Publication Date

January 1999

Publication Details

Chaudhri, DP, Basic Human Rights, Core Labour Standards and Relative Educational Deprivation of Youth in Modern Indian States, Working Paper 99-16, Department of Economics, University of Wollongong, 1999.


The United Nations and its specialised agencies, beginning with the declaration of Universal Human Rights in 1948 have relentlessly pursued the issue and the associated one of core labour standards. Ideas pertaining to these issues have acquired a life and potency of their own and are, at least, giving a bad conscience to those claiming to be world leaders. During the 1990's, particularly since the inception of World Trade Organisation, and the UN’s search for an unambiguous role, a paradigm shift is unfolding. Powerful nation states with more than proportionate influence in the UN system are successfully seizing the agenda to look good and also to enhance their national self-interests. Indian policy makers in recent years have been reacting to the emerging international agenda on this subject somewhat apologetically. This, I believe, is a serious error, is in sharp contrast with our earlier position, and is born out of ignorance of our own contributions to the debate on this subject, and needs to be quickly corrected. The Indian contributions on this issue are original and are rooted in our idealist tradition. In this presentation, I propose to explore the subject from an Indian perspective (quoting only three representative thinkers of modern India), focusing on nutrition and education and to examine policy implications for educational needs of our youth as well as our role in the community nations.