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Children at Work: Child Labor Practices in Africa

Anne Kielland and Maurizia Tovo
Children at Work: Child Labor Practices in Africa
ISBN: 978-1-58826-409-1
ISBN: 978-1-58826-433-6
2006/191 pages/LC: 2005029746

"A very thoughtful and useful book on the causes, patterns, and consequences of, and solutions to, child labor in Africa."—Beverly Grier, African Studies Review


In this accessible treatment of child labor in Africa, straightforward prose is enriched throughout with photographs that give a human face to the issues involved.

The authors draw on sources ranging from scholarly studies to children's own voices. After providing a general background to the topic—debunking myths in the process—they describe the work typically done by African children in the home, as apprentices, and in commercial labor markets. They also present a clearheaded discussion of the worst, exploitive kinds of child labor. The book ends with a discussion of the effects of work on children, suggesting a variety of concrete, realistic approaches to minimizing negative consequences.


Anne Kielland consults with the World Bank, NGOs, and corporations in the area of child protection. Her pioneering work includes large-scale studies of the labor migration of children in West Africa and the role of children in household risk management. Maurizia Tovo is on the staff of the World Bank, where she is a social protection specialist for West Africa and coordinates the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Thematic Group.


  • Child Labor in Africa: Where to Start?
  • Child Labor in and Around the Household.
  • Child Labor as Apprenticeship Arrangement.
  • Child Labor in the Commercial Labor Market.
  • The Worst Forms of Child Labor.
  • Consequences.
  • Possible Cures.
  • Conclusion.