on Myanmar’s population and its labor supply. See Morten B. Pedersen, Promoting Human Rights in Burma: A Critique of Western Sanctions Policy 200 (2008). has led to increased poverty in Myanmar, which has increased the demand for child labor. 34See Winn, supra note 18. In many instances, the labor is forced upon children by their parents.

A. Struggles to Find Solutions and International Mixed Signals

Myanmar has faced much public scrutiny from foreign nations and potential investors in recent years due to their inability to stop child labor, but foreign entities have inconsistently dealt with Myanmar. Strategies have included everything from withdrawing investments to prevent participation in the problem, to encouraging investment to boost industry and lessen the conditions leading to child labor. 35Id.; see also Steven Lee Myers, U.S. Companies Investing in Myanmar Must Show Steps to Respect Human Rights, N.Y. Times (June 30, 2013), http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/world/asia/us-companies-investing-in-myanmar-must-show-steps-to-respect-human-rights.html. Myanmar became a party to the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child on July 15, 1991. 36See Convention on the Rights of the Child, Nov. 20, 1989, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3. The treaty guarantees the right to a formal education and protection of leisure and recreation for children. 37See Fact Sheet: A Summary of the Rights Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF, http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf (last updated May 19, 2014). The situation, however, did not improve. Myanmar’s military, in part, made compliance with the treaty impossible, since there is no method by which the civilian government can regulate and prosecute the military. 38See Myanmar/Burma’s Binding Obligations Under International Law, Global Just. Ctr. (Nov. 2012), http://www.globaljusticecenter.net/index.php/publications/advocacy-resources/106-myanmar-burma-s-binding-obligations-under-international-law. As a result, two decades after ratification of the Convention, the nation is still plagued by the problem of child labor.

Foreign nations have also behaved inconsistently towards Myanmar, due in part to changing public perception towards international child labor problems. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Pepsi, Levi-Strauss, British American Tobacco and other corporations ceased operations in Myanmar due to pressure from consumers and activists. 39Winn, supra note 18. In 2003, the United States passed the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, which banned all imports from the country. 40Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, Pub. L. No. 108-61, 117 Stat. 864 (2003). In 2000, the ILO invoked its Article 33 powers with regards to Myanmar, which allows the ILO to take any action against a nation to secure compliance. 41Int’l Labour Org. [ILO] Const. art. 33 (2010); Junlin Ho, The International Labour Organization’s Role in Nationalizing the International Movement to Abolish Child Labor, 7 Chi. J. Int’l L. 337, 346 (2006). This is the only time the ILO has ever invoked its Article 33 powers. 42Ho, supra note 41. Further action, however, was never taken. 43Id. Despite this, President Barack Obama has encouraged companies to invest in Myanmar’s economy, and many restrictions have been lifted. 44Myers, supra note 35. General Electric, Ford, British American Tobacco, Visa, MasterCard, and other corporations have already resumed production in Myanmar. 45Winn, supra note 18.

In December 2013, Myanmar ratified the ILO’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention of 1999, becoming the 178th ILO member state to do so. 46Myanmar Ratifies the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, Int’l Lab. Org. (Dec. 19, 2013), http://www.ilo.org/global/standards/information-resources-and-publications/news/WCMS_233060/lang--en/index.htm. This requires, among other things, that Myanmar prohibit and eliminate children working in hazardous fields. 47Convention (No. 182) Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour art. 3, June 17, 1999, 2133 U.N.T.S. 161. Minister of Labor Aye Myint promised to start implementing the ban by December 2014. 48Aung, supra note 31. Myanmar’s Labor Ministry has also made plans to form a committee to implement the Convention and conduct a full survey on child labor. 49Id. Despite the recent efforts, Myanmar has yet to adopt ILO Convention No. 138, which sets a strict minimum age at which children can legally be employed in any type of job. 50Id.

Some argue that developing countries like Myanmar face a path towards ending their reliance on child labor that contains higher obstacles than were faced by nations whose economies developed earlier. 51One view is that many Western nations are concerned with eliminating child labor in developing countries less because of “noble humanitarian aspirations” and more because of “self-serving economic motives to protect western trade from the competition of lower priced goods produced in the developing countries.” Michele D’Avolio, Child Labor and Cultural Relativism: From 19th Century America to 21st Century Nepal, 16 Pace Int’l L. Rev. 109, 132−33 (2004). Nations like the United States and the United Kingdom “were allowed to grow their economies on the backs of children without foreign interference.” 52Winn, supra note 18. For an interesting look at Puritanical justificaitons for child labor around the turn of the twentieth century, see Edith Abbott, A Study of the Early History of Child Labor in America, 14 Am. J. Sociol. 15, 15 (1908). Once they had developed more mature economies, they were able to pass child labor legislation that prohibited practices that had already disappeared. 53See Benjamin Powell, A Case Against Child Labor Prohibitions, Econ. Dev. Bull. (Cato Inst. Ctr. for Global Liberty & Prosperity, Washington, D.C.), July 2014, at 3. Myanmar does not have this opportunity due to increased global concern over child labor. 54Winn, supra note 18 (noting that corporations left the country in the 1990’s and early 2000’s due to concern over child labor). Myanmar faces the additional difficulty of building an economy that disincentivizes child labor without the benefit of building this economy through child labor, especially when coupled with investors’s hesitancy to deal with Myanmar due to public perception surrounding child labor. 55See id.

B. The Present Education System and its Flaws

Lower secondary school through middle school is currently both free and mandatory. 56World Data on Education: Myanmar, UNESCO, http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001931/193185e.pdf (last updated Apr. 2011). Upper secondary school, however, is not. 57Id. Laws, predictably, are not well enforced. 58See President Asks Parliament to Reconsider National Education Law, Eleven, http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/local/president-asks-parliament-reconsider-national-education-law (last visited Feb. 3, 2016). Additionally, it is perhaps inaccurate to regard education at any level as “free.” Parents are often asked to help with costs at their local schools, says Thanda Kyaw, senior program adviser with Save the Children in Myanmar. 59Winn, supra note 18. Without these donations, teachers have little incentive to come to work. 60Id. There are reports of entire schools without any teachers. 61Id. While school attendance among fourteen-year-olds had climbed to 62.4% by 2009-2010, attendance among sixteen-year-olds remained at 39.3%. 62UNICEF, Myanmar: Monitoring the Situation of Children and Women, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 181 (2010).

Although there are compulsory education laws on the books, as many as forty percent of children never enroll in any type of school. 63Burma/Myanmar, Child Lab. Coalition, http://www.stopchildlabor.org/?cat=578 (last visited Feb. 3, 2016). Only twenty-five to thirty-five percent of Burmese children complete the “mandatory” five-year primary school course. 64Id. Many of the Burmese children who can afford schooling leave the country to study or work and are often offered little incentive to return under the current political system. 65See Pedersen, supra note 33, at 200. For example, there are as many as two million Burmese migrant workers in Thailand alone, many of whom are undocumented and participate in the same forms of child labor prevalent in Myanmar. 66For a detailed account of Burmese migrant work in Thailand, see generally Bryant Yuan Fu Yang, Life and Death Away from the Golden Land, The Plight of Burmese Migrant Workers in Thailand, 8 Asian-Pacific L. & Pol’y J. 485 (2007). This creates a shortage of skilled labor, which limits the development of technology that could make many of the unskilled labor positions filled by children obsolete. 67See Pedersen, supra note 33, at 200.

C. Movement from Within: Student Protests and Proposed Plans

Students have been involved in widespread protests for the expansion of compulsory education, and many credit these movements with bringing the issue to the forefront. 68See Burma’s Child in Education, supra note 4, at 2. The most famous and catastrophic of these movements was the uprising in 1988, which led to the deaths of protestors and the dismantling of many universities, which were seen as “hotbed[s] of political opposition.” 69Yen Snaing, University Teachers’ Association Boycotts Talks on Burma Education Reform, Irrawaddy (Jan. 22, 2014, 7:32 PM), http://www.irrawaddy.org/burma/university-teachers-association-boycotts-talks-burma-education-reform.html; Burma’s Child in Education, supra note 4. More recently, protesting students were dismissed from schools simply due to their participation in politics. 70Burma’s Child in Education, supra note 4. Myanmar’s most recent National Education Bill was met with protests from students unhappy with the burdens the law places on student unions, as well as the centralization of education. 71Paing Soe, Mandalay Students Protest Education Bill, Democratic Voice Burma (Aug. 28, 2014), http://www.dvb.no/news/mandalay-students-protest-education-bill-burma-myanmar/43612. Students warn that the newly formed National Education Commission places too much control in the hands of the government and fear that it is simply a rebranding of the same policies that have failed Myanmar’s schools for decades. 72Id. Students also complain that the public was not adequately informed about the development of the legislation. 73Id. The fears of over-centralization are mostly directed at university education in Myanmar, where a recent push was aimed at autonomy in the higher-education sector. 74Khin Khin Ei, Myanmar’s University Students Protest Proposed Education Law, Radio Free Asia (Sept. 2, 2014), http://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/protest-09022014192146.html (translated by Khet Mar & Roseanne Gerin).

These protests have also helped build support for the idea of expanding compulsory education. Recent laws have attempted to strengthen the enforcement of compulsory primary education. 75Aung Shin, Education Gets a Boost, Myanmar Times (May 14, 2013), http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/special-features/165-back-to-school-2013/6747-education-budget-boost-is-it-enough.html. Parliamentarian Nyo Nyo Thin has advocated for the idea of expanding compulsory education to older children as well, calling free compulsory education “a basic human right.” 76Education Would Help Stop Child Labour, Say Experts, Democratic Voice Burma (Aug. 25, 2014),http://www.dvb.no/news/education-would-help-stop-child-labor-say-experts-burma-myanmar/43511. Burmese National Network for Education Reform spokesperson Thu Thu Mar wants free compulsory education for no less than nine years. 77Id. Any plans to extend compulsory education would likely need to be combined with an expansion of the national education budget, which currently sits at 5.84 percent of the total national budget. 78Shin, supra note 75. Commentators like Dr. Thein Lwin, an education expert at the National League for Democracy’s Education Network, insist that this proportion is “low compared to the number of students” and should be increased. 79Id. As the movement in favor of expanding free compulsory education gathers steam, Myanmar is faced with questions about how it will implement, enforce, and fund the program, and concerns that the current political, economic, and educational systems in place will render such a plan ineffective.

II. Possible Solutions from Abroad

In analyzing whether a plan to expand free compulsory education in Myanmar will be effective in lowering child labor and deciding what steps must be taken to ensure the best possible outcome, it is helpful to consider other nations that have attempted to combat child labor with the expansion of compulsory education. China, Brazil, and India all used compulsory education to combat child labor in the latter portion of the twentieth century, with varying degrees of success. 80See Int’l Labour Org. [ILO], Report of the Director-General for the 95th Session of the Int’l Labour Conference, The End of Child Labour: Within Reach (2006) [hereinafter The End of Child Labour: Within Reach]. While each possesses an economic and political atmosphere distinct from that of Myanmar, there are similarities that render some of the innovative methods practiced in these countries potentially useful.

