IREWOC-related Publications


Hazardous Child Labour in Latin America

Lieten, G.K. (Ed.)
Springer, 2011, 2

Keywords:  Child Labour - Child Miners - IREWOC - Latin America - MDG - Primary Education - UN - Worst forms of Child Labour - Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility - Labor Economics - Public Health - Well-Being

From children working on Bolivian sugar cane plantations to child miners in Peru, child labour lingers on in many parts of the world, including Latin America. There are various reasons as to why child labour continues to be such a tenuous social problem. There is disagreement on its causes and thus also disagreement on the solutions. There is even disagreement on the extent of the problem. In order to bridge this lack of information and to stimulate policy interventions, the IREWOC Foundation (International Research on Working Children) has undertaken action-based research in the field of the worst forms of child labour in Latin America. This book is based on the foundation's research.
It aims to document the living and working conditions of child labourers, to explore the true reasons why children are (still) working under harmful conditions, and to identify and analyse initiatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations to eliminate these worst forms of child labour. In the face of challenges imposed by achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the UN, specific attention was paid to educational initiatives.
Although the evidence from the various cases discussed in the book illustrates positive trends in terms of the worst forms of child labour, thousands of children were still found to be engaged in activities that form a direct threat to their health and jeopardize their education. This book proposes several practical recommendations for possible interventions. It offers a qualitative focus and concentrates on the community level.


Child Labour and Child Rights

G.K. Lieten
Dhaka: The University Press Limited, 2009

The book addresses various issues related to child-based policies. Using anthropological, economic and politcal approaches it analyses the situation, and draws on fieldwork conducted in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Topics related to the most marginalized children of the world include agency, the universality of rights, rights versus needs, the definitions and causes of child labour, and child labour and education. The publication also looks at the impact of globalisation and the various policy options, including child labour unions and trade related measures.

The book is academic yet accessible in style, and will benefit university courses as well as child-centred organizations. It combines a discussion on theoretical insights and policy instruments with the reality in the field and thus offers scope for a more practical understanding of interventions which would benefit the most marginalized children. 

The publication can be bought from the IREWOC office by sending your order to

Children, School and Work: Glimpses from India

G.K. Lieten, A.K. Karan and A.K. Satpathy
New Delhi: Institute for Human Development
Amsterdam: Irewoc, 2005

This book presents a micro-level study through the eyes of children in half a dozen different locations in India. [Read more]

Child Labour: Burning Questions

By G.K. Lieten.
Amsterdam: Aksant Publishers, 2005

Read the abstract>>>

Dutch version: Kinderarbeid: Prangende Vragen en Contouren voor Onderzoek
Inaugural Professorial Lecture Child Labour, Amsterdam, 21 November 2003    
Volledige Tekst

Views on Development: The Local and the Global in India and Pakistan

By G.K. Lieten
New Delhi: Three Essays, 2004

The book contains a chapter in which women and men in a high fertility area in Pakistan explain their reasons for having so many children and how they are related to child labour. It also has a chapter on postmodernism and development and on the village discourse on state and development.

Read more in a book review in The Mail and in Dawn

The Child Labour Problem. Issues and Solutions

Edited by G.K. Lieten
Amsterdam/Geneva: Irewoc and DCI, 2004

Read the abstract >>>

Spanish version: El problema del trabajo infantil. Temas y Soluciones
G.K. Lieten (compilador). La Paz - Bolivia: C&C Editores, 2005.

Portuguese version: O Problema do Trabalho Infantil. Temas e Solucoes
Brasil - 2007

All three versions can be ordered in hard copy from

issues and problems

Working Children Around the World. Child Rights and Child Reality

Edited by G.K. Lieten, New Delhi: Manohar, 2004

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Spanish version: La Niñez Trabajadora Alrededor del Mundo. Derechos infantiles y realidad de la niñez
G.K. Lieten (compilador), La Paz- Bolivia: C&C Editores, 2005

Copies of the Spanish version can be ordered from

The Causes for Child Labour in India: the Poverty Analysis

Indian Journal of Labour Economics by G.K. Lieten, 2003

Different explanations for the continuing existence of child labour find many takers. There is a debate between the poverty paradigm and the culture paradigm. Another discussion takes place between the scholars who look at the supply side (the characteristics and free choice of parents and children) and at the demand side (the search by employers for cheap and a docile labour force). In an article (Poverty of Analysis) in which he looks at the empirical data on India, Kristoffel Lieten argues that the demand for labour generally (as measured in the labour participation ratio of -female- adult labour) is an important but neglected variable. He combines various explanatory models and is hesitant to put the responsibility on the supply side, as many economic studies do. The article has been published in the Indian Journal of Labour Economics and can be downloaded here>>>

Small Hands in South Asia. Child Labour in Perspective

Edited by G.K. Lieten, Ravi Srivastava and Sukhdao Thorat
New Delhi: Manohar, 2003

This is a selection of articles presented at a conference on child labour in October 2001, in New Delhi. [Read more]

The book can be ordered from the publisher Manohar Publishers, New Delhi


Child Labour: Policy Options

Edited by G.K. Lieten and Ben White
Amsterdam: Aksant Academic Publishers, 2001

Spanish Edition: Trabajo Infantil. Politicas y Opciones
Edited by G.K. Lieten and Ben White. La Paz: IDIS, 2002

This book aims to fill an important gap in the child labour literature by bringing together a selection of policy perspectives on child labour issues by authors who stand at the forefront of research and/or policy analysis in the field. [Read more]

A very limited number of copies are available (euro 25, postage included).
Order from  


Child Labour and Child Health

Edited by Frans de Waal et al.
Amsterdam: Spinhuis, 1998

This is one of the few publications available on the health impact of child labour [Read more]

A very limited number of books are available (euro 16, postage included). Order from  

work and health