On the scientific justification of the use of working hours, child labour and property rights in social life cycle assessment: Three topical reviews
Journal article, 2015
Working hours, child labour and property rights have been suggested as topics to assess in social life cycle assessment (SLCA). The purpose of this study is to investigate the scientific justification of the current use of these topics. The long-term aim is to contribute to the future development of SLCA.
A literature review was conducted for each of the three topics. One thousand scientific articles were analysed for each topic, and relevant articles were selected. The articles were analysed based on whether the topics facilitated or obstructed beneficial social values, and whether they facilitated or obstructed adverse social values.
Results and discussion
The results show that the three topics both facilitate and obstruct beneficial social values. They also show that the topics both facilitate and obstruct adverse social values. Considering the complex and ambiguous nature of these topics reported in the scientific literature, the current use of these topics in the SLCA literature is found not to be completely scientifically justified.
Based on this study, the current use of working hours, child labour and property rights in SLCA studies should be questioned. We suggest that the fields of social science and economics may be fruitfully considered when seeking scientific justification for topics to assess in SLCA.
Intellectual property rights