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Child labour and its elimination in Burkina Faso: practices and paradox of labour inspectors’ role in enforcing child labour legislation
Wouango, Joséphine
2014The 10th Joint Area Centers Symposium: “Children and Globalization: Issues, Policies and Initiatives”
 

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Abstract :
[en] The growing body of literature on child labour in Burkina Faso (a West African country) has mostly addressed, since the 1990s, the causes, the nature of work and the dangers encountered by working children. Whereas much has been written about these aspects, less attention has been paid to the examination of the degree to which international child labour standards have been enforced in this resource-poor country. Accordingly, this paper presents the real functioning of a public service, namely the Labour Inspectorate whose role is to enforce child labour legislation and to protect working children. Based on qualitative analysis of labour inspectors’ opinions through semi-structured interviews and on the viewpoints of other community workers, it addresses the challenges of implementing child labour legislation in Burkina Faso. The paper shows that the labour inspectors, in their everyday activity, have to permanently deal with the ‘risk margin’. On the one hand, they have to enforce the child labour laws and on the other hand they need to recognise the harsh living conditions of children at work and their parents. Their practices reveal a paradoxical situation: the labour inspectors control child labour, but in the formal sector where there are very few children at work. On the contrary, they less control child labour in the informal sectors (e.g. quarries, mines, farms) where thousands of children are performing “dangerous activities”. The paper explains the reasons of this paradox and addresses the global challenges facing policies and practices in the fight against child labour in Burkina Faso. It shows that labour inspectors are dealing with an almost impossible mission and that child labour eradication cannot be effective without the means of its enforcement.
Disciplines :
Sociology & social sciences
Author, co-author :
Wouango, Joséphine  ;  Université de Liège > Institut des sciences humaines et sociales > Sociologie du développement
Language :
English
Title :
Child labour and its elimination in Burkina Faso: practices and paradox of labour inspectors’ role in enforcing child labour legislation
Publication date :
April 2014
Event name :
The 10th Joint Area Centers Symposium: “Children and Globalization: Issues, Policies and Initiatives”
Event organizer :
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Event place :
Illinois, United States
Event date :
10-12 April 2014
Audience :
International
Available on ORBi :
since 18 May 2015

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