A better life for child labourers and their families in Egypt

An assessment of the effects of a co-ordinated intervention between the Egyptian Government and one of local NGOs to alleviate the child labour phenomenon in Egypt


Master's Thesis, 2008
173 Pages, Grade: Merit

Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF FIGURES

ACRONYMS

DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

SPECIAL RECOGNITIONX ABSTRACT

A SATELLITE IMAGERY OF THE RESEARCH-TARGETED AREA

1.INTRODUCTION
1.1 RATIONALE FOR THE STUDY
1.2 RESEARCH AIM AND OBJECTIVES
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF THE STUDY

2. LITERATURE REVIEW ...
2.1 BACKGROUND ABOUT CHILD LABOUR
2.2 DEFINITIONS
2.3 HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF CHILD LABOUR
2.4 CHILD LABOUR FACTORS AND REASONS FOR WORK
2.4.1 Poverty as the main contributor to child labour
2.4.2 The family organisation and its environment
2.4.3 Economic shock
2.4.4 Demand-supply factors of child labour
2.5 CHILD LABOUR INTERVENTIONS
2.6 SUSTAINABILITY OF CHILD LABOUR INTERVENTIONS
2.7 CHILDREN'S RIGHTS AND BEST INTERESTS AS BASICS FOR SUSTAINABILITY
2.8 EXAMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DIFFERENT INTERVENTIONS
2.8.1 Withdrawal of child labourers from labour market
2.8.2 Providing financial support to child labourers families
2.8.3 Education as an appropriate solution to child labour

3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 FIELD RESEARCH AIM

3.2 TARGET GROUPS

3.3 RESEARCH AREA

3.4 RESEARCH TIME

3.5 RESEARCH STRATEGIES AND METHODOLOGY

A) PRIMARY DATA

1) Social survey

2)*bservation

3) Focus Group Discussions (FGD)

4) Case studies

5) Semi- structured interviews

B) SECONDARY DATA

3 .6 RESEARCH LIMITATIONS

4. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

5. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

BIBLIOGRAPHY

APPENDIXES

APPENDIX 1: DESCRIPTION OF THE ASSESSED PROGRAMME

APPENDIX 2: THE QUESTIONNAIRE

APPENDIX 3: THE NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR ERADICATING CHILD LABOUR

APPENDIX 4: REPORT ABOUT THE QUALITATIVE METHODOLOGIES

APPENDIX 5: SUSTAINABILITY PLAN OF THE TARGETED PROJECT

Listof Figures

Figure 1: A satellite imagery of the research area

Figure 2: The conceptual framework of the study

Figure 3: Photo for a child labourer in Abu El Soud area exposed to thick smoke

Figure 4: Child labour is a cause and a consequence of poverty at the same time

Figure 5: The four pillars of CRC

Figure 6: The web of interacting factors influencing individual situations

Figure 7: Problem tree on the relation between child labour and education

Figure 8: A detailed map of the research area

Figure 9: Photos showing the main crafts in Abu El Soud area

Figure 10: Photo showing the working and living conditions in the slums

Figure 11: Egypt First Lady announcing the National Campaign

Figure 12: Photo was taken during the social survey in one of the targeted areas

Figure 13: Photo for one of the children who works in the tanning industry

Figure 14: Photos showing the FGDs with children

Figure 15: The child labour trend in Egypt from 1974 to 2001

Figure 16: The percentage of child labourers segregated by gender

Figure 17: The child labourers segregated by age category

Figure 18: The age in which the child started to work

Figure 19: The age of starting work segregated by gender

Figure 20: The educational accomplishmentof the child and siblings

Figure 21: Percentage of children who still go to school while working

Figure 22: The influence of child labour on school enrollment

Figure 23: Occupation of the working child

Figure 24: High percentage of child labourers who still go to work

Figure 25: Average of family income

Figure 26: Cross tabulation between headships vocations and child labour

Figure 27: Cross tabulation between family income and child labour

Figure 28: The influence of parents' education on the education of their children

Figure 29: The influence of the headship occupation on children school enrolment

Figure 30: The perception of parents about child labour

Figure 31: History of parents who were child labourers as a factor to child labour