A. China

The extent of child labor in China, both historically and presently, is hard to measure because the Chinese government classifies such data as “highly secret.” 81Cong. Exec. Comm’n on China 110th Cong., 1st Sess., Annual Report 108 (2007). In 1988, it was estimated by China’s Ministry of Labor that child workers represented ten percent of all workers in China. 82G.K. Lieten, Child Labor in China: An Overview, in The World of Child Labor: An Historical and Regional Survey 11−13 (Hugh D. Hindman ed., 2009). Despite the absence of hard statistical data, the ILO cites “evidence on poverty reduction and education expansion” as proof of progress. 83The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, supra note 80. While critics continue to contend that child labor remains a problem in China due to the government being “preoccupied with the country’s economic growth” 84Dana C. Nicholas, China’s Labor Enforcement Crisis: International Intervention and Corporate Social Responsibility, 11 Scholar 155, 156 (2009). and China’s lack of progress in reversing gender differences, 85While gender issues in China are certainly complex enough to warrant their own discussion, they are outside the scope of this Comment. Women are generally encouraged to enter the workplace earlier, rather than remain in school, but have fewer opportunities for advancement compared to men. See John Bauer et al., Gender Inequality in Urban China: Education and Employment, 18 Mod. China 333, 362 (1992). most authorities seem to be in agreement that child labor is no longer “a widespread and pervasive problem.” 86Lieten, supra note 82.

Beginning in the 1980s, rapid urbanization brought many rural Chinese families into cities. 87Xia Chunli, Migrant Children and the Right to Compulsory Education in China, 7 Asia-Pac. J. Hum. Rts. & L. 29, 30 (2006). China promulgated the Compulsory Education Law in 1986, which created free, mandatory education for nine years. 88Compulsory Education Law of the People’s Republic of China, L. Info China (June 29, 2006), http://www.lawinfochina.com/display.aspx?lib=law&id=5299&CGid=. This compulsory education system is enforced by a separate education fund, which is collected by taxation agencies but controlled by educational administrations. 89Id. Provinces experiencing funding problems are also permitted to allocate funds locally for the specific purpose of education. 90Id. To help with enforcement, China exempts all rural students from the incidental fees that occur with schooling and provides free textbooks and subsidized boarding fees to poor students. 91Compulsory Education Law Enforcement Comes Under Inspection, Window China (Sept. 16, 2008), http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-09/16/content_10038902.htm. These special funds for rural students are co-financed by the central and local governments. 92Id. China makes exceptions to the ban on under-sixteen labor for “units of literature and art, physical culture and sport, and special arts and crafts,” which need to recruit juveniles under the age of sixteen, but even these children “must go through the formalities of examination and approval according to the relevant provisions of the State and guarantee their right to compulsory education.” 93Int’l Labour Org. [ILO], China Labour Act, Doc. 9, ch. 2, § 15 (July 5, 1994), https://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/37357/64926/E94CHN01.htm. The government also encourages recent graduates to gain employment by serving in the army or by moving to rural areas to teach. 94See KPMG, Education in China 10 (2010), https://www.kpmg.com/CN/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/Education-in-China-201011.pdf. These measures have allowed China’s education reform to continue without upsetting important aspects of its economy.

China’s child labor and education reforms have also improved its standing in the international community, which has allowed for increased investment in the country, thus lowering the demand for child labor. 95See 2013 Investment Climate Statement–China, U.S. Dep’t State (Feb. 2013), http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ics/2013/204621.htm. For instance, China’s Programme for Children’s Development sets forth standards in child labor and education reform, standing as a public demonstration of the country’s dedication to these issues. 96Eur. Comm’n on Hum. Rts., Rep. on the Work of its Sixty-First Session, Apr. 8, 2005, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2005/SR.40 (Aug. 24, 2005). The United States has been involved in these developments, and the Bureau of International Labor Affairs has awarded funds to such organizations for their work in the elimination of child labor, especially targeting educational funding as a sign of child labor deterrence. 97While only a fraction of the Bureau’s initial award of $58 million went towards serving conditions in China, the program is still cited as increasing public scrutiny surrounding the link between education and child labor. See Combating Exploitive Child Labor Through Education, 72 Fed. Reg. 32,869 (June 14, 2007); see also Press Release, Embassy of the United States, Windhoek, Namibia, U.S. Department of Labor Awards More Than $58 Million to Eliminate Exploitive Child Labor Around the World (Oct. 7, 2008), http://windhoek.usembassy.gov/october_7_2008.html; Nicholas, supra note 84, at 192. While critics have debated the effect that investment, especially from the United States, has had in promoting human rights in China, the United States has generally conditioned investments upon China’s continued dedication to improving such rights. 98For an analysis on the possible benefits and detriments the U.S. investments have on human rights in China, see Diane F. Orentlicher & Timothy A. Gelatt, Public Law, Private Actors: The Impact of Human Rights on Business Investors in China, 14 Nw. J. Int’l L. & Bus. 66, 117–18 (1993).

China’s education system and economy as a whole vary widely between its urban and rural areas. 99Brian Holland, Migrant Children, Compulsory Education, and the Rule of Law in China, 14 Buff. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 209, 225 (2008). To combat these discrepancies, China’s educational reforms included decentralization of funding to the local level. 100Id. at 226. A side effect to this decentralization is that it “has made localities increasingly dependent on their own resource bases to finance current and capital expenditures.” 101Azizur Rahman Khan & Carl Riskin, Inequality and Poverty in China in the Age of Globalization 87 (2001). While this has been less of a problem in urban centers—and especially wealthier neighborhoods—the decentralization efforts have failed to ensure that rural communities have adequate funding. 102Id. As a result, many “local governments have had to resort to imposing surtaxes and charging a variety of user fees for . . . primary education.” 103Id. This has made education “so expensive that some rural residents have kept their children out of school.” 104Id.

Corruption is also cited as a problem in China’s education system. 105See William Wan, In China, Parents Bribe to Get Students into Top Schools, Despite Campaign Against Corruption, Wash. Post (Oct. 7, 2013), https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-china-parents-bribe-to-get-students-into-top-schools-despite-campaign-against-corruption/2013/10/07/fa8d9d32-2a61-11e3-8ade-a1f23cda135e_story.html. Chinese parents can often bribe officials to get their children into better public schools—even at the elementary school level. 106Id. Students are supposed to be assigned to schools on a geographic basis, but wealthy parents can often pay a fee to send their children to the school of their choice. 107Id. In China, the best schools are often the public schools. Private schools are often reserved for children barred from public schools, 108Id. either because they cannot afford the necessary costs associated with schooling, or, more commonly, they are the children of migrant workers who do not qualify to attend school where they currently live. 109Tania Branigan, Millions of Chinese Rural Migrants Denied Education for their Children, Guardian (Mar. 14, 2010, 9:07 PM), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/mar/15/china-migrant-workers-children-education. Students are registered for school (and other public services, such as healthcare) on a hereditary basis under China’s hukou system. 110Id. The hukou system causes tens of millions of migrants to leave their children behind with rural-dwelling relatives when they move to cities in search of work, creating further problems in rural education. 111Id. The discrepancy between public and private schools contributes to China’s difficulties in lessening its gap between the wealthy and poor. 112Wan, supra note 105. Still, in the past quarter century China has lifted more citizens out of poverty and enrolled more children in school than any other country. 113Lieten, supra note 82, at 2. A direct link likely exists between China’s success in lessening child labor and its better enforcement of compulsory education laws. 114See id. at 2, 6, 7.

B. Brazil

Brazil’s development involves a long period of military rule characterized by “indifference to social issues of the poor majority,” which “left child labor largely unchecked and at all-time highs.” 115Charles T. Mantei, It Takes a Village to Raise a Child: The Role of the Organization of American States in Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Brazil, 32 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 469, 484 (2001). The military dictatorship did, however, impose an economic model that “marked a decline in inflation leading to significant economic development.” 116Id. Through the 1980s in Brazil, “child labour remained an important feature of the labour market,” 117 The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, supra note 80, at 13−14. but the 1990s have seen a dramatic decrease in child labor and an increase in the percentage of children that are enrolled in schools. 118Id. at 14. A 1998 constitutional amendment raised the minimum working age from fourteen to sixteen, resulting in a marked decrease in labor in children newly covered under the amendment. 119Mantei, supra note 115, at 499−500. While critics claim that Brazilian education laws, which mandate school attendance until age fourteen, are not well enforced, ninety-three percent of boys and ninety-four percent of girls between the ages of seven and sixteen do attend school at least on a part-time basis. 120Made in Brazil: Confronting Child Labor, Council on Hemispheric Aff. (Nov. 16, 2010), http://www.coha.org/made-in-brazil-confronting-child-labor/. Secondary education enrollment has also been increasing by about ten percent annually since 1995, indicating a rise in demand for secondary education. 121The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, supra note 80, at 14. While Brazil’s economic development has certainly contributed to the improved child labor conditions, the innovative programs that Brazil implemented to encourage education have also played a vital role. 122Made in Brazil: Confronting Child Labor, supra note 120.

Brazil has benefitted from the emergence of NGOs committed to improving the conditions of its poorest children. 123Mantei, supra note 115, at 484−85. NGOs provide assistance to the government in setting curricula for schools, due to their proximity to children living in poverty and their needs. 124Mona Pare, Educating Marginalized Children: The Challenge of the Right to Education in Brazil, 12 Int’l J. Child. Rts. 217, 234 (2004). Many of these NGOs receive international funding. 125Armand Pereira, Domestic Child Labor: An Overview of Brazil’s Recent Experience, Global Pol’y Forum (Jan. 2010), https://www.globalpolicy.org/social-and-economic-policy/labor-rights-and-labor-movements/48669-domestic-child-labor-an-overview-of-brazils-recent-experience.html. The centers put in place by these NGOs often serve as “the first point of contact for street children,” allowing them to use the facilities for non-educational purposes such as hygiene and medical care. 126Pare, supra note 124, at 237−38. Some of the programs that target regions with high instances of child labor make efforts to emphasize extra-curricular activities. 127Mantei, supra note 115, at 494. Trade unions also provide assistance in ensuring that children are not forced to work. 128Id. at 493. The Brazilian government has formed Integrated Action Programs (the “Programa de Açōes Integradas,” or “PIAs”), which combine the initiatives of NGOs, government agencies, and trade unions into coalitions to remove children from the labor force and place them in educational settings. 129Id.at 489−90. By cooperating with NGOs, Brazil has been able to better focus their educational efforts on issues that are most relevant in poorer communities.

