Child Work and Education: Five case studies from Latin America

Innocenti Publications

  • Author(s)
    • Alarcón Glasinovich, Walter;
    • Salazar, María Cristina;
  • Publisher
    • Ashgate, UK; UNICEF ICDC, Florence
  • Date of Publication
    • 1998
  • Pages
    • 162
  • ISBN
    • 1 84014 976 0
  • IRC Stock Number
    • 17U
  • Publication Cost
    • free
  • Language
    • English


In recent years research, as well as the results of practical programmes, has lead to a clearer understanding of the relationship between child work and education. It is increasingly evident that child work is not entirely the result of economic need or exploitation. Frequently it is the failure of the educational system to offer adequate, stimulating and affordable schooling that encourages children to drop out in favour of work that appears to offer advantages more relevant to their everyday lives. Parents too may undervalue the role and purpose of schooling and see a job, including home-based work, as more valuable and certainly a more positive alternative to crime, delinquency or begging. Consequently, while a distinction needs to be made between 'formative child work' and 'harmful child work', in certain situations and cultures the phenomenon is not always seen as negative. These five case studies from Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru) all reveal the effects of inappropriate school curricula.

Thematic area

Child Work and Labour   / 


child workers   /  education   /  educational systems   /  minimum age   /  right to education   /