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Defining children's rights to work and care in Sub-Saharan Africa: tensions and challenges in policy and practice

Evans, R. and Skovdal, M. (2015) Defining children's rights to work and care in Sub-Saharan Africa: tensions and challenges in policy and practice. In: Kallio, K., Mills, S. and Skelton, T. (eds.) Politics, Citizenship and Rights. Geographies of Children and Young People, 7. Springer. ISBN 9789814585569

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Abstract/Summary

This chapter explores the spatialities of children's rights through a focus on how children's paid and unpaid work in Sub-Saharan Africa intersects with wider debates about child labor, child domestic work and young caregiving. Several tensions surround the universalist and individualistic nature of the rights discourse in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa and policymakers, practitioners, children and community members have emphasized children's responsibilities to their families and communities, as well as their rights. The limitations of ILO definitions of child labor and child domestic work and UNCRC concerns about 'hazardous' and 'harmful' work are highlighted through examining the situation of children providing unpaid domestic and care support to family members in the private space of their own or a relative's home. Differing perspectives towards young caregiving have been adopted to date by policymakers and practitioners in East Africa, ranging from a child labor/ child protection/ abolitionist approach, to a 'young carers'/ child-centered rights perspective. These differing perspectives influence the level and nature of support and resources that children involved in care work may be able to access. A contextual, multi-sectorial approach to young caregiving is needed that seeks to understand children's, family members' and community members' perceptions of what constitutes inappropriate caring responsibilities within particular cultural contexts and how these should best be alleviated.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Human Environments
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:40522
Publisher:Springer

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