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Maßnahmen gegen Kinderarbeit: Nützliches und weniger Nützliches

Joachim Betz

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The problem of child labour did attract considerable attention in international political debates during the last decade; solid empirical results on the spread of child labour, working conditions and payment to economically active children are, however, as rare as concrete programmes (of a certain volume and impact) for the elimination of child labour. The most popular assumption is that child labour is caused primarily by poverty. However, as cross-country studies demonstrate, there are other factors, including poor formal education, accessability of schools, high birth rates, low female participation in the labour market and lack of employment and income alternatives in regions most affected by child labour. To control or eliminate child labour, international trade sanctions or national labour laws do not seem to be very effective, while efforts to improve schooling, to rehabilitate former child workers, to increase employment opportunities for families and to compensate at least partially for forgone income of their children is more promising, yet remains severely underfunded.