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ERIC Number: EJ795779
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 12
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-1478-2103
"The Toughest of Chores": Policy and Practice in Children Collecting Water in South Africa
Hemson, David
Policy Futures in Education, v5 n3 p315-326 2007
The child has an elevated position within national policy in South Africa. This concern for children has been translated in varying degrees into policy, particularly in relation to child labour. Internationally there is concern that forms of child work should not impede the development of the child, particularly in health and education. Research conducted in South Africa has concluded that children collecting water, often over long distances in rural communities, is one of the most common forms of child labour. The research pioneers the study of children collecting water and develops an appropriate research methodology. The results of a survey into this practice conclude that in rural communities there are very high proportions of children collecting water. Of the time per week spent in domestic activities, two-thirds is spent in collecting water. The children's attitude is generally that this is a socially necessary practice. Among those collecting, however, an important proportion of those who are most extensively involved report that they are suffering ill effects in terms of education and health. The survey found that that those collecting for longer hours than the average complained of often being late for school, being unable to concentrate in class, having poor morale, and needing to leave school as early as possible to collect water. Delayed progress through schooling at the "appropriate" age is also evident as well as complaints of fatigue and other health effects. The results of this research are intended to lead to the prioritisation of the implementation of water projects to areas where there are large numbers of children collecting water. (Contains 7 tables and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa