Unpacking… child labor

Outcome:Working children and adolescents from the coffee-growing area of Jinotega are integrated into school.
Indicator:4,500 working children and adolescents at risk in the coffee-growing area of Jinotega withdrawn from child labour by the end of 2009.

Step 1: Identify the indicator’s key concepts or contents

This indicator contains the following key concepts:

  • risk
  • withdrawal 
  • child labour
Step 2: Defining the key concepts or contents of the indicator

What do we mean by child labour?

Child labour is any activity, involving the participation of children, whatever their employment status (salaried, self-employed, unpaid family work) or the provision of services, that prevents them from accessing, performing and remaining in education, is performed in hazardous environments, produces immediate or future negative effects, or is carried out in conditions that affect the psychological, physical, moral or social development of children.

  • The work is physically, mentally, socially or morally detrimental or harmful to the child.
  • The work deprives the child of the opportunity to go to school.
  • The work forces the child to leave school prematurely.
  • The work requires him/her to try to combine school attendance with long hours of heavy work. 

Whether a particular form of “work” can be called “child labour” depends on the age of the child, the type and hours of work performed, the conditions under which it is carried out, and depending on these factors the following categories are established:

  • Acceptable child labour.
  • Exploitative child labour.
  • Worst forms of hazardous child labour.
  • Unconditionally unacceptable worst forms of child labour.

What kind of risk are we referring to in this context?

Children and adolescents at risk are those who, due to a series of family conditions or circumstances in which they live or are exposed to, threaten their school achievement and/or permanence:

  • lives alone with mother or father, or with neither,
  • brothers or sisters who are working children,
  • parents have migrated, or work away from home,
  • family member at home with special needs,
  • lives in an isolated area,
  • lives in a place where it is usual to employ children, 
  • extra-age, repetition, school absenteeism,
  • adolescent with children / pregnant or married,
  • out of the education system.

What does withdrawal from child labour mean for us?

It refers to children and adolescents who are engaged in exploitative, hazardous or worst forms of child labour.