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On the basis of detailed statistical surveys conducted in five Latin American countries, this essay demonstrates that actual practice in the region contrasts strongly with legal norms for the minimum age at which children can be employed and the age of completion of compulsory education.


María Cristina Salazar; Walter Alarcón Glasinovich

The high primary school enrolment rates in Latin America and the Caribbean mask poor performance in terms of the quality, relevance and cost-effectiveness of formal schooling in the region. What happens to the millions of children who repeat school years, underperform in their first years of schooling and eventually drop out? The vast majority are working children of one sort or another, but their work is likely to lead nowhere in terms of expanded opportunities or eventually to a decent standard of living for them and their future families.


James R. Himes; Vicky Colbert de Arboleda; Emilio Garcia Mendez

The aim of the Historical Perspectives series is to use a greater understanding of the history of childhood to shed light on the quest for improved policies and programmes for dealing with contemporary child-related social issues.


Hugh Cunningham; Pier Paolo Viazzo

'Learning or Labouring' samples current thinking on the critical relationship between child work and basic education and should provide busy programme planners, project workers and students with both a practical working tool and an innovative source of information.


Judith Ennew

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,


Jo Boyden


Project team

James R. Himes

Related Innocenti Projects


Child work and education