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Hacia la Promoción de la Salud

Print version ISSN 0121-7577

Abstract

PICO MERCHAN, María Eugenia  and  SALAZAR HENAO, Myriam. CHILD LABOR AS AN UPBRINGING PRACTICE: A MARKET SQUARE CONTEXT. Hacia promoc. Salud [online]. 2008, vol.13, n.1, pp.95-120. ISSN 0121-7577.

This article is a qualitative research with a comprehensive approach that studied the conceptions and forms of expression in regards to employment. The study was done based on the experiences of working children and their families through different techniques to approach the subject of study, making possible the reconstruction of the stories and texts that showed the senses regarding child labor. Child labor in market places, expressed in street and mobile sales, configure practices that reproduce and legitimize a survival way of life, around work and family life that energizes, maintains and reproduces it, as an intergenerational practice. They value their work since it is the way to choose and achieve significant assets considered important, such as expanding their freedom. However, difficulties in their material, social and symbolic conditions of life are perceived; these are necessary to develop their potentials, capabilities and rights. On the one hand, child labor leads to recognition within the family, the main socialization scenario, the relation network; but on the other hand, it becomes a way of responding to exclusion. The above makes sense, on one side, compared to the tensions that emerge between the notion of childhood proposed by the Convention as a modern and contemporary look, and the reality lived by children, characterized by the lack of opportunities and family, educational, employment and social rights conditions; and on the other, social policy is far from a public population policy that includes the voices of children and their families, that transcends the preventional approach to encompass a broader view, affecting the structural conditions that the practice of the universality of rights doesn’t achieve.

Keywords : Child labor; qualitative research; family.

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