Figure 32: The advantages of child labour from parents' points of views

Figure 33: Disadvantages of child labour from parents' points of views

Figure 34: Awareness of parents of children's rights

Figure 35: Satisfaction of parents with the activities of the project

Figure 36: Response of the NGO to families needs

Figure 37: Examining the influence of activities of the livelihoods of families

Figure 38: Photo showing a child dealing with hazardous equipment at workplace

Listof Tables

Table 1: The incidence of child labour in a selection of countries in the MENA

Table 2: Summary of the minimum age provision of MAC

Table 3: Households internal and external factors

Table 4: Child labour sectors in both Cairo and Abu El Soud area

Table 5: Cross tabulation between the education of parents and child labour

Table 6: SWOT analysis on the assessed project PWC)WW

Acronyms

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Dedication

We have a hunger of the mind,

Which asks for knowledge of all around us,

And the more we gain,

The more is our desire;

The more we see,

The more we are capable of seeing

Maria Mitchell

This dissertation is dedicated to my only son Amir, whom I was thinking of during m y entire academic year in the Univers ity of Birmingham, w hile he was staying in Egypt with my parents. Owing to my little prince, I was always dream ing of making a better place for every child in the whole world.

Acknowledgement

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to ASSDA NGO staff and CISS organization in Egypt especially Mr . Ibrahim Osman and Miss. Nicoletta Riccardi, for hosting me and generously spared me their time and facilities for the completion of m y field research. Special thanks to Somaia Mahmoud, ASSDA social researcher who made interviewing people movin g at ease for me . My sin cere appre ciation is to both Mai Gaballah and Nada Zawawie for introducing me to ASSDA NGO.

I w ould like to extend m y gratitude to Ms . M oshira Ta her, Grant Facili ty Executive Directo r of Children at R isk programme and Fa tma Beshir, C hild labour Assistant from the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood in Egypt, who were rea lly suppo rtive and provided me with all the det ails a bout the as sessed programme. I would like also to express my appreciation to Mr . Javier Me nendez-Bonilla, Children at Risk Programme Manager from the EU who phoned me in UK to have a complete image about the assessed programme.

My sincere gratitude to Dr . Adel Azer, who inspired me all along the line since the idea came up to my mi nd until doing the field research. I would like also to thank all the co nsultants who directed me to the Eg yptian literature re lated to the research topic including Mr . Sobhy Moharam, Dr . Dina Dhaher and Dr . Sami Assar.

My work woul d not h ave been completed without the consis tent support, guidance a nd e ncouragementof my exceptional supervis or Dr . Tom Hewitt, I am indebted to him for everything I learnt throughout my research until the completion of the dissertation writing.

A word of appreciation and respect, is directed to my family especially my father Fathi El-Gabalawi- the source of my inspiration- who guided me to work in the developmental field. I am grateful to my mother for her prayers and endless support and for fostering my son during my stay in UK . I am also grateful to my sister Lobna El Gabalawi for her assistance in doing the fieldwork.

My sincere appreciations to Usama Bastawy's family for hosting me in the last three weeks during my stay in UK as they supported me emotionally and made me feel at home.

I would like to thank to all my friends in Birmingham and in Egypt, who were always by m y side . I am very grateful to Noor Bastawy, Ha nan Hussein and M ai Gaballah for editing my writing. Special thanks to Zeinab Hafez for doing the SPSS analysis, Amal Nabil for reviewing the translation of the strategy, and Haytham Abu Shaaban for handing over my final draft to the department.

Finally yet importantly, I am thankful to my sponsor, Ford Foundation and the Egyptian part ner Amideas t, for guiding me to study in an outstanding educational institution like The International Development Department in the University of Birmingham. I owe Yasmine EL Kammash- my personal coordinator from Amideast-an appreciation for supporting me and encouraging me throughout the academic year.

Special recognition

I am grateful to everyone who gave me a hand during my fieldwork in Egypt. With Special thanks to:-

1- Dr . Adel Azer- Professor of Law and Social policy consultant.

2- Ahmed Qurani Ahmed Abdelwahed- Accountant, Financial Analyst for Small Grants- IDPA programme- ESDF.

3- Amal Nabil- Vulnerability and Social Services Consultant in the Strategic Urban planning program - UN Habitat

4- ASSDA NGO social workers: Somaia Mahmoud, Ola Hassan Soroor, Hussein Abo El Enein and Sara Moustafa Taher.

