Responding to children’s work

Evidence from the Young Lives study

Most children in low‑ and middle‑income countries do some work as part of their daily lives, often from a young age. Such work can be benign and beneficial, for example if children are working outside school hours on light domestic chores, or accompanying mothers, fathers or older siblings on family farms or businesses. Other work, however, can be harmful – often in difficult conditions with the risk of injury and exhaustion.

This report highlights the potential risks, but also indicates benefits of work. It considers children within their working households and communities, focusing also on the fundamental relationship between work and school education.

Led by the University of Oxford, in partnership with national research institutions, Young Lives is a major international study of childhood poverty that followed the lives of 12,000 children from Ethiopia, India Peru and Vietnam over 15 years.

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