Children working in the urban informal economy: evidence from West and Central Africa

Thorsen, Dorte (2012) Children working in the urban informal economy: evidence from West and Central Africa. Discussion Paper. UNICEF WCAR, Dakar.

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This briefing paper focuses on boys and girls working in the urban informal economy1, some of whom grew up in the city while others have migrated from rural areas in search of work and education. Activities in the informal economy are often labelled as self-employment, small-scale businesses that depend on unpaid family labour or as illegal activities. However, the flow of capital from formal employment into informal activities has led to stratification among the actors operating in the urban informal economy and to the emergence of casual work and waged employment. The informal economy constitutes a labour market for child workers with fluctuations in labour demand. Children engage in a wide range of occupations, primarily in trade, services, handicraft and entertainment, hence the analysis focuses on recruitment practices, the potential for developing skills to engage in other types of work and the motivations behind children’s trajectories within the urban informal economy in order to identify how
these children can best be supported.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Discussion Paper)
Keywords: West Africa, Central Africa, development studies, urban studies, apprenticeship, child labour, child migration, child protection
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
H Social Sciences
L Education
Depositing User: Dorte Thorsen
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2012 09:09
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2012 09:09

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