Child labor, education, and the principle of non-discrimination

Type Working Paper - UNICEF Staff Working Papers Division of Policy and Planning Series
Title Child labor, education, and the principle of non-discrimination
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
Page numbers 0-0
UNICEF estimates that out of the 115 million children out of school, 62 million of them are girls. Many of these children work but traditional indicators of child labour often underestimate the amount of girls’ work because they ignore household chores. The human rights principle of non-discrimination requires that all work by children – whether of a domestic nature or not – be considered equally in the analysis of child labour. This paper presents estimates of child labour in Sub-Saharan Africa that include household chores and thus reveal the discrimination against girls. The authors also investigate to what extent participation in child labour leads to lower school attendance and increased repetition and dropout rates, and whether child labour affects girls and boys differently. The data in the study was collected in MICS and DHS household surveys from 18 African countries. 60 percent of children aged 7 to 14 years in the sample are attending school and 38 percent are engaged in child labour. 20 percent of all children are combining school attendance and child labour. A regression analysis shows that household wealth and education of the mother are the most important determinants of school attendance. Children from wealthier households and children of mothers with a formal education are more likely to attend school. In the majority of the countries in the study, boys, urban residents, and children not engaged in labour also have an increased probability of school attendance

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