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Home-based work research project
The Centre has researched the issue of child labour since it was established in 1988, producing at least 15 publications on the subject, including the Global Seminar Report on Street and Working Children (1993), Learning or Labouring (1995) and, most recently, the Innocenti Digest on Child Domestic Work (see above for more information on Innocenti Digests).
Recent work has included the publication of a Working Paper by Christopher Heady, of the University of Bath, UK, on the impact of child labour on learning achievement, drawing on evidence from Ghana.
The Centre is preparing a study of the growing threat posed by home-based work in developing countries. Multi-national companies frequently contract work to local businesses that, in turn, contract the work to local families. This home-based work is largely unregulated and 'invisible', leaving children vulnerable to exploitation and without access to education.
Surveys in five Asian countries are already underway. These surveys will help to explain the dimensions of home-based work and their findings will provide useful information for those urging action on this problem.
Social Protection in the Informal Economy: Home based women workers and outsourced manufacturing in Asia
Home based work has a dual and contradictory character: on the one hand, as a source of income diversification for poor workers and the emergence of micro-enterprises, yet on the other, it is a source of exploitation of vulnerable workers as firms attempt to contain costs. This paper examines the social protection needs of women workers in this sector, and also argues for public action to promote such work as a possible new labour intensive growth strategy in these and other developing countries.
The Subterranean Child Labour Force: Subcontracted home-based manufacturing in Asia
Child labour is widespread in home based manufacturing activities in the informal sector in most developing countries. This form of child labour will not attract the penal provisions of a country’s laws banning child labour. This paper draws on
surveys carried out in five Asian countries – two low-income (India, Pakistan) and three middle-income countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand) – where production of manufactured goods is subcontracted to home based workers widely. It examines the incidence of child work in such households, the child’s schooling, reasons why children are working, their work conditions, their health, and gender issues.
What is the Effect of Child Labour on Learning Achievement? Evidence from Ghana
This paper analyzes the links between child labour and poor school performance, using data gathered in Ghana in recent years. The author examines the day to day impact of child labour on those in school, finding that, as well as leaving children too tired to learn, child labour robs them of their interest in learning.