More in this series: Innocenti Occasional Papers, Child Rights Series
School-related Economic Incentives in Latin America: Reducing drop-out and repetition and combating child labour
This paper examines the barriers to educational achievement presented by child labour and the formal education systems of Latin America. Parents put pressure on children to work rather than study, and historically the formal education systems have had no safeguards to remedy the resulting knowledge gaps.
Millions of children throughout the developing world work. Not all child work should be cause for concern. Some work activities develop practical knowledge and skills and reinforce children's sense of self-esteem and unity with their families. It is children's work that is exploitative and dangerous ('child labour') that poses a major human rights and socio-economic challenge. Universal primary education may be the single most effective instrument for meeting this challenge,