Through the PIAs, the Brazilian government implemented incentive-based policies to motivate poor families to promote school attendance among their children. Brazil has used conditional cash transfers (CCTs) under a program called Bolsa Familia since 2003. 130Kathy Lindert, Brazil: Bolsa Familia Program − Scaling-Up Cash Transfers for the Poor, in MfDR Principles in Action: Sourcebook on Emerging Good Practices 67, 67 (2006).Bolsa Familia provides financial assistance to poor families on the condition that their children attend school regularly and receive vaccinations. 131Fábio Veras Soares et al., Evaluating the Impact of Brazil’s Bolsa Família, 45 Latin Am. Res. Rev. 173, 174 n.1 (2010). By late 2013, the program reached fifty million people, or a quarter of Brazil’s total population. 132Deborah Wetzel & Valor Econômico, Opinion: Bolsa Família: Brazil’s Quiet Revolution, World Bank (Nov. 4, 2013), http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/opinion/2013/11/04/bolsa-familia-Brazil-quiet-revolution. It is estimated that the program has reduced Brazil’s rate of extreme poverty by more than one half. 133Id. Preserving primarily municipal funding for Bolsa Familia ensures innovation and efficiency through the reduction of administrative costs that would be required for more centralized funding. 134See Kathy Lindert et al., The Nuts and Bolts of Brazil’s Bolsa Família Program: Implementing Conditional Cash Transfers in a Decentralized Context 14, 29, 117 (World Bank, Discussion Paper No. 0709, 2007). Under the program, if one child from a family misses more than fifteen percent of classes, then the child’s entire family loses funding. 135Brazil’s Bolsa Familia: How to Get Children out of Jobs and into School, Economist (July 29, 2010), http://www.economist.com/node/16690887. This has caused the program to be “particularly effective at helping girls to stay in school,” reversing generations of gender disparities in Brazil’s education system. 136Cindy Calvo, Social Work and Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America, 38 J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 53, 60 (2011). It has increased both attendance and enrollment rates in Brazil among adolescents of both genders. 137See id.

Brazil still deals with large-scale corruption in its education industry, against which the government has fought only minimally. 138See Roslyn Arlin Mickelson, Globalization, Childhood Poverty, and Education in the Americas, in Children on the Streets of the Americas 11, 30 (Roslyn Arlin Mickelson ed., 2000). Money transferred from the central government to municipalities in the form of educational block grants are often the target of corruption. 139Claudio Ferraz et al., Corrupting Learning: Evidence from Missing Federal Education Funds in Brazil, 96 J. Pub. Econ. 712, 712 (2012). While using more local revenue to fund schools helps eliminate this problem, federal funding is often needed to ensure uniformity among poor communities. Mayors themselves are often guilty of diverting resources designated as educational to other programs—or into their own bank accounts. 140Id. at 715. As a result, teachers often do not receive their full salaries, which can decrease teacher motivation. 141Id. Evidence suggests that school quality decreases due to this corruption, and commentators suggest a monitoring system to oversee the use of educational block grants. 142Id. at 716.

Brazil’s economy is heavily divided between mostly urban populations in the eastern coastal regions and mostly rural areas inland. 143Urbanisation in Brazil, Brazil, http://www.brazil.org.za/unrbanisation-in-brazil.html (last visited Feb. 3, 2016). Brazil’s 1995 “Every Child in School” Program, which expanded enrollment by as much as ten percent, had an especially profound impact in Brazil’s poorest regions—the North, North-East, and Central-West. 144The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, supra note 80, at 14. One of the largest lingering problems arises from children that work in their parents’ households, where they escape government monitoring. 145Made in Brazil: Confronting Child Labor, supra note 120. Psychological issues are at play in transitioning children whose families have gone generations without a formal education into the unfamiliar setting of a classroom. In Brazil, “poverty begets child labor begets lack of education begets poverty.” 146Mantei, supra note 115, at 484. The country has yet to find a program that completely eliminates child labor, especially in urban areas.

Brazil has been cited by the ILO as an example of a country where, “in addition to poverty reduction, the decision to focus on mass education” has led to a “transition point” in the elimination of child labor. 147The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, supra note 80, at xi. The number of children between the ages of five and seventeen has been reduced by more than fifty percent since 1992, and Brazil’s dedication to incentivizing education has likely been the primary cause for this reduction. 148Pereira, supra note 125. Some have complained that Brazil’s reforms have been skewed too heavily towards rural areas. 149Brazil’s Bolsa Familia: How to Get Children out of Jobs and into School, supra note 135. Urban children often earn more than rural children; therefore, the incentives provided by Bolsa Familia are often less than what a child can make by working. 150Id. Despite its shortcomings, Brazil’s efforts to enforce its minimum age schooling requirement through incentives has had a substantial impact on lowering dropout rates and in reducing child labor participation rates. 151See Calvo, supra note 136, at 60.

C. India

As a former English colony, India’s child labor difficulties have a common source with those experienced by Myanmar and date back at least as far as the Industrial Revolution. 152See generally Vijay Prashad, Calloused Consciences: The Limited Challenge to Child Labor, Dollars and Sense, Sept.-Oct. 1999. India’s traditional economy and social structure called for children to observe their family’s occupation and learn the skills practiced by their parents, often beginning at a young age. 153See Darlene Adkins, Children in Labor: How Sociocultural Values Support Child Labor, World & I, Feb. 1995, at 370. The Industrial Revolution only perpetuated this cycle. 154See Suresh Babu, Child Labour in India, Problems in Conceptualisation, 9 Think India Q. 47, 48 (2006). Parental illiteracy, overpopulation, and an economy that creates a high demand for child labor have allowed the problem to linger. 155Odyssey Bordoloi, Origin and Causes of Child Labour and Its Possible Solutions, LAWYERSCLUBINDIA (Sept. 28, 2010), http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/articles/Origin-and-Causes-of-Child-Labour-and-its-Possible-Solutions-3194.asp#.Vr9rLfkrK2w. While bans applying only to hazardous jobs have seen limited success, India has made less progress in eliminating their problem of child labor as a whole. Prosecutions are rarely undertaken when violations are found. 156Id. Statistics show that between 2007 and 2009, 5,392 instances of violations were detected. Six of these cases were prosecuted but only three resulted in convictions. In 2006-2007, there was only one conviction from 2,363 violations. Id. A larger problem, however, is India’s failure to bring about meaningful education reform. Although laws mandate free public education, corruption and a lack of enforcement have prevented these laws from having a meaningful effect. Ultimately, India’s economy creates a situation in which an outright ban on child labor is ineffective without significant steps towards redeveloping an economy that emphasizes education. 157See Kapur, supra note 7.

Much of India’s problem is related to enforcement and prioritization of laws supporting education and banning child labor. 158India: Child Labor Law Welcomed, But Needs Enforcing, Hum. Rts. Watch (Oct. 5, 2006), https://www.hrw.org/news/2006/10/05/india-child-labor-law-welcomed-needs-enforcing. Since it obtained its independence more recently, India is somewhat unique in that its constitution provides that education is a right guaranteed to children up to a certain age. 159India Constitution 2012, art. 45. Article 45 directs the state to enact legislation to make education compulsory and free within ten years of the 1947 Constitution’s enactment, and to legislate to remove children under age fourteen from the workplace. 160Saroj Pandey, Education as a Fundamental Right in India: Promises and Challenges, 1 Int’l J. Educ. L. & Pol’y 13, 14 (2005). However, throughout India’s period of independence, the right to free and compulsory education has not been justiciable in court, despite both numerous proposed amendments to make it so and court decisions that affirmed education’s status as a fundamental right. 161Id. Although some provinces have passed laws that have attempted to tackle the problems of child labor and low education attendance, the central government has largely failed to provide an adequate model to eliminate these problems, despite numerous national laws on the subject that are only meagerly enforced. 162Id. at 15. Thus, many state laws go unenforced, due in part to lack of administrative ability. 163Id. As a result, electoral promises to allocate six percent of GDP to education have remained “pious wishes,” 164Nalini Junej, Correcting a Historical Injustice, Hindu (May 14, 2014), http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/correcting-a-historical-injustice/article6005953.ece. and the legislature is free to slash educational funding at its convenience.

Like Brazil, India receives much help from NGOs, which provide assistance with education and child labor prevention at a grassroots level. 165See 5 Indian NGOs Working Toward Education Equality, Board (Aug. 27, 2013), http://www.edtechboard.com/5-indian-ngos-working-toward-education-equality/. While a “relatively new phenomenon” in India, NGOs have grown rapidly in the twenty-first century, 166Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, Global Poverty Research Grp., The Progress of School Education in India 28 (Mar. 2007). although they are often still limited by their small scope. 167M. Neil Browne et al., Universal Moral Principles and the Law: The Failure of One-Size-Fits-All Child Labor Laws, 27 Hous. J. Int’l L. 1, 24 (2005). NGOs attempt to enforce existing legislation on education, while advocating for more expansive laws on the subject. 168Vijayashri Sripati, India – Constitutional Amendment Making the Right to Education a Fundamental Right, 2 Int’l J. Const. L. 148, 156 (2004). They have also geared their efforts towards promoting attendance through providing resources to assist with the Mid-Day-Meal program, which provides lunch to students who attend school. 169Kingdon, supra note 166, at 25; 447 NGOs Involved in Mid-Day Meal Scheme: Government, First Post (Aug. 26, 2013), http://www.firstpost.com/india/447-ngos-involved-in-mid-day-meal-scheme-government-1061847.html. NGOs are also involved in promoting less formal education centers in tribal areas and attempting to arrange for foster programs to allow homeless children to attend schools. 170Kingdon, supra note 166, at 28. These NGOs have made a noticeable difference in the areas in which they have worked but face difficulty in implementing nation-wide change, due in part to a lack of comprehensive cooperation from the central government. 171Id. While many NGOs have “achieved considerable national credibility,” they often “continue to be susceptible to the vagaries of governmental policies and directives.” 172Shanti Jagannathan, The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations in Primary Education: A Study of Six NGOs in India 29 (WBG, Working Paper No. 2530, 2001). NGOs often must “endure sudden shifts in policies, undoing several years of fruitful collaboration.” 173Id. This turbulence makes it difficult for the NGOs to make progress.

India, like Brazil and China, has benefited from economic development in the last quarter century. India’s Green Revolution increased agricultural technology in some parts of the country. 174Amartya Sen, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation 42 (1981). However, the increased productivity has not been as transformative on the child labor front as it has been in China and Brazil. In 1983, ninety percent of Indian child laborers worked in rural areas, and while this percentage has lessened, it still remains the norm. 175Babu, supra note 154, at 52. Many parts of India struggle with an informal economy—one where the technology is not yet in place to render certain unskilled tasks unnecessary. This leads to a higher demand for child labor. 176Browne et al., supra note 167, at 27. Additionally, the lingering restrictions of India’s caste system have played a large role in keeping children in the workforce despite overall trends of improving poverty. 177Babu, supra note 154, at 56. Many areas of India still experience bonded labor, although the practice is constitutionally forbidden. 178Id. at 54. Indian society’s instinctive propensity towards preserving social norms combined with its uneven economic development creates an economy that still relies upon child labor for efficient production.

