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82164_Chapter_11.pdf

426 although the problems of children of sub saharan

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impact of HIV/AIDS on children’s lives” (2006, p. 426). Although the problems of children of sub-Saharan Africa may seem over- whelming, there are possible long-term solutions. Like the street children in Brazil, these African children and youth display strong resilience and collec- tive support for one another in their daily lives (Mizen & Ofosu-Kusi, 2013). The brightest rays of hope come from NGOs like those in Brazil, which have sprung up in local communities and can make a real difference in children’s lives. Support of these organizations, especially by foreign donors and the international financial community, as well as government reform could bring about real change. However, these efforts must be carried out with a deep understanding of the culture, customs, and ways of life of those children and adults in need. Poverty and Child Labor in Developing Countries Worldwide children are involved in paid and unpaid forms of work that are not considered harmful. However, “they are classified as child laborers when they are either too young to work or involved in hazardous activities that may compromise their physical, mental, social or educational develop- ment. The prevalence of child labour is highest in sub-Saharan Africa. In the least developed countries nearly one in four children (ages 5 to 14) are engaged in labour that is considered detrimental to their health and develop- ment” (UNICEF, 2016c). Copyright ©2018 by SAGE Publications, Inc. This work may not be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without express written permission of the publisher. Draft Proof - Do not copy, post, or distribute
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CHAPTER 11: Children, Social Problems, and Society 313 One area in which growing recognition of the plight of children in devel- oping countries may be effecting change is in the area of child labor exploi- tation. But again as we saw in the Western conceptualizations of poverty, street children, and HIV/AIDS in the developing world, child labor is a complex issue. One reason for the routine exploitation of children’s labor is the contradiction that exists between legislation and enforcement of child labor laws in many parts of the world. As Qvortrup noted, many countries “turn a blind eye” to the reality of extensive, full-time child labor despite child labor laws. Furthermore, because much of children’s work is illegal, “they are rendered vulnerable to exploitation over conditions, hours, pay and safety standards—factors which for adult workers are regulated by their unions” (Qvortrup, 1991, p. 31; but also see Mizen, Pole, & Bolton, 2001, for discussions of the complexities of child labor in industrialized societies in North America, Europe, and the former Soviet Union; and Nieuwenhuys, 2009, for an instructive discussion of the global nature of children’s work and the importance of not just protecting children from exploitive work but also guaranteeing their rights as workers for work they desire to undertake for their livelihoods and those of their families). Two possible solutions to these problems are (a) international condemnation of the problem along
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