The voices of nearly three hundred and sixty thousand children (boys and girls) and over one hundred and sixty four thousand parents (mothers and fathers) from both urban and rural areas of 25 developing countries have been pooled together in this book to analyse the children's and their parents' own experiences, perceptions, priorities and aspirations on the multiple dimensions of the phenomenon of child labour. Data was collected through national child labour surveys carried out during 1999 and 2011. The book synthesises the children's and their parents' own perceptions of why children work, the consequences on family welfare if children stopped work, their future aspirations and reasons for children not attending school drawing on this unique data set. Striking similarities have been noted between the children's and parents' mindsets across countries with diverse social, economic, cultural and political contexts.
Iftikhar Ahmed is a Development Economist having worked at the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva during three decades (1974-2004) in the Employment Sector for many years having led the research programme on technology, environment and employment with a focus on gender issues. He also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the International Labour Review and Director of the ILO's Bureau of Publications. His other ILO assignments included that of the Action Research Coordinator at the ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) and Director of the ILO Office in Jakarta, Indonesia. Prior to joining the ILO, he was a Post-Doctoral Associate at the Iowa State University of Science and Technology, United States, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom, and Associate Professor of Economics, Dhaka University, Bangladesh. He is the author of Technological Change and Agrarian Structure: A study of Bangladesh (Geneva, ILO, 1981) co-editor (with Bill H. Kinsey) of Farm Equipment Innovations in Eastern and Central Southern Africa (Aldershot, United Kingdom, Gower, 1984), editor of Technology and Rural Women: Conceptual and Empirical Issues (London, George Allen & Unwin, 1985), co-editor (with Vernon W. Ruttan) of Generation and Diffusion of Agricultural Innovations: The Role of Institutional Factors (Aldershot, United Kingdom, Gower, 1988), editor of Biotechnology: A Hope or a Threat? (London, Macmillan, 1992), and co-editor (with Jacobus A. Doeleman) of Beyond Rio: The environmental Crisis and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Third World (London, Macmillan, 1995 and New York, St. Martin's Press, 1996).
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