Many commentators have argued that India is an exception to the general rule that compulsory education laws promote high levels of enrollment. 179Pandey, supra note 160, at 18. Borrowing from programs in Egypt and Colombia, India has adopted a flexible approach to school terms that are based on the local agricultural cycle. 180Id. Courts have suggested providing employment opportunities to unemployed parents as an incentive to remove children from the workforce and enroll them in schools. 181See Browne et al., supra note 167, at 9. The government has not pursued these measures, however. Some analysts cite the fact that India’s child labor is more deeply rooted because the poorest families do not “perceive a positive net benefit from schooling, due to indivisibility of costs associated with attending schools.” 182Jayanta Sarkar & Dipanwita Sarkar, Why Does Child Labour Persist with Declining Poverty 21 (Nat’l Ctr. for Educ. Res., Working Paper No. 84, 2012). Administrative costs associated with enforcing attendance laws are higher than the government is willing to pay, especially in rural areas, so many families are not persuaded to send their children to school.

Implementation has been difficult, especially in rural areas where there are allegations of corruption among local officials. 183Aarti Dhar, U.K. Doesn’t Intend to Probe Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for Corruption, Hindu (July 28, 2010), http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/uk-doesnt-intend-to-probe-sarva-shiksha-abhiyan-for-corruption/article538703.ece. Educational funding is misappropriated by government officials for their own private use through conniving means, such as drafting fake nominees for scholarship systems to take money away from legitimate students. 184Kusum Jain & Shelly, Corruption: It’s Silent Penetration into the Indian Education System, 4 J. Educ. & Prac. 30, 33 (2013). This creates a situation where households must spend a substantial portion of their family income paying fees. 185Sarkar & Sarkar, supra note 182, at 7. It also leads to high levels of teacher absenteeism due to low wages. 186Jacques Hallak & Muriel Poisson, Corrupt Schools, Corrupt Universities: What Can Be Done? 166 (2007). In some states, an average of two of every five teachers are absent on any given day. 187Id. at 164. This system strongly favors children from wealthier families, who can better manipulate their outcomes through financial means. Students who can afford unethical private tutoring sessions, 188Id. at 32−33. According to UNESCO, private tutoring “does not necessarily have a negative impact on the system,” but it is often “imposed by teachers as a requirement for access to all the topics included in the curriculum,” which undermines schooling efforts. Id. entrance exam fees that allow them to enter study tracts for which they otherwise do not qualify, or pay bribes, will perform better and receive better outcomes from their educational experience. 189Id. This perpetuates the lack of incentives for education provided to the poorest students—the students who most need education to escape the cycle of child labor.

In some communities, the cycle of poverty seems to have been worsened by India’s attempts to eliminate child labor. Families often rely upon child labor for survival, and when child wages decrease in response to bans, poor families are often forced to utilize more child labor, for example, by sending another child in their household to work alongside a sibling. 190Prashant Bharadwaj et al., Perverse Consequences of Well-Intentioned Regulation: Evidence from India’s Child Labor Ban 4 (NBER, Working Paper, No. 19602, 2013). India still has the distinction of having the most child workers in the world, with estimates ranging between seventeen and forty-four million—due largely to its massive population. 191Pandey, supra note 160, at 18. A “notion of benevolence often masks the exploitation and long-term harm” for child workers. 192Anuj Chopra, India’s Latest Move to Stop Child Labor, Christian Sci. Monitor (Oct. 10, 2006), http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1010/p07s02-wosc.html. Employers often bring children into the workplace, and families send them there, thinking that it is the best option for the child. 193Id. India’s social structure and lack of administrative emphasis on education, despite recent economic development, perpetuate the child labor cycle by providing few incentives to send children to school, and many incentives to send them to work.

III. Strategies for Myanmar: Similarities and Difficulties

Similar to these recently developing countries, Myanmar is shaped by its history. It shares a colonial past similar to India’s, but its Buddhist tradition leaves it with less social rigidity. 194See Steinberg, supra note 16, at 1−5. Like Brazil, it has experienced periods of military rule, but it did not achieve the same rapid economic development. 195See Ribeiro, supra note 17. While many factors have combined to cause Myanmar to lag behind these nations in development, there remain lessons to be learned from the plights of Brazil, India, and China.

Myanmar’s population is heavily divided along urban and rural lines. Like India, its economy continues to include a large agricultural sector. 196Thihan Myo Nyun, Feeling Good or Doing Good: Inefficacy of the U.S. Unilateral Sanctions Against the Military Government of Burma/Myanmar, 7 Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 455, 487 (2008). More than seventy percent of Myanmar’s residents continue to reside in rural areas. 197Id. at 490 n.154. It has not experienced the widespread urbanization enjoyed in China. 198Id. at 490. Myanmar’s inability to bring its poor urban and rural communities together to support political change contributes to the country’s difficulties in establishing lasting democracy. 199Id. at 490 n.154. However, in some ways, Myanmar’s urban/rural dichotomy differs from those in the other recently developing countries. In Myanmar, the majority of investments, both from the government and from foreign investors and sources of aid, have been devoted to improving the conditions of the rural poor, while Myanmar’s cities have gone largely neglected. 200Myanmar Could See Explosion of Slums, Expert Warns, Thomson Reuters Found. (June 3, 2012), http://news.trust.org//item/20120603111000-6a5m9/. This more closely resembles the situation in Brazil. 201Brazil’s Bolsa Familia: How to Get Children out of Jobs and into School, supra note 135. As militarily-imposed travel bans are lifted and Burmese citizens begin to enjoy increased freedom of mobility, it is projected that many will flock to cities whose infrastructures—and schools—are unprepared for a large influx of people. 202Myanmar Could See Explosion of Slums, Expert Warns, supra note 200. China’s hukou system, while not without its flaws, protected against this phenomenon. 203Branigan, supra note 109. Any educational reform in Myanmar will have to consider both the problems of corruption and teacher shortages in rural areas, while also preparing for the burden that a large amount of new students would place on its urban schools. As has been the case in Brazil, Myanmar could greatly benefit from the help of non-government organizations in poor urban areas to help carry the burden of non-educational necessities such as hygiene and basic nutrition.

Myanmar also must contend with the fact that the international community is less tolerant of child labor now than it was a quarter century ago when Brazil, China, and India made the majority of their reforms. 204See Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, Sacrificial Lambs of Globalization: Child Labor in the Twenty-First Century, 37 Denv. J. Int’l L. & Pol’y 421, 443 (2009). Perhaps this can be attributed to the rise of the Internet and easier international monitoring of child labor conditions. 205Id. As a result, international investors are hesitant to devote funds and physical capital to Myanmar’s economy in fear of public backlash. 206Syed Zain Al-Mahmood & Shibani Mahtani, U.S. Initiative Could Help Investors in Myanmar Avoid Labor Problems, Wall St. J. (Aug. 29, 2014), http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-initiative-could-help-investors-in-myanmar-avoid-labor-problems-1409297585. A demonstrated dedication to eliminating the practice on a scale far greater than has been observed thus far would persuade more investors to return to Myanmar.

The exodus of many upper-class students has also had a significant effect on Myanmar’s economy, as many do not return to Myanmar after their studies are complete. 207Pedersen, supra note 33, at 200. This reduces the supply of political leaders and technological innovators, which in turn perpetuates an economy that has a high demand for the unskilled labor positions that are often filled by children. 208Id. In many ways, Myanmar is subject to the same type of intellectual poverty that continues to create difficulties in Brazil’s economy. 209Mantei, supra note 115, at 484.

Myanmar, like many recently developed countries, faces problems with gender and racial inequality. Burmese Buddhism faces the challenge of “long-established discriminatory practices against women.” 210No Tun, The Link Between Gender and Racial Inequality in Burma, Democratic Voice Burma (Apr. 27, 2014), http://www.dvb.no/analysis/the-link-between-gender-and-racial-inequality-in-burma-myanmar/39936. Similarly, racial and religious minorities are often ostracized as impure and are especially condemned when they marry into Burmese Buddhist families, an arrangement often regarded as “degenerative.” 211Id. When fees for children’s schooling become burdensome, there is “a greater likelihood that parents may keep theirs boys in school and take the girls out.” 212Marwaan Macan-Markar, Burma: Public Education a Drain on Family Incomes, Inter Press Serv. (June 20, 2010), http://www.ipsnews.net/2010/06/burma-public-education-a-drain-on-family-incomes/. Women’s career options are often limited to unskilled jobs; they account for ninety percent of the workforce in the country’s garment industry. 213Spike Johnson, The Rising Power of Burma’s Women’s Workforce, Irrawaddy (Oct. 2, 2014), http://www.irrawaddy.com/feature/rising-power-burmas-womens-workforce.html. While the recent rise of labor unions has helped improve conditions for female workers, any aims at reform will have to take into account the discrepancies in societal attitudes towards females and minorities, and their perceived status in the Burmese economy. 214Id.

A patchy relationship with trade unions and NGOs has also hindered Myanmar’s efforts. Until the mid-1990s, the military-run government did not authorize any NGOs to operate in Myanmar. 215Kim Wallis & Carine Jaquet, Local NGOs in Myanmar: Vibrant But Vulnerable, Humanitarian Exchange Mag., July 2011, at 21, 21. The past two decades, however, have seen a dramatic increase in these organizations at the local level, some of which are officially registered with the government. 216Id. However, as is the case in India, these organizations are often underfunded and uncoordinated due to inconsistencies in levels of government cooperation. 217Id. Many of these NGOs focus on providing necessities like hygiene and nutrition to children attending school in poor areas, such as the refugee camps that continue to operate near the Thailand border. 218See Doug Bandow, Burma Enjoys an Uneasy Peace: Time to Close Thailand’s Refugee Camps?, Am. Spectator (Dec. 15, 2014), http://spectator.org/articles/61240/burma-enjoys-uneasy-peace-time-close-thailand%E2%80%99s-refugee-camps. Myanmar has also banned NGO members serving as teachers, which makes matters more difficult. 219Given the choice between working for an NGO and the long hours and lower pay for teaching, many would-be qualified teachers choose the former. See The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown, Education in Burma: Guaranteeing Hope of a Better Future 3 (2012). While the government’s recent attitude towards NGOs in the education field has allowed for progress, many NGOs remain “under the constant threat of repercussions” if the government changes course, as it has done in the past. 220Morgan, supra note 21, at 506. This is especially true for those NGOs that are not officially registered. 221Id.

