Emory International Law Review


Jack W. Roberts


In this Comment, Jack W. Roberts discusses a recent push in Myanmar to expand compulsory free education through age sixteen amid recent discoveries that child labor in Myanmar may be even worse than originally believed. Jack considers the effect such an expansion might have on the nation's child labor epidemic and possible approaches that might make this implementation more likely to succeed in curbing child labor. He considers the relatively recent expansions of compulsory education in other nations that have historically struggled with child labor'namely China, Brazil, and India'in searching for examples of policies that have helped to make education expansion most effective in reducing the prevalence of child labor, as well as social, economic, and political factors that might complement such strategies. Ultimately, such a plan is more likely to succeed if Myanmar simultaneously takes steps to fight corruption in its political and educational system, makes a consistent showing of willingness to cooperate with nongovernmental organizations and trade unions, and takes steps to incentivize families to send their children to school. The Comment compares the characteristics inherent to these examples to the unique structures that exist in Myanmar, in hopes of illuminating approaches that may stem child labor in the country.