Understanding trends in child labour

Author(s) : UCW
Abstract : This report is aimed at helping to explain the recent trends in child labour. It is designed to provide constituents with robust evidence concerning whether child labour policies have been significant, and, if so, which policy approaches have been most relevant and effective to date and have the greatest potential for accelerating progress moving forward. Research results will help inform the deliberations of the Global Conference on Child Labour to be held in Argentina in 2017. Addressing the reasons for the observed trends in child labour presents a number of challenges. First, the data requirements for establishing a causal link between child labour policies and outcomes are stringent and are met only in a small group of countries. Secondly, fully addressing the research questions also requires reliable evidence concerning policy impact, information that is available for only a limited set of policy interventions implemented in specific settings. Thirdly, a complete explanation of child labour trends requires extending the analysis to include difficult-to-quantify policy areas such as advocacy, social mobilization, legislation, and regulation, which are often beyond the reach of empirical research methods.  In response to these challenges, this report employs two separate research approaches, which together are designed to provide the most complete and robust evidence possible when it comes to the factors driving child labour trends.  The evidence presented here highlights the importance of an active policy response in explaining child labour trends.  Progress against child labour, in other words, did not happen by itself – only a limited share of progress appears attributable to structural factors not directly relating to policy.  On the contrary, much of the decline we have witnessed in recent years appears to be traceable to active policy efforts to extend and improve schooling, to extend social protection floors, to expand basic services, and to establish adequate legal frameworks against child labour.  There is also a lot that is still not known about the factors driving child labour trends, even in countries such as Brazil and Mexico with rich data, pointing to the need for further research to guide efforts in the lead-up to the 2025 target date for ending all forms of child labour.
Year : 2017
Country : Brazil, Mexico
Publisher : UCW
City Of Publication : Rome
Source : UCW Working Paper Series


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