5- Mr . Ayman Abdel Rahman Abolata- Facilitator, al Fayoum, Al Minya and Dumyat Governorates

6- Ms . Dina Hussein Dhaher- Programme Specialist in the Arab Council for Childhood and Development.

7- Ms . Fatma Beshir :Child Labour Assistant

8- Mr . Ibrahim Osman- Manager of ASSDA NGO.

9- Ismail Hamdy- IT specialist in Save the Children UK.

10- IDD staff especially: Ann Westover and Debra Beard.

11- Mr . Javier Menendez-Bonilla- Children At Risk Programme Manager

12- Librarians of Arab Council for Childhood and Development.

13- Librarians of ILO.

14- Lobna Fathy EL Gabalawi - Social worker in the Environmental federation of Aswan NGOs

15- Mai Gaballah-School Leadership Activity Manager Assistant-STEPS II

16- Dr . Manal Shahin- Technical and Administrative Supervision/Manager, NCCM Project for Combating Child Labor.

17- Ms . Moushira Taher : Children at Risk Grant Facility Executive Director

18- My friends in Birmingham: especially Mouna Barrada, Jawaher Alsalem, Soha Abdou Abdel Reheem, Waleed Abu El-Ela and his wife, Ghada Mohamed Abu Zaid,Lidia Gheorghiu, Ahmed Abdullah, Mansour Arribdi, and Mouafaq Hashem.

19- My friends of Ford fellows: especially Mervat Nessim, Atef Bakhoum, Bishoy Lamie, Haidi El-Galad and Hisham El-Genidy.

20- My friends in IDD especially: Keros Tadesse Beyene and Juniar Mahameru.

21- Mr . Nabil Abbas- Head of Social Solidarity Departmentof Old Cairo

22- Ms . Nada Zawawie- MAIS country representative.

23- Ms . Nashwa Belal- Programme Assistant- ILO

24- NCCM- information center information specialists: Aliaa Mohamed and Ali Abd El- Aal

25- Ms . Nicoletta Riccardi- Project Manager of CISS NGO.

26- Odette Morkos- Financial analyst assistant- ESDF.

27- Dr . Sami Assar- Consultant for UNISCO- Egypt.

28- Mr . Sobhi Moharram- SPAAC consultant.

29- Dr . Tandiar Samir- MD Health and Population Programme Manager in the Centre for Developmental Services- Near East Foundation.

30- Zeinab Hafez- SPSS specialist

(Names are mentioned in Alphabetical order)

Abstract

The perception of child labour in Egypt like in any other p lace in the wo rld has been changed dramatically in recent years. The current debates about child labour have conceived child labour as vital element for the survival of poor families. Mostof the tradi tional i nterventions were f ocusing on co mbating chil d labour wi th no consideration to the living circumstances of the child labourers, controversially the new approaches by different national and international stakeholders started to ad just their interventions to be appealing to the circumstances of child labourers and their families.

The main theme of this dissertation is to examine the effectiveness of one of these interventions and its sustainability. For that purpose, a fi eld research in Cairo, the capital of Egypt has been conducted. The aim of the field research is to analyse one of the interventions that implemented through coordination between the Egyptian Government through theNational Council of Childhood and Motherhoodand one of the Egyptian NGOsAbo Soud Social Development Assoc iationNGO . T his Egyptian NGO carr ied o ut a chi ld labour or iented proj ect in partnership with an Italian NG OCooperation Internaz ionale Su d Sudthrough Children at Risk Programme that funded by theEuropean Union.

Using different quantitative and qualitative methodologies, the researcher tried to obtain the percept ion of child labourers and their families about the implemented activities in order to investigate whether the children's rights and best interests were considered in the course of designing and implementing the activities of the project.

This dissertation challenges the argument that child labour became essential for the survival of poor families, thus it cannot be eradicated.

Through the ass essed intervention, the researc her t ried to inv estigate the effectiveness of the withdrawal of child labour ers from the hazardo us works, while poor people cannot survive without child labour. The researcher tried also to examine the sustainability of the provision of financial support for child labourers' families as a sol ution to reduce the incidence of child labo ur . Moreover, educat ion as one alternative to reduce child labour was assessed.

