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Child Labour in Africa

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  • Sonia Bhalotra

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of child labour in Africa. It discusses the incidence and nature of child labour, possible causes, and actual and potential policy instruments. It answers some questions and raises others.Africa has the highest incidence of child labour in the world. While child labour has been declining in Asia and Latin America, economic decline, war, famine and HIV/AIDS have combined to prevent this in Africa. Contrary to the popular image of child labour in factories managed by Dickensian employers, the overwhelming majority of working children in Africa are employed on household-run farms and enterprises. Recent theoretical and policy-level discussion has neglected to recognise the implications of this fact. Thus, for example, considerable attention has been dedicated to consideration of the impact on child labour of minimum wages or trade sanctions when, given the nature of work performed by most children in Africa (and, indeed, by the majority in other ... Le présent document donne une vision d’ensemble du travail des enfants en Afrique. On y examine l’incidence et la nature de ce travail, les causes possibles de ce phénomène, ainsi que les instruments en place ou potentiels d’action des pouvoirs publics dans ce domaine.En Afrique, l’incidence du travail des enfants est supérieure à celle que l’on observe dans n’importe quelle autre région du monde. Si le taux d’activité des enfants a diminué en Asie et en Amérique latine, la conjonction du marasme économique, des guerres, des famines et de la pandémie VIH/sida a empêché l’Afrique d’évoluer dans la même direction. Contrairement à l’image que l’on se fait habituellement des enfants travaillant dans des usines dirigées par des patrons tout droit sortis des romans de Charles Dickens, l’écrasante majorité des petits travailleurs africains sont employés dans des exploitations agricoles ou des entreprises familiales. Sur le plan théorique comme sur celui de l’action des pouvoirs ...

Suggested Citation

  • Sonia Bhalotra, 2003. "Child Labour in Africa," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 4, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:4-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/582055427126
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ray, Ranjan, 2000. "Child Labor, Child Schooling, and Their Interaction with Adult Labor: Empirical Evidence for Peru and Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 347-367, May.
    2. Ajit Singh & Ann Zammit, 2011. "Globalisation, Labour Standards and Economic Development," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Globalisation, Second Edition, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Sonia Bhalotra, 2007. "Is Child Work Necessary?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(1), pages 29-55, February.
    4. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
    5. Ray, R., 2001. "Simultaneous Analysis of Child Labour and Child Schooling: Comparative Evidence from Nepal and Pakistan," Papers 2001-04, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
    6. F. Blanco & M. G. Breglia & L. Guarcello & C. Valdivia, 2008. "Violence against children:preliminary evidence from Colombia, El Salvador, Cambodia and Ecuador," UCW Working Paper 41, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
    7. Ray, Ranjan, 1999. "How child labor and child schooling interact with adult labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2179, The World Bank.
    8. John Cockburn, 2002. "Income Contributions of Child Work in Rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    9. Sarbajit Chaudhuri, 2004. "Incidence of Child Labour, Free Education Policy, and Economic Liberalisation in a Developing Economy," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 1-25.
    10. Ranjan Ray, 2001. "Child Labour and Child Schooling in South Asia: A Cross Country Study of their Determinants," ASARC Working Papers 2001-09, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    11. Rana Ejaz Ali Khan, 2003. "Children in Different Activities: Child Schooling and Child Labour," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 137-160.
    12. Sonia Bhalotra, 2004. "Parent Altruism, Cash Transfers and Child Poverty," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 04/561, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition

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