Origins of child rights governance: The example of early child labour legislation in the United States and Brazil

Adopting a historical and comparative perspective and moving beyond the North–South divide in the historical literature on child rights governance, this article contrasts the first enduring national anti-child labour laws in the United States and Brazil – the US Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the Brazilian Minor’s Code ( Código de Menores ) of 1927. It identifies key political structures that conditioned these laws, and examines how these influenced the timing, scope, clustering, and impact of early child rights legislation.

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