The presidency of Thein Sein and the end of military rule in 2012 saw the relaxation of decades-long restrictions on trade unions in Myanmar. 222Ross Wilson, The New Union Movement in Myanmar, Global Lab. Column (Sept. 25, 2013), http://www.global-labour-university.org/fileadmin/GLU_Column/papers/no_149_Wilson.pdf. Hundreds of labor unions were quickly organized under Burmese law. 223Id. Trade unions have pledged to help Myanmar combat child labor and help with the country’s education plans. 224Aung, supra note 31. However, as is the case with NGOs, there remains a lack of sufficient legislative protection for trade unions and labor rights activism. 225Burma P’ship, Modern Slavery: A Study of Labour Conditions in Yangon’s Industrial Zones 34 (2013), http://www.burmapartnership.org/2013/11/modern-slavery-a-study-of-labour-conditions-in-yangons-industrial-zones/. As a result, many of the unions’ most effective tactics, such as strikes, are often met with intimidation and repercussions in the workplace. 226Id. This drastically reduces the unions’ ability to bring about positive change regarding child labor.

Finally, Myanmar must deal with forms of corruption that are similar to those found in other recently developed countries. Much of Myanmar’s corruption serves to maintain the socioeconomic status quo. 227Id. As is the case in China, the use of bribes reserve the country’s best schools for the children of government elites. 228Phyo Wai, Bribery and Corruption of Teachers to be Tackled, Nation Multimedia (Aug. 4, 2014, 7:26 PM), http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/business/corruption-stunts-myanmar%E2%80%99s-economic-potential. Additionally, as is common in the developing world, the siphoning off of bureaucratic funding takes a toll on teachers, leading to low retention rates. 229Winn, supra note 18. However, Myanmar lacks the infrastructure to effectively combat the problem. The ever-strong military, the ruling elite, and organized crime are all intertwined in an inefficient bureaucracy that lacks the checks and balances needed to effectively curb corruption. 230Mark V. Vlasic & Peter Atlee, Myanmar and the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower “Bounty”: The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Curbing Grand Corruption Through Innovative Action, 29 Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. 441, 443 (2014). In Myanmar, more importantly than elsewhere, the success of any education reform hinges on the elimination of corruption. 231Kyaw Kyaw Aung, Myanmar Told to Give Education Priority to Poor and Ethnic Minorities, Radio Free Asia (July 18, 2014), http://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/education-07182014185339.html (translated by Khet Mar & Di Hoa Le).

V. Approaches and Possible Implementations

While India serves as a point of caution, it remains apparent that expanding free compulsory education in Myanmar will likely reduce the prevalence of child labor in the country. Additionally, expanding compulsory education alone will only be effective if combined with sweeping reforms to the way the government approaches the subject of education. There is a delicate “balance between protecting children from harsh labor conditions and ultimately exposing them to even more harmful situations” by abruptly forcing them out of the labor force and into schools that may not be ready for a dramatic expansion. 232Nicholas, supra note 84. The easiest way to encourage education and discourage child labor would be to follow China’s 233Id. and Brazil’s 234Mantei, supra note 115, at 484. leads and rapidly build the economy by increasing the technological sector, thus reducing the need for unskilled labor and creating demand for education. However, Myanmar simply does not have the human capital needed to undertake such an endeavor, as it is currently receiving far less assistance from abroad due to changing attitudes towards the very problems that Myanmar faces. 235OEDC Dev. Pathways, Multi-Dimensional Review of Myanmar: Volume 1. Initial Assessment 17 (2013). As seen in Myanmar and other countries, a firmer stance against child labor can attract foreign investment. 236It could be argued that foreign direct investment in nations that rely on child labor will only perpetuate the use of child labor. This argument seems to justify many international investors’ hesitancy to invest in developing countries that continue to experience widespread child labor. See Eric Neumayer & Indra De Soysa, Trade Openness, Foreign Direct Investment and Child Labor, 33 World Dev. 43, 43 (2005). 

A. Circumventing the Problem of Corruption

Reducing corruption would certainly improve the conditions of Myanmar’s education system. However, due to the widespread corruption in Myanmar, it would be best in the short term to circumvent corruption at the education level. 237See Montlake, supra note 27. Funneling money towards its education problems alone would likely solve little because much of the funds would be siphoned off by corrupt politicians. 238Id. Still, a massive increase in funding and lending more control to local agencies to distribute funding to education programs is essential, especially in rural areas. As in China, education funding should be kept separate from other funding, especially considering the political instability that has plagued Myanmar in recent years.

Myanmar has already begun the process of decentralizing its educational system at the local level, not unlike what has been done in China. 239Holland, supra note 99, at 226; Myanmar’s Education Reform Process Takes Steps Towards a National Education Law and Decentralized System, UNESCO (Mar. 10, 2014), http://www.unescobkk.org/education/news/article/myanmars-education-reform-process-takes-steps-towards-a-national-education-law-and-decentralized/. Burmese protestors argue that the reforms do not do enough to promote decentralization, especially with regards to higher education. 240Soe, supra note 71. China also demonstrates the corruption problems that can accompany decentralization of an education system, including bribery at the local level. Any plans for decentralization should include a centralized monitoring mechanism by a higher government agency. 241For a detailed analysis of the importance of monitoring apparatuses in educational decentralization movements, see generally Rosalind Levacic & Peter Downes et al., Formula Funding of Schools, Decentralization and Corruption: A Comparative Analysis (2004). As has been seen in Brazil, decentralization in the form of block grants to municipalities can lead to increased abuse of funding due to a failure to monitor local authorities. 242Ferraz et al., supra note 139, at 5−6. Decentralizing Myanmar’s education system by allowing for more local control of funding, along with appropriate internal and external monitoring procedures, could help reduce economic waste, increase teacher salaries and attendance, and improve educational outcomes.

B. Incorporating Help from Within

Myanmar could also benefit from better incorporation of NGOs into their efforts to end child labor. Of course, NGOs do not appear out of thin air. This again emphasizes Myanmar’s need to improve its standing in the international community. There are, however, existing groups within Myanmar from which the government could seek assistance, 243See Morgan, supra note 21, at 506. including international organizations such as the ILO and UNICEF. 244Mass Release of Children by Myanmar Armed Forces Important Step Towards a New Myanmar, UNICEF (Jan. 18, 2014), http://www.unicef.org/eapro/media_22067.html. Myanmar could help increase the efficacy of these organizations by more consistently cooperating with their efforts. For one, it could end its ban on NGO members serving as school teachers. 245Education in Burma: Guaranteeing Hope of a Better Future, supra note 219, at 3. While this ban is motivated in part by fears that foreign teachers could stir ethnic and religious tensions, many commentators argue that these fears are vastly outweighed by the potential benefits arising from NGO assistance. 246 See Tim Hume, Fears Rakhine Extremists Could Drive More Aid Agencies Out of Myanmar State, CNN (Mar. 4, 2014), http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/04/world/asia/myanmar-rohingya-msf-fears/ (discussing Myanmar’s ban of the international organization Doctors Without Borders, which supplied medical aid to Myanmar’s poorest regions, due to complaints from the nation’s minority Muslim community). The lack of a uniform mechanism for registering NGOs with the government is another area that Myanmar could address to improve confidence among its existing NGOs and attract newcomers. 247Wallis & Jaquet, supra note 215. By cooperating with NGOs, the Burmese government could work to build curricula and provide services to children that might motivate them to attend school—services the government alone might not be able to provide.

Trade unions are another source from which Myanmar can seek assistance in removing children from the workforce. 248Burma P’ship, supra note 225, at 1. Historically, trade unions in other countries have been at the forefront of reducing instances of child labor, in part because union members are harmed and displaced by the low wages earned by unskilled children in the workplace. 249See Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner & Norma Kolko Phillips, The Relationship Between Social Work and Labor Unions: A History of Strife and Cooperation, 15 J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 105, 107−14 (1988). While unions have been on the rise in Myanmar in recent years, they remain weak due to insufficient legislative protection. Trade unions in Myanmar have already pledged to help with the problems confronting the country’s education system. 250Aung, supra note 31. By using the law to protect basic union activities such as strikes and picketing, unions could aid the government in preventing child labor. Brazil has successfully used coalitions of NGOs, trade unions, and government agencies to address child labor problems; 251Mantei, supra note 115, at 489. by better cooperating with NGOs and trade unions, Myanmar could potentially reap similar benefits.

C. Incentives, Flexibility, and Cultural Considerations

Compulsory education will likely not be enough unless policies that provide economic incentives to poor families are also implemented. Providing expense exemptions to poor students, especially in rural areas, would help lessen the burden on families who are unable to afford the costs associated with schooling. As in China, these fee exemptions must be supplemented by funding from elsewhere to prevent them from deducting from teachers’ salaries. 252See Compulsory Education Law Enforcement Comes Under Inspection, supra note 91. These costs should be co-financed at the central and local levels, as in China, while keeping in mind the problem of fund misappropriation that can occur when block grants are distributed to local governments. 253Id. It is also important that local provinces have the authority to levy taxes to raise funds for such exemptions. 254See id.

Providing incentives to families who send their children to school might have positive effects in Myanmar as in Brazil. 255Lindert, supra note 130, at 67. A conditional cash transfer system that provides money or tax deductions to families who send their children to school could encourage attendance among families who depend on their children’s wages. 256Id. Myanmar must keep in mind that the costs and benefits associated with child labor vary based on the wages a child can make in the workplace and adjust such transfers accordingly. For Myanmar, this likely means providing greater benefits to urban families whose children would be better paid in the workplace in order to encourage compliance. It could also explore the proposed plan from India involving providing jobs for the unemployed parents of working children on the condition that they remove their child from the workplace. 257Browne et al., supra note 167, at 25. Additionally, government encouragement to remain in the educational field upon graduation, especially in rural areas, would likely reduce the significant shortage of qualified teachers in Myanmar. 258Education in China, supra note 94, at 10. Similarly, Myanmar is in need of a measure to encourage its students to remain in their home country for their education while it strengthens its school systems, rather than seeking an education abroad. 259Pedersen, supra note 33, at 200. A successful plan would likely carry the added benefit of reducing the administrative costs associated with implementing an unpopular policy. 260See, e.g., Lindert et al., supra note 134, at 27.

Due to issues of gender inequality, it is essential that any plans Myanmar sets in place to protect girls in the classroom and workplace. In many ways, Myanmar has shown dedication in working towards gender equality, as its Education for All National Action Plan guarantees equal rights for male and female students. 261Bo Win, Director General, Dep’t of Educ. Planning and Training, Ministry of Educ., Access to and Quality of Education: Education for All in Myanmar 23 (Feb. 12, 2012), http://yangon.sites.unicnetwork.org/files/2013/05/Final-UBW-presentation-12-2-12-UBW.pdf. Brazil has implemented a successful program that removes economic incentives for an entire family if one of their children, male or female, fails to attend school at an adequate rate. 262Calvo, supra note 131, at 60. Such a policy would help ensure that any education and child labor reform in Myanmar would be of equal benefit to Burmese boys and girls.

