ERIC Number: ED430712
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Child Labour: Promoting the Best Interests of Working Children. Second Edition.
Myers, William; Boyden, Jo
In an effort to stimulate discussion and provide a tool for policymakers and practitioners in developing effective child-centered programs that protect children from hazardous and exploitative labor, this paper examines ways in which work can contribute to, as well as harm, children's development; it also aims to provide a conceptual framework for assessing whether work is helpful or harmful to children. The paper explains how involving working children themselves in policy and action to address their problems results in more effective action and contributes to children's development. Noting that treating working children as intelligent and resourceful, and developing solutions in conjunction with them, may strengthen their psychological development and ability to cope with difficulties, the paper maintains that child-centered action on child labor requires concerted action by governments to address poverty, provide quality education, and implement laws protecting children from abuse. Such action also requires public awareness-raising and changing attitudes so that employers and parents match children's responsibilities with their capacities; so that policymakers, practitioners, and consumers differentiate between developmental and harmful work; and so that working children's views are solicited and used. The paper concludes with a range of practical ways to ensure that any work that children do is safe and healthy for them and promotes their development. These include specific measures that employers can take, an enhanced role for trade unions in ensuring that children of legal working age are protected in the workplace, and suggestions for educational changes to increase its effectiveness for and relevance for working children. (KB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Save the Children, London (England).