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Explaining variation in child labour estimates Claudia Cappa, Statistics and Monitoring Section, UNICEF NY

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Presentation on theme: "Explaining variation in child labour estimates Claudia Cappa, Statistics and Monitoring Section, UNICEF NY"— Presentation transcript:

1 Explaining variation in child labour estimates Claudia Cappa, Statistics and Monitoring Section, UNICEF NY

2 Objectives Review concepts, definitions, data sources and measurement tools Describe some of the methodological challenges related to the measurement of child labour Present current and planned activities in this area

3 Background Legal standards define the problem and the underlying concepts in general terms Child labourers: children who are too young to work and children involved in work potentially harmful to their physical, psychological, social or educational development Difference between child labour and child work Currently there is no internationally accepted measure of child labour Controversial elements: how to quantify harm/hazard

4 Parameters for measuring child labour Age of the child : 5-11, 12-14, Type of activities (economic, unpaid household services, worst forms of child labour other than hazardous work) Intensity of work (i.e. average number of hours spent in a week) Working conditions (heavy loads, confined spaces, dust/fumes, etc.)

5 Work activities Economic activity = any paid or unpaid work for someone who is not a member of the household or work for a family farm or business (1993 UN System of National Accounts – activities included in GDP) Unpaid household services (household chores) = cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping and caring for children, old or sick people

6 Differences between UNICEF and ILO

7 Nature of the differences Differences in questionnaire (content, structure and respondents) Differences in operational definitions/indicators Differences in reporting Differences in implementation protocols and technical assistance Different country estimates Different global estimates

8 Differences in child labour estimates

9 UNICEFS and ILOs standard definitions UNICEF = involvement in unpaid household services and/or in economic activities -Children aged 5–11 years engaged in at least 1 hour of economic work or 28 hours of domestic work per week -Children aged 12–14 years engaged in at least 14 hours of economic work or 28 hours of domestic work per week -Children aged years engaged in at least 43 hours of economic work or domestic work per week -Children of any age in hazardous working conditions ILO = involvement in economic activities only -Children aged 5–11 years engaged in at least 1 hour of economic work -Children aged 12–14 years engaged in at least 14 hours of economic work -Children aged years engaged in at least 43 hours of economic work -Children of any age in hazardous working conditions

10 Framework for the statistical identification of child labor Age group General production boundary SNA productionNon-SNA production Light work Regular work Worst forms of child labor Hazardous unpaid household services Other non-SNA production Hazardous workWorst forms of child labor other than hazardous work Children 5–11 years of age NAAny activity even for at least one hour Employment for 43 hrs or more per week or under hazardous conditions Children trafficked for work; forced and bonded child labor; commercial sexual exploitation of children; use of children for illicit activities and armed conflict Hours threshold? Household chores that are not hazardous Children 12–14 years of age Less than 14 hrs/week 14 or more hrs/week Hours threshold? Children 15–17 years of age Less than 43 hrs/week 43 or more hrs/week Hours threshold? In bold: Denote activities that are considered child labor. Reference: adapted from Dayioglu (2012).

11 SIMPOC surveys Commissioned by governments and implemented with technical support from ILO Not conducted at regular intervals Some 60 surveys conducted so far since 1993 Use module questionnaire (with country adaptations) but national definitions of child labour used to calculate prevalence

12 The case of Rwanda: national definition Child Labour Survey of 2008 Child labourers: children aged 5-17 in economic activities before the minimum age of admission to employment (16 years of age) NOT included (regardless of the intensity of work): children helping parents around the house, assisting in a family business or earning pocket money outside school hours and during school holidays Applying the national definition, only 6.6% of children aged 5-17 years were considered child labourers

13 Impact of fetching water/collecting firewood on child labour estimates

14 Background Fetching water and collecting firewood included in the UN System of National Accounts (SNA) as economic activities (1993, Statistical Commission) MICS3 = fetching water or collecting firewood as household chores (at least 28 hours per week) MICS4 = fetching water or collecting firewood as economic activities (at least 1/14 hours per week) New estimates also recalculated for DHS surveys that used MICS4 modules (Burkina Faso, Burundi, Rwanda)

15 Children aged 5-11 Less than 1 hour Children aged hours Children aged hours Children aged Less than 1 hour Children aged hours Children aged hours Burundi (DHS 2010) Rwanda (DHS 2010) Children engaged in fetching water/collecting firewood, by age groups and by hours

16 Current and planned activities New module questionnaire for MICS5 (background data analyses, testing) Data analysis on household chores and impacts on education to support threshold for household chores Data analysis on fetching water and collecting firewood Preparatory meeting with ILO ICLS 2013

17 Thank you


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