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1 N Ruth Gasson University of Otago College of Education © 2007

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1 1 N Ruth Gasson University of Otago College of Education © 2007

2 2 Background information Relevant sections of three international conventions: Their images of childhood and implications Young workers in New Zealand/Britian This study Interviews with nine parents (2009) Discussion & Conclusion

3 3 ILO C138: Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (MAC) UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 (CRC) ILO C182: Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (WFCLC) © 2008 Nikolai Nikonov

4 4 An ILO core convention Member states are required to prohibit the employment of school-aged children (those under 15 years, or the minimum school-leaving age, whichever is higher). They may nominate permissible light work for specified numbers of hours for children aged 13 years and over in relatively affluent countries, or 12 years and over in poorer countries (Bourdillon, White, & Myers, 2009). [ ILO MAC ]ILO MAC

5 5 Children fired from regulated employment: 1993: Bangladesh export garment industries employed girls from 11 years - 55,000 dismissed for fear of international boycott (White, 1996). 1995: Moroccan textile and garment industry girls aged fired (Bourdillon et al., 2010). © UNICEF/Bangladesh/Simone Vis

6 6 Article 3 requires that the best interests of the child be a primary consideration. Article 12 provides children with participation rights. Article 32 (1) protects children from exploitation and hazardous work and (2) requires state parties to set a minimum age or ages for entry into employment. (Note NZ reservation) [ UN CRC ]UN CRC

7 7 Covers: Article 3(d) work which by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children. Only harmless work is not covered (Bourdillon, White, & Myers, 2009). © 2007 Ton Rulkens [ ILO WFCLC ]ILO WFCLC

8 Multi-ethnic population: Mäori (indigenous), Pacific, Asian, Päkehä/European High levels of socio-economic inequality (Wilkinson & Pickett, 2009) New Zealanders can legally enter into employment contracts at any age (Roth, 2010). People under 15 are prohibited from working in dangerous workplaces. People under 16 can not work during school hours, or between 10pm and 6am. 8

9 New Zealand Half of 13 year olds work for pay ¾ work for pay by age 16 (ONeill, 2010) Britain The majority of students work for pay before leaving school. About 90% of young employees had not obtained the required work permit (Lavalette et al., 1995, cited in White, 1996, p. 832) 9

10 10 (Gasson et al., 2003)

11 11 Why are students from European/Päkehä families and high decile schools more likely to be employed than students from: Minority ethnic groups? Low decile schools? How is family culture/beliefs related to children s work? What do families identify as the advantages/ disadvantages of paid work?

12 12 Survey & individual interviews with 9 parents (2009) A relatively homogeneous sample of parents European/Päkehä, middle/upper income, well-educated, aged years © 2007 a4gpa

13 13 Seven encouraged their children into and within employment. Helped them find jobs Transported them to and from work Supervised work They are responsible … there are times when they are unwell or pushed for time with school commitments or other commitments that we will pitch in and help, but for the most part we dont. Scaffolded independence The remaining two were more concerned about protecting their children

14 14 Parents who discouraged work were worried it would be detrimental to schooling Six of the severn parents who encouraged work did not think it was detrimental to schooling The remaining parent was concerned that her son liked employment but disliked school. One childs school grades had improved since he had begun his paper delivery job.

15 15 Employment enabled children to fund goods and experiences their parents could not afford. [She could] keep up with her mates... from quite wealthy families Parents who encouraged employment believed the advantages outweighed the disadvantages. © 2007 Mcahsens

16 16 Seven parents encouraged independence by: Expecting children to pay for luxury goods; Allowing children to pay for experiences the parents could not afford; Allowing children freedom to decide how to spend money. Two parents had reservations about children being employed, earning money, acquiring luxury goods and gaining independence. © 2007 Jamie Barrows

17 17 Its sheltering children from becoming too old too quickly, and I think work does expose you to a lot of other things in life that are not always pleasant.... the trials of being employed will come quick enough. I dont believe you need that burden too soon. © 2006

18 18 wherever they work, children are likely to be paid less well than adults and have less power than adults to change their circumstances (Leonard, p. 195). Families unaware of their childs entitlement to a written contract Lack of transparency in pay Poor employment conditions, unsupportive employers Children under 16 given longer hours because they were cheaper to employ © 2007 Amy Kay Watson

19 19 Children, especially employed children, contributed to the running of homes. Families that discouraged paid employment also appeared to expect and get less help from their children in the home. © 2007 Orin Zebest

20 20 Three of the nine parents gave half-hearted support to the idea of a minimum age for employment, suggesting 13 or 14 years. Oh I would say about fourteen, like, I mean I dont know whether its law here, or whether its an unwritten rule, but nobody around here employs kids really under fourteen, you know shops and things, yeah. Most were opposed to government regulation, including the two who were not in favour of children work. Im just not a great fan of giving the Government the right to dictate.

21 21 Two different views of childhood and parenthood: 1.Young people being encouraged and supported to make their own choices and act to further their own ends. Parents aimed to scaffold independence. 2.Young people being viewed as best protected from the economic world and from independent access to money until they mature. However children negotiated to do some work, so were treated as agents.

22 Raises the issue of the ability of young people to control their own lives in the face of adult power. Forced labour is one source of oppression. Being prevented from working can be another. 22

23 23 Bourdillon, F. C., White, B., & Myers, W. E. (2009). Re-assessing minimum-age standards for children's work. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 29(3/4), Bourdillon, M. (2006). Children and work: a review of current literature. Development and Change, 37(6), Gasson, N. R., Linsell, C., Gasson, J., & Mundy-McPherson, S. (2003). Young People and Work (Research report funded by Labour Market Policy Group, Dept. of Labour). Dunedin: Dunedin College of Education. James, A. (2007). Giving voice to children's voices: practices and problems, pitfalls and potentials. American Anthropologist, 109(2), Leonard, M. (2002). Working on your doorstep: child newspaper deliverers in Belfast. Childhood, 9(2), Leonard, M. (2004). Children's views on children's right to work. Childhood, 11(1), Morrow, V. (1994). Responsible Children? Aspects of Children's Work and Employment Outside School in Contemporary UK. In B. Mayall (Ed.), Children's Childhoods: Observed and Experienced (pp ). London: Falmer Press. O'Neill, D. (2010). School children in paid employment: a summary of research findings. Wellington: NZ Department of Labour. Roth, P. (2010). Child labour in New Zealand: A job for the nanny state. Otago Law Review, 12(2), White, B. (1996). Globalisation and the child labour problem. Journal of International Development, 8(6), Woodhead, M. (1998). Children's perspectives of their working lives: a participatory study in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Stockholm: Save the Children. Woodhead, M. (2004). Psychosocial impacts of child work: a framework for research, monitoring and intervention. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 12(4),

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