into a Comprehensive Child Labor Prevention Strategy
In Brazil, where a quarter of the population
lives below the poverty line, families see little choice
but to send
their underage children to work. Although the government
ratified a Children and Adolescent Act to extend citizens’ rights
to youth and signed the International Labor Organization
Child Labor Conventions, millions of children and youth in
Brazil continue to work, with about one in five working under
hazardous and abusive conditions. The majority of underage
urban child laborers are involved in the informal labor sector,
which includes prostitution, garbage picking, and domestic
work. Child labor contributes to low school enrollment levels,
high repetition and dropout rates, and a high rate of illiteracy
among children and youth.
To address this issue, a BEPS team
provided technical assistance to USAID/Brazil to develop
a preliminary strategy for using
basic education to reduce abusive child labor. Team members
reviewed documents and data concerning the magnitude of the
problem and the programs that were currently being implemented.
They visited sites and conducted interviews with over 20
groups and organizations in Salvador, Fortaleza, and Recife.
Design options were specifically tailored to the circumstances
of the northeastern region, where underage work is prevalent
and where USAID/Brazil has been implementing a program to
help at-risk children and youth.
From this analysis, the BEPS
team proposed a strategy to minimize child labor by strengthening
basic education and
complementary nonformal education activities with assistance
to existing family support structures, coordinating and integrating
child labor policies, and better implementing these policies
at the national, state, and local levels.
- Strategy for USAID/Brazil’s Child Labor/Education
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