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Understanding Child Labor in Ghana Beyond Poverty : The Structure of the Economy, Social Norms, and No Returns to Rural Basic Education

ACCOUNT ADULT LITERACY ADULT LITERACY PROGRAMS ADULTS AGE GROUPS BASIC EDUCATION BASIC EDUCATION LEVEL BASIC SCHOOLING BASIC SCHOOLS CHILD LABOR CHILD LABOR LAWS CHILD LABOR LEGISLATION CHILD LABOUR CHILD TRAFFICKING COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY SCHOOL COMPARATIVE EDUCATION COMPLETION RATES CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD EDUCATION AUTHORITIES EDUCATION EXPENDITURE EDUCATION MANAGEMENT EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES EDUCATION PLANNERS EDUCATIONAL COSTS EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES EDUCATIONAL POLICIES EDUCATIONAL SERVICES ENROLMENT GROWTH ETHICS FOOD INSECURITY FREE BASIC EDUCATION GIRLS HIGHER LEVELS OF EDUCATION HUMAN RIGHTS INTERVENTIONS LEARNING LEARNING ACHIEVEMENT LEGISLATION LEVEL OF EDUCATION LITERACY PROGRAMS LIVING CONDITIONS LIVING STANDARDS MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM MIDDLE SCHOOL MINORS OLDER CHILDREN OUT-OF-SCHOOL CHILDREN PARENTAL EDUCATION PARENTS PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN PARTICIPATION RATES POOR CHILDREN PRIMARY DATA PRIMARY EDUCATION PRIMARY SCHOOL PRIMARY SCHOOLS PRIMARY STUDENT PRIMARY STUDENTS PRIVATE SCHOOL PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS PUBLIC EXPENDITURE REGISTRATION FEES RETURNS TO EDUCATION RIGHT OF THE CHILD RURAL AREAS RURAL BASIC EDUCATION RURAL VILLAGE SCHOOL AGE SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN SCHOOL ATTENDANCE SCHOOL CALENDAR SCHOOL CALENDARS SCHOOL CONTEXTS SCHOOL COSTS SCHOOL ENROLMENT SCHOOL EXPENDITURE SCHOOL FEEDING SCHOOL FEES SCHOOL HOURS SCHOOL LOCATION SCHOOL PARTICIPATION SCHOOL SUPPLIES SCHOOL SUPPLY SCHOOL UNIFORMS SCHOOL YEAR SCHOOLING SECONDARY SCHOOL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT SOCIAL PROTECTION SOCIAL SERVICES SOCIAL WELFARE STREET CHILDREN TEACHER TEACHER SALARIES TEACHERS TEXTBOOKS UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION WAGES WORKING CHILDREN YOUTH poverty agriculture
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Ghana
2013-09-26T18:12:24Z | 2013-09-26T18:12:24Z | 2013-06

One in six children age 6-14 are engaged in labor activities in Ghana, with child employment being the leading alternative to schooling. By exploring structural, institutional, geographic, monetary, demographic, and cultural factors affecting household decisions about child labor, the paper's main purpose is to identify the conditions and characteristics of working children, the root causes of their vulnerability, and thus help to inform decision-makers and actors who draft and implement public policy of possible ways to tackle child labor in Ghana. The paper empirically assesses the effects of individual, household, community, regional, and national factors on child labor simultaneously. Findings from the analysis indicate that the underlying causes of child labor vary from factors as widespread in their influence as the structure of the economy (which is largely shaped by family farming), demographics and relevant social norms to those as specific in their manifestation as the geographic isolation of particular groups in the North, a lack of higher returns to schooling up to the basic education level in rural areas, and the low priority and capacity to enforce anti-child labor laws. In addition, an interview conducted with the Minister of Education as well as interviews with Ghanaian children help identify specific interdependencies between child labor and schooling and highlight the societal and economic demand for children to be working. Finally, after identifying which constraints and enabling factors are most important, the paper outlines policy and reform approaches to tackle child labor in Ghana.

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