It was argued through the study that none of the interventions, which directed to enhance the livelihoods of child labourers and their families as well as children' working conditions, would be sustainable unless the children's needs, rights and best interests are endorsed.

Key words:-

Child labour

Egypt

Poverty

Interventions

Withdrawal from labour market

Financial support

Education

Child's rights

Child's best interests

Sustainability

A satellite imagery of the research-targeted area

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: A satellite imagery of the research area:Abo El Soud is one of the areas of Old Cairo district, one of the districts of Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Its boundaries are El Sayeda Zeinab area and Magra el Oioun fence from the north, El Basateen and Dar EL Salam areas from the south, The Nile river from the west and El Khalifa and El Moqatam areas from the east.

Source: Google Earth, 2008

1. Introduction

1.1 Rationale for the study

Children are very important assets for any country since today's children are tomorrow's adults. Thus, any problems affecting them today could have a negat ive impacton their lives in the future consequently in shaping their characters.

Since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was declared in 1989, there has been a global interest in addressing childhood problems. As a result NGOs like Save the Children and other child welfare organisations like UNICE F, have focused their attention on childhood problems.

The E gyptian Go vernment has g iven c hildren a top pr iority in it s p olicy agenda through the promotion of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) since 1989; believing that children's well being is considered an important indicator for sustainable development.

Egypt was among the first twenty countries to ratify the CRC and had already established the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) in 1988, an authority that is responsible for po licymaking, p lanning, co -ordinating, monitoring and evaluating act ivities r elated to the prot ection and developmentof children and motherhood.

After 1990, following the Worl d Su mmit for Chil dren, the Eg yptian government issued The Child L aw (ECL) t hat contain ed a ll the lega l terms and conditions to ensure the protection of children from birth to the age of eighteen.

Despite a ll the e fforts u ndertaken b y the g overnment and the c ivil society particularly NGOs to protect children and promote their rights, children are still amongst the m ost vuln erable gro ups in Egypt. Th ere are so me pro blems pers ist

among c hildren, these include st reet children, early disengagement from education and Child labour.

Child labour is one of the most severe childhood problems in Egypt, notonly as it deprives child labourers from enjoying a very important stage in their lives, but also as it denies their r ights as stated by CRC. According to CRC (1989) Children's basic rights include their right to education, the right to welfare and health care, the right to express their opinions freely and have their views respected, the right to consider their best interests all the time, and the rightof protection from offense and exploitation (UNHCHR,2003).

Some of the early literature reviews dealt with child labour phenomenon as a problem that should be eradicated completely (Challis and Elliman, 1979) . While few of them understood its importance for the survival of many families, especially those who live be low povert y line (Fyfe , 1989) . Acco rdingly, it is argued that a ny undertaken initiative by either the governmentor NGOs would be primarily directed to alleviate poverty for these families (Grootaert and Kanbur, 1995).

This research aims to assess the effects of one of the child labour programmes that aimed to enhance the socio-economic conditions of the families who forced their children to j oin the labour force, and asses s its contribution to poverty alleviation, which ha s been implemented b y one of the N GOs in Egypt in co operation with the NCCM.

1.2 Research aim and objectives

The main aim of the re search is to conduct an analytical review to get a clear understanding of the effects of the different initiatives carried out by the N CCM, in cooperation with different NGOs and other counterparts, to enhance the conditions of child labour in Egypt.

These are three main objectives of the research:-

- To analyse d ifferent socio-economic initiatives that are u ndertaken b y the government and NGOs to i mprove the condi tions of child labourers particularly in Egypt.
- To evaluate one of the initiatives undertaken by one of the o rganizations in Egypt, which i s child labour co mponent inPrornoting Working Childr en's, Youths' and Worn en's Wellbeing in Abu El-Sou d area project (PWCYWW)as partof Children at Risk Programme.
- To investigate the promotion of the children's rights and best interests through the assessed intervention.

1.3 Research questions

Measuring sustainability is the overarching theme of this study. In order to investigate the s ustainability of the t argeted intervention, the r esearch a ims to answer the following empirical questions:-

- To what extent are the target groups satisfied with the intervention?
- How do people perceive the effectiveness of the targeted intervention in satisfying their needs?
- How far has this programme managed to endorse the best interests and rights of child labourers and their families?
- How can the sustainability of this intervention be ensured?

