In fact many have noted an unselfish tendency among

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In fact, many have noted an unselfish tendency among working children's own groups and organizations to reach out to other children they consider worse off. Through participation children also learn patience and acquire more realistic expectations as they both help plan their own lives and learn that things never go quite according to plan. Article 12 of the CRC provides for the opinions of children to be heard and considered in matters concerning them, but it does not demand that their wishes prevail. Adults do not relinquish their responsibilities for society's major decisions simply by consulting children. Children's views should be balanced with those of others having an understanding of the situation, for children are not always aware of what is in their best interests. Consultation should not occur in a vacuum, for children are part of a social context in which others also have important viewpoints, and often the power to impose them on children. Therefore, good situation analysis must include an assessment of which people and organizations have a vested interest in children's work, their interest being made explicit. These people need to he seen as potential allies in interventions on children's behalf. Actively involving them in decisions concerning children's well-being helps create support for action and can reduce opposition to incorporating children into planning and decision-making. It is also helpful to include mechanisms for consulting with children that are not participating directly in any programme. 19 "promoting the Best Interests of Working Children
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PRIORITIES FOR GOVERNMENT ACTION Governments concerned to respond more effectively to the problems and needs of working children must first of all bring a more child-centred view of child work into both legislative and administrative policy. They have traditionally treated child labour primarily as a labour market issue, codifying policy within the legal framework that regulates workplaces and entrusting its implementation to the Ministry of Labour. While this is one valid perspective on child work, it is too narrow as was discussed above to adequately promote the best interests either of children or of the national society. Child labour can be addressed much more fruitfully for both children and nation as a human development issue. This suggests that child work should be an important topic of consideration in both education and social welfare ministries. A child-centred approach to child work might find its best home, however, in national human resources development policy. Progressive policies of this type seek to conserve the human potential of the country's children and support combinations of education and experience necessary for them to realize that potential. This framework is suitable for building on the positive social, economic and learning value of appropriate work while at the same time actively discouraging child exploitation and abuse.
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