Flexibility has been a common theme among the countries that have been successful in reducing the prevalence of child labor. There is a delicate “balance between protecting children from harsh labor conditions and ultimately exposing them to even more harmful situations” by abruptly forcing them out of the labor force and into schools that may not be ready for a dramatic expansion. 263Nicholas, supra note 84, at 192. A “notion of benevolence” often accompanies child labor; employers often use children as workers out of pity for their family’s economic standing. 264Chopra, supra note 192. Due to Myanmar’s agricultural-based economy, it might be beneficial to adopt the flexible approach to school terms, as was done in India. 265Pandey, supra note 160, at 18. However, Myanmar’s goal must not be to allow child labor and education to coexist by allowing children to pursue both simultaneously.

Changes in curriculum have also been advocated. There has been a wider call for liberal teaching so that parents are in turn less authoritative towards their children. 266Han Tin, Myanmar Education: Challenges, Prospects and Options, in Dictatorship, Disorder, and Decline in Myanmar 115−16 (Monique Skidmore & Trevor Wilson eds., 2010). A generation down the road, this would theoretically reduce the number of instances in which parents who are products of Myanmar’s schools will force their own children into the workplace. This notion is complicated by the observation that teachers in Myanmar “tend to resist change.” 267 Id. at 115. Myanmar contends with the psychological issues that arise from placing children in the unfamiliar setting of a classroom. Generations of limited access to formal education has developed a “deepened sense of powerlessness” 268Pedersen, supra note 33, at 200. among many of the Burmese poor. Myanmar could benefit from some of the approaches Brazil took towards making this transition easier on students. 269Mantei, supra note 115, at 489. A curriculum focused on liberal notions of the importance of education could have a long-term positive impact on Myanmar’s population.

Conclusion

Myanmar’s child labor problems run deep, and simply increasing funding and mandating free education will not be enough to solve them. By observing international approaches to child labor problems, however, Myanmar can implement programs that increase the efficacy of compulsory free education policies. While issues of causality abound, international human rights places the burden on Myanmar to demonstrate a dedication to eliminating the practice. By looking abroad, hopefully Myanmar can learn from the examples of countries that have fought this battle before them—with varying degrees of success—and adopt programs that fit within its unique cultural identity to build a healthy economy that no longer relies on child labor.

Footnotes

1Education Would Help Stop Child Labor, Say Experts, Democratic Voice Burma (Aug. 25, 2014), http://www.dvb.no/news/education-would-help-stop-child-labor-say-experts-burma-myanmar/43511.

2For a discussion of the tensions involving Myanmar’s Muslim minority, who suffer disproportionately from many of the problems described in this Comment, see Adam B. Ellick & Nicholas Kristof, Myanmar’s Persecuted Minority, N.Y. Times (June 16, 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/16/opinion/nicholas-kristof-myanmar-documentary.html?_r=0.

3For a discussion of the theory that child labor was simply exported from industrialized nations to their colonial territories in the years following the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, see Kaushik Basu & Zafiris Tzannatos, The Global Child Labor Problem: What Do We Know and What Can We Do?, 17 World Bank Econ. Rev. 147, 147 (2003).

4See Foreign Affairs Comm., All Burma Fed’n of Student Unions, Burma’s Child in Education 2 (Aug. 2003), http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/CRC2004-Myanmar-NGO-ABSFU.pdf [hereinafter Burma’s Child in Education].

5Michael Peel, Telenor Uncovers Child Labor Among Myanmar Suppliers, Fin. Times (Aug. 19, 2014, 4:44 PM), http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9eac10b0-27a5-11e4-ae44-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3xcdo05nz.

6Id.

7See, e.g., Saranya Kapur, Child Labor Bans Actually Make Things Worse for the Poorest Children, Bus. Insider (Nov. 11, 2013, 10:35 AM), http://www.businessinsider.com/banning-child-labor-worse-for-children-2013-11.

8Education Would Help Stop Child Labor, Say Experts, supra note 1.

9Id.

10Id.

11Abdullahi An-Na’im, Cultural Transformation and Normative Consensus on the Best Interests of the Child, 8 Int’l J.L. & Fam. 62, 78 (1994).

12Id. at 65.

13Id. at 77.

14Id. at 78.

15See generally Peter Birgbauer, China Lessons for Myanmar Investors, Diplomat (Oct. 27, 2013), http://thediplomat.com/2013/10/china-lessons-for-myanmar-investors/; Johnathan H. Ping, Myanmar in the Global Political Economy: Development Models, The West and China (Bond Univ. Humanities & Soc. Sci. Papers, Paper No. 749, 2013), http://epublications.bond.edu.au/hss_pubs/749.

16See David I. Steinberg, Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know 1–5 (2010).

17See Erik H. Ribeiro, Military Can Still Be Good State-Builders for Myanmar, New Mandala (Oct. 15, 2013), http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2013/10/15/military-can-still-be-good-state-builders-for-myanmar/.

18See Patrick Winn, Youth Interrupted: Myanmar’s Underage Illiterate Workers, NPR (Sept. 19, 2013, 1:32 PM), http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2013/09/19/224075632/youth-interrupted-myanmars-underage-illiterate-workers.

19See Andrew Kirkwood, What to Do for Burma’s Children 7 (Nat’l Bureau Asian Research, 2009), http://www.nbr.org/Downloads/pdfs/ETA/BMY_Conf09_Kirkwood.pdf.

20See Sabine Schlemmer-Schulte, The Contribution of the World Bank in Fostering Respect for ILO Child Labour Standards, in Child Labour in a Globalized World: A Legal Analysis of ILO Action 229, 231 (Giuseppe Nesi et al. eds., 2008).

21See Andrew J. Morgan, A Remarkable Occurrence: Progress for Civil Society in an “Open” Myanmar, 23 Pac. Rim L. & Pol’y J. 495, 506 (2014).

22Ministry Nat’l Plan. & Econ. Dev., U.N. Children’s Fund [UNICEF], Situation Analysis of Children in Myanmar 116 (July 2012), http://www.unicef.org/eapro/Myanmar_Situation_Analysis.pdf.

23Winn, supra note 18; see also Int’l Labour Office, Children in Hazardous Work 3–4 (2011), http://bit.ly/1UUoLM6 [hereinafter Children in Hazardous Work].

24Winn, supra note 18.

25For a discussion of how the human capital theory applies in Myanmar, see Sandee Pyne, Migrating Knowledge: Schooling, Statelessness and Safety at the Thailand-Burma Border (Aug. 8, 2007) (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Maryland) (on file with the Digital Repository, University of Maryland).

26Id. at 21; Children in Hazardous Work, supra note 23, at xv−xvii; Winn, supra note 18.

27See United Nations Dev. Programme, Tackling Corruption, Transforming Lives: Accelerating Human Development in Asia and the Pacific 62–65 (2008), http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/rhdr_full_report_tackling_corruption_transforming_lives.pdf; Simon Montlake, Myanmar Democracy Icon Suu Kyi Taps ‘Crony’ Capitalists for Charity Funds, Forbes (Jan. 16, 2013, 5:11 AM), http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmontlake/2013/01/16/myanmar-democracy-icon-suu-kyi-taps-crony-capitalists-for-charity-funds/#2715e4857a0b1936bd204fe6.

28Education in Myanmar, Arohana, http://arohanascholarships.org/education-in-myanmar/ (last visited Feb. 3, 2016).

29See Hilary Whiteman, The Fight to Free Myanmar’s Child Soldiers, CNN (Nov. 1, 2013, 2:17 AM), http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/15/world/asia/myanmar-burma-child-soldiers/.

30Child Labor Index, Maplecroft, https://maplecroft.com/about/news/child_labour_2012.html (last visited Jan. 18, 2016) (citing child labor statistics from 2012).

31San Yamin Aung, Govt to Start Child Labor Elimination Policy in December, Irrawaddy (July 18, 2014, 7:32 PM), http://www.irrawaddy.com/burma/govt-start-child-labor-elimination-policy-december.html.

32In 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed tens of thousands and crippled Myanmar’s already weak infrastructure. The death toll was escalated in part due to the military junta’s lackluster attempts to warn individuals in the delta region of Myanmar. See Michael Casey, Why the Cyclone in Myanmar Was So Deadly, Nat’l Geographic News (May 8, 2008), http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/05/080508-AP-the-perfect.html.

33HIV and AIDS have taken a large toll on Myanmar’s population and its labor supply. See Morten B. Pedersen, Promoting Human Rights in Burma: A Critique of Western Sanctions Policy 200 (2008).

34See Winn, supra note 18.

35Id.; see also Steven Lee Myers, U.S. Companies Investing in Myanmar Must Show Steps to Respect Human Rights, N.Y. Times (June 30, 2013), http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/world/asia/us-companies-investing-in-myanmar-must-show-steps-to-respect-human-rights.html.

36See Convention on the Rights of the Child, Nov. 20, 1989, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3.

37See Fact Sheet: A Summary of the Rights Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF, http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf (last updated May 19, 2014).

38See Myanmar/Burma’s Binding Obligations Under International Law, Global Just. Ctr. (Nov. 2012), http://www.globaljusticecenter.net/index.php/publications/advocacy-resources/106-myanmar-burma-s-binding-obligations-under-international-law.

39Winn, supra note 18.

40Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, Pub. L. No. 108-61, 117 Stat. 864 (2003).

41Int’l Labour Org. [ILO] Const. art. 33 (2010); Junlin Ho, The International Labour Organization’s Role in Nationalizing the International Movement to Abolish Child Labor, 7 Chi. J. Int’l L. 337, 346 (2006).

42Ho, supra note 41.

43Id.

44Myers, supra note 35.

45Winn, supra note 18.

46Myanmar Ratifies the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, Int’l Lab. Org. (Dec. 19, 2013), http://www.ilo.org/global/standards/information-resources-and-publications/news/WCMS_233060/lang--en/index.htm.

47Convention (No. 182) Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour art. 3, June 17, 1999, 2133 U.N.T.S. 161.

48Aung, supra note 31.

49Id.

50Id.

51One view is that many Western nations are concerned with eliminating child labor in developing countries less because of “noble humanitarian aspirations” and more because of “self-serving economic motives to protect western trade from the competition of lower priced goods produced in the developing countries.” Michele D’Avolio, Child Labor and Cultural Relativism: From 19th Century America to 21st Century Nepal, 16 Pace Int’l L. Rev. 109, 132−33 (2004).

52Winn, supra note 18. For an interesting look at Puritanical justificaitons for child labor around the turn of the twentieth century, see Edith Abbott, A Study of the Early History of Child Labor in America, 14 Am. J. Sociol. 15, 15 (1908).

53See Benjamin Powell, A Case Against Child Labor Prohibitions, Econ. Dev. Bull. (Cato Inst. Ctr. for Global Liberty & Prosperity, Washington, D.C.), July 2014, at 3.