1.5 Conceptual framework of the study

Based on d ifferent literatures, the atti tude towards child labour m ight be shifted from thinking of eliminating i t to alleviating its h arshness an d t rying to enhance its conditions.

The conceptual framework of the study proposes, if the different interventions that have been adopted by either the governmentor NGOs or both of them, are built upon the children's rights and their best interests; that would achieve the desi red effects outof these interventions. Hence, the desired impact, which is the alleviation of child labour would be r eached . At the s ame time, when these interventions are considering the children's needs, rights and their best interests; that would make these interventions sustainable, as they are not imposed on either the child labourers or their families. If these interventions are carried outon a short-term basis, the alleviation of child labour woul d not be a chieved . Bef ore choosi ng any i ntervention, the m ain factors c ontributing to chil d labour, including p overty and other factors should be considered , as they may hold back alleviating the phenomenon of child labour.

The following diagram (figure 2) illustrates the conceptual framework that was developed based upon this study:-

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2: The conceptual framework of the study

1.6 Dissertation outline

This dissertation i s discussed within fi ve c hapters . It star ts with anintroductory chapterand then moves to thesecond chapter, which covers a literature review on the subjecto f child labour that built upon the research objectives and its empirical questions. Thethird chaptercovers the methodology used for the purpose of this research. Then, the findings of the research are analysed and discussed in thefourth chapter. Finally, both the conclusion and recommendations of the author are presented based on the analysis of the research findings in thefifth chapter.

2. Literature Review

Overview of chapter:-

This literature starts with a background about child labour m ovement in the world, then in MENA regi on in which Eg ypt is situated. The review then moves to highlight s ome i mportant d efinitions that a re important for comprehending ch ild labour phenomenon. After that, the literature describes the historical evolution of the perception of child labour. Finally, the literature tries to discuss the di fferent factors that contribute to child labout and the different interventions that alleviate it.

2.1 Background about child labour

"Child labour has serious consequences that stay with the individual and with society for far longer than the years of childhood. Young w orkers notonly face dange rous working conditions. They face long-term physical, intellectual and emotional stress. They face an adulthood of une mployment and illiteracy . Few human rights abuses are so widely condemned, yet so widely unnoticed".UN- SG Kofi Annan, March1999 (cited in Anti Slavery, 2008, p .2).

Six years h ave p assed since the first time the I nternational La bour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day against Child Labour (WDACL) on 12 June, 2002 in Geneva. Since that, the situation of child labour has been deteriorating all over the world (Economic Perspectives, 2005).

The ILO in its latest report s tated that in 2004, there were 218 milli on child labourers; 126 million of these were inv olved in hazardous work. 166 million child labourers are under the age of fourteen, while 74 million work in dangerous jobs like

mining and construction jobs. Globally, the rate of child labourers in hazardous work for the age catego ry 5-17 is higher for b oys than f or g irls, and the percentage increases with age; boys represent 62 .1percentof the 15-17 year old children working in hazardous work. Desp ite these high numbers of working children, the number of working children has declined overall- from 2000 to 2004- in all regions, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean (ILO, 2006a).

A long time ago, child labour in MENA region has been acknowledged as an incorporated part in the social a nd eco nomic life of these cou ntries ( Challis a nd Elliman, 1979) . The ILO report stated that the number of economically active children in MENA regi on and devel oped countr ies is declining great ly from 2000 to 2004 compared to Sub- Sa haran Af rica (49 .3 percent), and As ia a nd the P acific (122 .3percent) . Com paring these incidences of child l abour in the M ENA with different regions, one can r ecognizes that there is a c lear dec line in the numbers of working children (ILO, 2006a).

Despite what st ated by the ILO repo rt, Child labour exists greatly in ME NA region especially in those countries that have the same economic and social conditions such as Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and Morocco. The similarities among these countries (as reflected by table 1) are in the factors contributing to child labour, and the work sectors that children are working in, as well as the different legislations and pro cedures un dertaken by these countries to combat child labour (Looza, 2008).

