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Jo Boyden; Birgitta Ling
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The current upsurge of international concern about exploitative child labour has focused new attention on fundamental questions regarding children's work in general. What is the effect of work on children? When is it positive and when negative? What kinds of work help children develop valuable skills and attitudes and which violate their rights? This book approaches such questions from a rigorously child-centered perspective which constantly asks, "What is in the best interests of the children involved?" From this point of view it examines recent information and thinking about children's work in relation to child health and development, education, child protection laws, the market economy, children's role in society, and other issues of key importance for policy makers, programme planners and children's advocates. It reviews and summarizes recent research and experience regarding not only child work, but also the processes of child development as they relate to work. Many widespread beliefs and assumptions about both work and childhood are shown to be invalid or highly questionable. Alternative concepts and approaches that better reflect empirical evidence are suggested. This book offers a new way of thinking about children's work from a child development perspective. It is based on new ideas from the social sciences and new research findings. It presents an issue-oriented overview from recent literature and experience on how to approach critical concerns in children's work. This books attempts to look at responses to child labour problems that help working children. In doing so, it examines such complex problems as: How can policy makers and programme managers know what kinds of intervention to undertake? How can children be protected against abuse and exploitation in the workplace? What measures will indeed advance the well-being and development of the children involved? How can ineffective and counterproductive measures be avoided?
SERIESInnocenti Publications