Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
Child labour, education, and health: A review of the literature
This ILO paper reviews the rapidly-expanding literature on the relationships between child labour, education and health. With the renewed interest in child labour as an economic and social problem during the 1990s, researchers have attempted to assess its linkages to the core elements of human capital, hoping to solve continuing riddles in development policy and improve the quality of life for the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged inhabitants.
This review finds that the central questions of much of this research are wrongly posed, as they often fail to take into account the contexts of children and families around the world. The economic causes of child labour are not the same everywhere, nor are the cultural factors governing the role of children in society. Educational and health systems, and the expectations ordinary people have of them, also vary. This complexity poses large technical difficulties is measurement and analysis.