Table 1: The incidence of child labour in a selection of countries in the MENA

illustration not visible in this excerpt

(Table 1) illustrates the position of Egypt among some of the MENA countries regarding the incidence of child labour. The table also highlights that the main work sectors in Egypt are the vocational and the industrial in which the worst forms of child labour are found, which will be elaborated in-depth in (chapter 4).

2.2 Definitions

Child labour is a controversial term, while some can consider the children who help their pare nts in doing do mestic wor k i s a k ind of child labour and m ust be stopped, others consi der it essential for b ringing up chi ldren and use ful for their development. Yet, some authors observed that non-abusive child labour may enhance students' determination and per formance at schools ( Gardner, 1991: Woodhead, 1999; Boydenet al., 1998; Nuneset al., 1993; Mortimer and Johnson, 1998; Entwisleet al., 2000; Myers, 2001) . Others, like Hobbs and Mckechnie (2001) confirm that the combination of education with early job experience can help in making the shift from school to work easier and more effective (Hobbs and M ckechnie, 2001) . Bearing in mind, notonly poor people are those who push their children to work for contributing in the supplementof the family inco me, but also there are so me wealthy people, who send theirs to the labour market to learn how to live and deal with others in the real world (EL Kefa'y, 2001).

Child labour as em phasized by DFID has different definitions according to each country's minimum working age. Both the Minimum Age Convention ( MAC) and its Recommendations (MACR) that were issued by the ILO in 1973 are considered the main references for all issues related to child labour (DFID,1999).

The convention differentiates the suitable minimum ages for different work types whether the work is lightor hazardous. It also differentiates it according to its incidence whether in countries with normal circumstances or in countries with lower economic and educational levels (Jankanish, 2000).

Table 2: Summary of the minimum age provision of MAC Source: Haspels and Jankanish, 2000

illustration not visible in this excerpt[1]

It sh ould be b orne i n mi nd; the child l abourers do not representone homogeneous category. This conclusion came into account, because of a recent trend, which differentiates betweenChild WorkandChild Labour. In view of supporters of this t rend go to, child work is c haracterized as "Benign" a nd use ful f or the

developmentof the child skills unlike child labour that represents the exploitation and abuse of children, putting their lives and safety in danger (NCCM, 2004).

Based on the above mentioned differentiations, there are important definitions which should be introduced to understand the contentof the research paper easily:­Child:-

According to the first Article of the CRC "A child means every human being below the age of eighteen y ears unless under the l aw app licable to the chil d, majority is attained earlier". (UNHCHR, 2003).

Labour:-

The MAC defi ned the Labour as "Any economic activity performed by a perso n". (ILO,2006b).

Child labour:-

"Any work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is har mful to phy sical and menta l developmento f children". (ILO-IPEC,2008a)

Worst Forms of Child Labour:-

Based on the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (WFCL), the termthe worst forms of child labourincludes that type of work, which by its nature or conditions is expected to harm the health, safety or morality of the child (ILO,2006c).

Hazardous work:-

The recommendations of the WFCL Convent ion, determined the following types of work to b e considered hazardo us . If i t exposes the chil d to any kind of abuse; is operated i n dangerous pl aces; deals wi th dangerous items or materials; requ ires moving heavy loads; exposes the child to heat, noise; requires working for long hours or during the night (ILO,2006d).

For the purpose of this study, the child labour term will be adopted as it reflects the category of children who work in hazardous occupations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 3: Photo for a child labourer in Abu El Soud area exposed to thick smoke in the work environment.

Source: ASSDA and CISS NGOs, 2006

2.3 Historical evolution of child labour

Child labour as a complex p henomenon has recently experienced significant debates am ong acade mics, po licy m akers, pr actitioners and m edia (Fyfe, 1989) . During this debate, child labour passed through different stages; in the past before the ratification of the CRC in 1989, it was seen as a cruel facthence the r ight action towards it is to be eliminated. Then, the studies showed that not all types of child work are bad as some of them have positive impacton the children's development and on the formulation of their mature personalities. Lately, practical experience showed that the children's voices should be heard and their best interests should be considered whenever they decided to work to help their poor families (Boydenet al., 1998).