54Winn, supra note 18 (noting that corporations left the country in the 1990’s and early 2000’s due to concern over child labor).

55See id.

56World Data on Education: Myanmar, UNESCO, http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001931/193185e.pdf (last updated Apr. 2011).

57Id.

58See President Asks Parliament to Reconsider National Education Law, Eleven, http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/local/president-asks-parliament-reconsider-national-education-law (last visited Feb. 3, 2016).

59Winn, supra note 18.

60Id.

61Id.

62UNICEF, Myanmar: Monitoring the Situation of Children and Women, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 181 (2010).

63Burma/Myanmar, Child Lab. Coalition, http://www.stopchildlabor.org/?cat=578 (last visited Feb. 3, 2016).

64Id.

65See Pedersen, supra note 33, at 200.

66For a detailed account of Burmese migrant work in Thailand, see generally Bryant Yuan Fu Yang, Life and Death Away from the Golden Land, The Plight of Burmese Migrant Workers in Thailand, 8 Asian-Pacific L. & Pol’y J. 485 (2007).

67See Pedersen, supra note 33, at 200.

68See Burma’s Child in Education, supra note 4, at 2.

69Yen Snaing, University Teachers’ Association Boycotts Talks on Burma Education Reform, Irrawaddy (Jan. 22, 2014, 7:32 PM), http://www.irrawaddy.org/burma/university-teachers-association-boycotts-talks-burma-education-reform.html; Burma’s Child in Education, supra note 4.

70Burma’s Child in Education, supra note 4.

71Paing Soe, Mandalay Students Protest Education Bill, Democratic Voice Burma (Aug. 28, 2014), http://www.dvb.no/news/mandalay-students-protest-education-bill-burma-myanmar/43612.

72Id.

73Id.

74Khin Khin Ei, Myanmar’s University Students Protest Proposed Education Law, Radio Free Asia (Sept. 2, 2014), http://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/protest-09022014192146.html (translated by Khet Mar & Roseanne Gerin).

75Aung Shin, Education Gets a Boost, Myanmar Times (May 14, 2013), http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/special-features/165-back-to-school-2013/6747-education-budget-boost-is-it-enough.html.

76Education Would Help Stop Child Labour, Say Experts, Democratic Voice Burma (Aug. 25, 2014),http://www.dvb.no/news/education-would-help-stop-child-labor-say-experts-burma-myanmar/43511.

77Id.

78Shin, supra note 75.

79Id.

80See Int’l Labour Org. [ILO], Report of the Director-General for the 95th Session of the Int’l Labour Conference, The End of Child Labour: Within Reach (2006) [hereinafter The End of Child Labour: Within Reach].

81Cong. Exec. Comm’n on China 110th Cong., 1st Sess., Annual Report 108 (2007).

82G.K. Lieten, Child Labor in China: An Overview, in The World of Child Labor: An Historical and Regional Survey 11−13 (Hugh D. Hindman ed., 2009).

83The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, supra note 80.

84Dana C. Nicholas, China’s Labor Enforcement Crisis: International Intervention and Corporate Social Responsibility, 11 Scholar 155, 156 (2009).

85While gender issues in China are certainly complex enough to warrant their own discussion, they are outside the scope of this Comment. Women are generally encouraged to enter the workplace earlier, rather than remain in school, but have fewer opportunities for advancement compared to men. See John Bauer et al., Gender Inequality in Urban China: Education and Employment, 18 Mod. China 333, 362 (1992).

86Lieten, supra note 82.

87Xia Chunli, Migrant Children and the Right to Compulsory Education in China, 7 Asia-Pac. J. Hum. Rts. & L. 29, 30 (2006).

88Compulsory Education Law of the People’s Republic of China, L. Info China (June 29, 2006), http://www.lawinfochina.com/display.aspx?lib=law&id=5299&CGid=.

89Id.

90Id.

91Compulsory Education Law Enforcement Comes Under Inspection, Window China (Sept. 16, 2008), http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-09/16/content_10038902.htm.

92Id.

93Int’l Labour Org. [ILO], China Labour Act, Doc. 9, ch. 2, § 15 (July 5, 1994), https://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/37357/64926/E94CHN01.htm.

94See KPMG, Education in China 10 (2010), https://www.kpmg.com/CN/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/Education-in-China-201011.pdf.

95See 2013 Investment Climate Statement–China, U.S. Dep’t State (Feb. 2013), http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ics/2013/204621.htm.

96Eur. Comm’n on Hum. Rts., Rep. on the Work of its Sixty-First Session, Apr. 8, 2005, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2005/SR.40 (Aug. 24, 2005).

97While only a fraction of the Bureau’s initial award of $58 million went towards serving conditions in China, the program is still cited as increasing public scrutiny surrounding the link between education and child labor. See Combating Exploitive Child Labor Through Education, 72 Fed. Reg. 32,869 (June 14, 2007); see also Press Release, Embassy of the United States, Windhoek, Namibia, U.S. Department of Labor Awards More Than $58 Million to Eliminate Exploitive Child Labor Around the World (Oct. 7, 2008), http://windhoek.usembassy.gov/october_7_2008.html; Nicholas, supra note 84, at 192.

98For an analysis on the possible benefits and detriments the U.S. investments have on human rights in China, see Diane F. Orentlicher & Timothy A. Gelatt, Public Law, Private Actors: The Impact of Human Rights on Business Investors in China, 14 Nw. J. Int’l L. & Bus. 66, 117–18 (1993).

99Brian Holland, Migrant Children, Compulsory Education, and the Rule of Law in China, 14 Buff. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 209, 225 (2008).

100Id. at 226.

101Azizur Rahman Khan & Carl Riskin, Inequality and Poverty in China in the Age of Globalization 87 (2001).

102Id.

103Id.

104Id.

105See William Wan, In China, Parents Bribe to Get Students into Top Schools, Despite Campaign Against Corruption, Wash. Post (Oct. 7, 2013), https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-china-parents-bribe-to-get-students-into-top-schools-despite-campaign-against-corruption/2013/10/07/fa8d9d32-2a61-11e3-8ade-a1f23cda135e_story.html.

106Id.

107Id.

108Id.

109Tania Branigan, Millions of Chinese Rural Migrants Denied Education for their Children, Guardian (Mar. 14, 2010, 9:07 PM), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/mar/15/china-migrant-workers-children-education.

110Id.

111Id.

112Wan, supra note 105.

113Lieten, supra note 82, at 2.

114See id. at 2, 6, 7.

115Charles T. Mantei, It Takes a Village to Raise a Child: The Role of the Organization of American States in Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Brazil, 32 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 469, 484 (2001).

116Id.

117 The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, supra note 80, at 13−14.

118Id. at 14.

119Mantei, supra note 115, at 499−500.

120Made in Brazil: Confronting Child Labor, Council on Hemispheric Aff. (Nov. 16, 2010), http://www.coha.org/made-in-brazil-confronting-child-labor/.

121The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, supra note 80, at 14.

122Made in Brazil: Confronting Child Labor, supra note 120.

123Mantei, supra note 115, at 484−85.

124Mona Pare, Educating Marginalized Children: The Challenge of the Right to Education in Brazil, 12 Int’l J. Child. Rts. 217, 234 (2004).

125Armand Pereira, Domestic Child Labor: An Overview of Brazil’s Recent Experience, Global Pol’y Forum (Jan. 2010), https://www.globalpolicy.org/social-and-economic-policy/labor-rights-and-labor-movements/48669-domestic-child-labor-an-overview-of-brazils-recent-experience.html.

126Pare, supra note 124, at 237−38.

127Mantei, supra note 115, at 494.

128Id. at 493.

129Id.at 489−90.

130Kathy Lindert, Brazil: Bolsa Familia Program − Scaling-Up Cash Transfers for the Poor, in MfDR Principles in Action: Sourcebook on Emerging Good Practices 67, 67 (2006).

131Fábio Veras Soares et al., Evaluating the Impact of Brazil’s Bolsa Família, 45 Latin Am. Res. Rev. 173, 174 n.1 (2010).

132Deborah Wetzel & Valor Econômico, Opinion: Bolsa Família: Brazil’s Quiet Revolution, World Bank (Nov. 4, 2013), http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/opinion/2013/11/04/bolsa-familia-Brazil-quiet-revolution.

133Id.

134See Kathy Lindert et al., The Nuts and Bolts of Brazil’s Bolsa Família Program: Implementing Conditional Cash Transfers in a Decentralized Context 14, 29, 117 (World Bank, Discussion Paper No. 0709, 2007).

135Brazil’s Bolsa Familia: How to Get Children out of Jobs and into School, Economist (July 29, 2010), http://www.economist.com/node/16690887.

136Cindy Calvo, Social Work and Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America, 38 J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 53, 60 (2011).

137See id.

138See Roslyn Arlin Mickelson, Globalization, Childhood Poverty, and Education in the Americas, in Children on the Streets of the Americas 11, 30 (Roslyn Arlin Mickelson ed., 2000).

139Claudio Ferraz et al., Corrupting Learning: Evidence from Missing Federal Education Funds in Brazil, 96 J. Pub. Econ. 712, 712 (2012).

140Id. at 715.

141Id.

142Id. at 716.

143Urbanisation in Brazil, Brazil, http://www.brazil.org.za/unrbanisation-in-brazil.html (last visited Feb. 3, 2016).

144The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, supra note 80, at 14.

145Made in Brazil: Confronting Child Labor, supra note 120.

146Mantei, supra note 115, at 484.

147The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, supra note 80, at xi.

148Pereira, supra note 125.

149Brazil’s Bolsa Familia: How to Get Children out of Jobs and into School, supra note 135.

150Id.

151See Calvo, supra note 136, at 60.

152See generally Vijay Prashad, Calloused Consciences: The Limited Challenge to Child Labor, Dollars and Sense, Sept.-Oct. 1999.

153See Darlene Adkins, Children in Labor: How Sociocultural Values Support Child Labor, World & I, Feb. 1995, at 370.

154See Suresh Babu, Child Labour in India, Problems in Conceptualisation, 9 Think India Q. 47, 48 (2006).

155Odyssey Bordoloi, Origin and Causes of Child Labour and Its Possible Solutions, LAWYERSCLUBINDIA (Sept. 28, 2010), http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/articles/Origin-and-Causes-of-Child-Labour-and-its-Possible-Solutions-3194.asp#.Vr9rLfkrK2w.

156Id. Statistics show that between 2007 and 2009, 5,392 instances of violations were detected. Six of these cases were prosecuted but only three resulted in convictions. In 2006-2007, there was only one conviction from 2,363 violations. Id.

157See Kapur, supra note 7.

158India: Child Labor Law Welcomed, But Needs Enforcing, Hum. Rts. Watch (Oct. 5, 2006), https://www.hrw.org/news/2006/10/05/india-child-labor-law-welcomed-needs-enforcing.

159India Constitution 2012, art. 45.

