Through the lens of labour; reconceptualising young people’s involvement in organised crime in the global South and beyond

Atkinson-Sheppard, S. 2021. Through the lens of labour; reconceptualising young people’s involvement in organised crime in the global South and beyond. British Society of Criminology Annual Conference . 07 - 09 Jul 2021

TitleThrough the lens of labour; reconceptualising young people’s involvement in organised crime in the global South and beyond
AuthorsAtkinson-Sheppard, S.
Abstract

Millions of children work, in the formal economy, the informal economy and as the ‘illicit child labourers’ of criminal enterprises, engaged in some of the Worst Forms of Child Labour. Despite this, child labour is virtually absent from criminological theory, illustrating a wider issue of western centrism that permeates the discipline. By considering young people’s involvement in organised crime, derived from a variety of studies conducted in the global South, this paper proposes that a ‘lens of labour’ be better integrated into thinking; moving discourse away from extant, largely global North theory which argues that crime is expressive and instead highlighting the role that children, and gangs play in the informal economy. The article reflects on the implications for research, policy and practice and argues that, while relevant to some of the world’s most vulnerable children a ‘lens of labour’ may well be pertinent for children across the globe. How then might we deconstruct ‘criminological coloniality’, develop a global labour lens and better understand the realities of children’s involvement in organised crime?

Year2021
ConferenceBritish Society of Criminology Annual Conference

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