These claims co rrespond to the co nclusions of Whi te (1996 ) o n the consequences of globalization on the child labour. According to White, globalization has ch anged the n ature an d percepti ons of child labour i n b oth developed and developing co untries, espec ially tho se h arshly st ruck by structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) . Owing to gl obalization, new i deas h ave bee n raised about children's ri ghts and a ccordingly n ew i nterventions ha ve b een sugges ted . Whi te (1996) argues whereas the different NGOs believe in the importance of appreciating child labour and tr ying to improve the work conditions for them, the international pressures an d co nventions call for excluding children f rom labour market without listening to children themselves or understanding their circumstances (White, 1996).

Correspondingly, Basurto and Thurdin (1998) who are reflecting the points of views of two practitioners- UNICEF and Save the Children- claimed that this debate has r esulted from the d isagreement between d ifferent international hu man r ights declarations, which are different in their implications in the developed countries than the developing ones. Mostof these agreements tried to link child labour with `social clauses'[2] of trade treaties that shape up the trade benefits of every country (Basurto and Thurdin, 1998).

Both Basurto and Thurdin (1998) agree with Seabrook (2001), who contends that the idea of eliminating child labour did not consider the general context in which child labourers reside, the idea was builton the experience of the developed countries, while the m ajority of child labour ers a re found in the dev eloping ones . A h uge pressure was placed on the developing countries assuming that they will be incapable to join the competitive globalised market and will lose their export markets if their industries are builton child labour, and if they failed to offer compulsory, appropriate, equivalent and affordable educat ion for their children (Basurto and T hurdin, 1998 ; Seabrook, 2001).

Practically, the experience of child labour specialists showed that mostof the policy legislations have ignored the reality of child labourers, their best interests and their perception of their circumstances and needs ( Basurto and Thurdin, 1998) . Since every child should be treated as human being. Children has the right to be listened to, express their opinions and decisions on their future, play and b ond with adults, and their right to be educated have to be integrated in policy decisions in order to have sustainable so lutions for the problems of those children who are at the r isk of the marketplace abuse (Boydenet al., 1998).

Based on the pre vious literature, chil d labo ur h as m oved fro m b eing problematic to be a human right issue. The right approach to child labour in today's world is to reconsider the needs of the children and their families, and to focus on reducing the exploitation of child labourers instead of prohibiting children from being involved in work to assist their families financially.

The li terature on chil d labour is t horough; i n order to test the researc h questions empirically this literature will focus only on the child labour factors as well as the different interventions attempting to improve the living conditions of child labourers and their families. Moreover, the sustainability of these interventions will be discussed.

[...]


[1] According to Article 5 of the Convention: It is exceptional, for the countries with lower economic levels and undeveloped educational system to lower the minimum age for child labour, after consulting the organisation of employers. They should specify in an appendix the types of work that should have exceptions; they should develop a report to ILO about the situation of children in the work sectors that excluded from applying the minimum age (article 5 of MAC, 1973). Minimum age in these countries is 14 years as general minimum age, 13 for light work and 16 for hazardous work. only under two conditions:-
1) Ensuring the fully protection and safety of children while working.
2) Offer appropriate vocational training for the child before hiring him/her. (ENSCL, 2004).

[2] According to Boyden et al .(1998): A social clause is " an international trade agreement is intended to improve labour conditions in exporting countries by allowing sanctions to be taken against exporters who fail to observe minimum standards" pp . 297

Excerpt out of 173 pages

Details

Title
A better life for child labourers and their families in Egypt
Subtitle
An assessment of the effects of a co-ordinated intervention between the Egyptian Government and one of local NGOs to alleviate the child labour phenomenon in Egypt
College
University of Birmingham  (International Development Department (IDD)- School of Public Policy)
Course
International Development
Grade
Merit
Author
Year
2008
Pages
173
Catalog Number
V136049
ISBN (eBook)
9783640456215
ISBN (Book)
9783640455904
File size
13265 KB
Language
English
Notes
A dissertation submitted to the University of Birmingham in partial fulfillment of the award of MSc degree in International Development
Tags
Egypt, Egyptian, Government, NGOs, Merit
Quote paper
Nabila EL-Gabalawi (Author), 2008, A better life for child labourers and their families in Egypt, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/136049

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Title: A better life for child labourers and their families in Egypt


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