160Saroj Pandey, Education as a Fundamental Right in India: Promises and Challenges, 1 Int’l J. Educ. L. & Pol’y 13, 14 (2005).

161Id.

162Id. at 15.

163Id.

164Nalini Junej, Correcting a Historical Injustice, Hindu (May 14, 2014), http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/correcting-a-historical-injustice/article6005953.ece.

165See 5 Indian NGOs Working Toward Education Equality, Board (Aug. 27, 2013), http://www.edtechboard.com/5-indian-ngos-working-toward-education-equality/.

166Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, Global Poverty Research Grp., The Progress of School Education in India 28 (Mar. 2007).

167M. Neil Browne et al., Universal Moral Principles and the Law: The Failure of One-Size-Fits-All Child Labor Laws, 27 Hous. J. Int’l L. 1, 24 (2005).

168Vijayashri Sripati, India – Constitutional Amendment Making the Right to Education a Fundamental Right, 2 Int’l J. Const. L. 148, 156 (2004).

169Kingdon, supra note 166, at 25; 447 NGOs Involved in Mid-Day Meal Scheme: Government, First Post (Aug. 26, 2013), http://www.firstpost.com/india/447-ngos-involved-in-mid-day-meal-scheme-government-1061847.html.

170Kingdon, supra note 166, at 28.

171Id.

172Shanti Jagannathan, The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations in Primary Education: A Study of Six NGOs in India 29 (WBG, Working Paper No. 2530, 2001).

173Id.

174Amartya Sen, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation 42 (1981).

175Babu, supra note 154, at 52.

176Browne et al., supra note 167, at 27.

177Babu, supra note 154, at 56.

178Id. at 54.

179Pandey, supra note 160, at 18.

180Id.

181See Browne et al., supra note 167, at 9.

182Jayanta Sarkar & Dipanwita Sarkar, Why Does Child Labour Persist with Declining Poverty 21 (Nat’l Ctr. for Educ. Res., Working Paper No. 84, 2012).

183Aarti Dhar, U.K. Doesn’t Intend to Probe Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for Corruption, Hindu (July 28, 2010), http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/uk-doesnt-intend-to-probe-sarva-shiksha-abhiyan-for-corruption/article538703.ece.

184Kusum Jain & Shelly, Corruption: It’s Silent Penetration into the Indian Education System, 4 J. Educ. & Prac. 30, 33 (2013).

185Sarkar & Sarkar, supra note 182, at 7.

186Jacques Hallak & Muriel Poisson, Corrupt Schools, Corrupt Universities: What Can Be Done? 166 (2007).

187Id. at 164.

188Id. at 32−33. According to UNESCO, private tutoring “does not necessarily have a negative impact on the system,” but it is often “imposed by teachers as a requirement for access to all the topics included in the curriculum,” which undermines schooling efforts. Id.

189Id.

190Prashant Bharadwaj et al., Perverse Consequences of Well-Intentioned Regulation: Evidence from India’s Child Labor Ban 4 (NBER, Working Paper, No. 19602, 2013).

191Pandey, supra note 160, at 18.

192Anuj Chopra, India’s Latest Move to Stop Child Labor, Christian Sci. Monitor (Oct. 10, 2006), http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1010/p07s02-wosc.html.

193Id.

194See Steinberg, supra note 16, at 1−5.

195See Ribeiro, supra note 17.

196Thihan Myo Nyun, Feeling Good or Doing Good: Inefficacy of the U.S. Unilateral Sanctions Against the Military Government of Burma/Myanmar, 7 Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 455, 487 (2008).

197Id. at 490 n.154.

198Id. at 490.

199Id. at 490 n.154.

200Myanmar Could See Explosion of Slums, Expert Warns, Thomson Reuters Found. (June 3, 2012), http://news.trust.org//item/20120603111000-6a5m9/.

201Brazil’s Bolsa Familia: How to Get Children out of Jobs and into School, supra note 135.

202Myanmar Could See Explosion of Slums, Expert Warns, supra note 200.

203Branigan, supra note 109.

204See Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, Sacrificial Lambs of Globalization: Child Labor in the Twenty-First Century, 37 Denv. J. Int’l L. & Pol’y 421, 443 (2009).

205Id.

206Syed Zain Al-Mahmood & Shibani Mahtani, U.S. Initiative Could Help Investors in Myanmar Avoid Labor Problems, Wall St. J. (Aug. 29, 2014), http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-initiative-could-help-investors-in-myanmar-avoid-labor-problems-1409297585.

207Pedersen, supra note 33, at 200.

208Id.

209Mantei, supra note 115, at 484.

210No Tun, The Link Between Gender and Racial Inequality in Burma, Democratic Voice Burma (Apr. 27, 2014), http://www.dvb.no/analysis/the-link-between-gender-and-racial-inequality-in-burma-myanmar/39936.

211Id.

212Marwaan Macan-Markar, Burma: Public Education a Drain on Family Incomes, Inter Press Serv. (June 20, 2010), http://www.ipsnews.net/2010/06/burma-public-education-a-drain-on-family-incomes/.

213Spike Johnson, The Rising Power of Burma’s Women’s Workforce, Irrawaddy (Oct. 2, 2014), http://www.irrawaddy.com/feature/rising-power-burmas-womens-workforce.html.

214Id.

215Kim Wallis & Carine Jaquet, Local NGOs in Myanmar: Vibrant But Vulnerable, Humanitarian Exchange Mag., July 2011, at 21, 21.

216Id.

217Id.

218See Doug Bandow, Burma Enjoys an Uneasy Peace: Time to Close Thailand’s Refugee Camps?, Am. Spectator (Dec. 15, 2014), http://spectator.org/articles/61240/burma-enjoys-uneasy-peace-time-close-thailand%E2%80%99s-refugee-camps.

219Given the choice between working for an NGO and the long hours and lower pay for teaching, many would-be qualified teachers choose the former. See The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown, Education in Burma: Guaranteeing Hope of a Better Future 3 (2012).

220Morgan, supra note 21, at 506.

221Id.

222Ross Wilson, The New Union Movement in Myanmar, Global Lab. Column (Sept. 25, 2013), http://www.global-labour-university.org/fileadmin/GLU_Column/papers/no_149_Wilson.pdf.

223Id.

224Aung, supra note 31.

225Burma P’ship, Modern Slavery: A Study of Labour Conditions in Yangon’s Industrial Zones 34 (2013), http://www.burmapartnership.org/2013/11/modern-slavery-a-study-of-labour-conditions-in-yangons-industrial-zones/.

226Id.

227Id.

228Phyo Wai, Bribery and Corruption of Teachers to be Tackled, Nation Multimedia (Aug. 4, 2014, 7:26 PM), http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/business/corruption-stunts-myanmar%E2%80%99s-economic-potential.

229Winn, supra note 18.

230Mark V. Vlasic & Peter Atlee, Myanmar and the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower “Bounty”: The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Curbing Grand Corruption Through Innovative Action, 29 Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. 441, 443 (2014).

231Kyaw Kyaw Aung, Myanmar Told to Give Education Priority to Poor and Ethnic Minorities, Radio Free Asia (July 18, 2014), http://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/education-07182014185339.html (translated by Khet Mar & Di Hoa Le).

232Nicholas, supra note 84.

233Id.

234Mantei, supra note 115, at 484.

235OEDC Dev. Pathways, Multi-Dimensional Review of Myanmar: Volume 1. Initial Assessment 17 (2013).

236It could be argued that foreign direct investment in nations that rely on child labor will only perpetuate the use of child labor. This argument seems to justify many international investors’ hesitancy to invest in developing countries that continue to experience widespread child labor. See Eric Neumayer & Indra De Soysa, Trade Openness, Foreign Direct Investment and Child Labor, 33 World Dev. 43, 43 (2005). 

237See Montlake, supra note 27.

238Id.

239Holland, supra note 99, at 226; Myanmar’s Education Reform Process Takes Steps Towards a National Education Law and Decentralized System, UNESCO (Mar. 10, 2014), http://www.unescobkk.org/education/news/article/myanmars-education-reform-process-takes-steps-towards-a-national-education-law-and-decentralized/.

240Soe, supra note 71.

241For a detailed analysis of the importance of monitoring apparatuses in educational decentralization movements, see generally Rosalind Levacic & Peter Downes et al., Formula Funding of Schools, Decentralization and Corruption: A Comparative Analysis (2004).

242Ferraz et al., supra note 139, at 5−6.

243See Morgan, supra note 21, at 506.

244Mass Release of Children by Myanmar Armed Forces Important Step Towards a New Myanmar, UNICEF (Jan. 18, 2014), http://www.unicef.org/eapro/media_22067.html.

245Education in Burma: Guaranteeing Hope of a Better Future, supra note 219, at 3.

246 See Tim Hume, Fears Rakhine Extremists Could Drive More Aid Agencies Out of Myanmar State, CNN (Mar. 4, 2014), http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/04/world/asia/myanmar-rohingya-msf-fears/ (discussing Myanmar’s ban of the international organization Doctors Without Borders, which supplied medical aid to Myanmar’s poorest regions, due to complaints from the nation’s minority Muslim community).

247Wallis & Jaquet, supra note 215.

248Burma P’ship, supra note 225, at 1.

249See Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner & Norma Kolko Phillips, The Relationship Between Social Work and Labor Unions: A History of Strife and Cooperation, 15 J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 105, 107−14 (1988).

250Aung, supra note 31.

251Mantei, supra note 115, at 489.

252See Compulsory Education Law Enforcement Comes Under Inspection, supra note 91.

253Id.

254See id.

255Lindert, supra note 130, at 67.

256Id.

257Browne et al., supra note 167, at 25.

258Education in China, supra note 94, at 10.

259Pedersen, supra note 33, at 200.

260See, e.g., Lindert et al., supra note 134, at 27.

261Bo Win, Director General, Dep’t of Educ. Planning and Training, Ministry of Educ., Access to and Quality of Education: Education for All in Myanmar 23 (Feb. 12, 2012), http://yangon.sites.unicnetwork.org/files/2013/05/Final-UBW-presentation-12-2-12-UBW.pdf.

262Calvo, supra note 131, at 60.

263Nicholas, supra note 84, at 192.

264Chopra, supra note 192.

265Pandey, supra note 160, at 18.

266Han Tin, Myanmar Education: Challenges, Prospects and Options, in Dictatorship, Disorder, and Decline in Myanmar 115−16 (Monique Skidmore & Trevor Wilson eds., 2010).

267 Id. at 115.

268Pedersen, supra note 33, at 200.

269Mantei, supra note 115, at 489.

Managing Editor, Emory International Law Review; J.D. Candidate, Emory University School of Law (2016); B.A, History, Brown University (2013). The author would like to thank Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Emory University Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law and Richard F. Doner, Emory University Goodrich C. White Professor of Political Science, for their invaluable guidance and assistance on this work.