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International Review of Education

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 127–147 | Cite as

The Right to Education for Children in Domestic Labour: Empirical Evidence from Kenya

  • Ishmael I. MuneneEmail author
  • Sara J. Ruto
Article

Abstract

Since 1948, various UN conventions have recognised basic education as a human right. Yet this right continues to be denied to many child labourers across the world. This articles draws on the results of a study examining how children in domestic labour in Kenya access and participate in education. Three issues were explored: (1) the correlates of child domestic labourers; (2) their working conditions and contexts; and (3) the right to education. Interviews and group discussions held in one city and two rural districts elicited data from 91 child domestic labourers and 84 adults. The results indicated that child labour was both poverty-induced and adult-initiated, and that children worked in hazardous environments characterised by economic exploitation. Most did not attend school; those who did had to contend with a rigid school structure and an authoritarian class environment. Children in domestic labour often skipped school, and their participation in classes was low.

Keywords

Basic Education Child Labour International Labour Organisation Domestic Labour Economic Exploitation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Résumé

LE DROIT À L’ÉDUCATION POUR LES ENFANTS EMPLOYÉS DOMESTIQUES: DONNÉES EMPIRIQUES DU KENYA – Depuis 1948 diverses conventions des Nations Unies ont reconnu le droit à l’éducation de base comme droit humain. Cependant beaucoup d’enfants qui travaillent dans le monde entier sont encore privés de ce droit. Cet article se fonde sur les résultats d’une étude qui examine dans quelle mesure les enfants employés domestiques ont accès à l’éducation et y participent. Trois questions ont été analysées: (1) les corrélats des enfants employés domestiques; (2) leurs conditions et situations de travail; et (3) le droit à l’éducation. Des entretiens et des discussions de groupe menées dans une ville et dans deux zones rurales ont permis de recueillir des données de 91 enfants employés domestiques et 84 adultes. Les résultats ont montré que le travail des enfants résultait de la pauvreté et était organisé par les adultes. Il s’est avéré que les enfants travaillaient dans des environnements dangereux et étaient exploités sur le plan économique. La plupart d’entre eux ne fréquentaient pas l’école et ceux qui s’y rendaient devaient subir une structure scolaire rigide et une autorité abusive en classe. Les enfants employés domestiques n’allaient pas à l’école et leur participation en classe était minimale.

Zusammenfassung

KINDERARBEIT IM HAUSHALT UND DAS RECHT AUF BILDUNG: EINE EMPIRISCHE UNTERSUCHUNG AUS KENIA – Seit 1948 haben verschiedene Un-Konventionen das Recht auf Bildung als Bestandteil der Menschenrechte anerkannt. Dennoch wird die Wahrnehmung dieses Rechts Kinderarbeitern überall auf der Welt verwehrt. Dieser Artikel präsentiert die Ergebnisse einer Studie in Kenia über Bildungszugänge und Unterrichtsbesuch von Kindern, die als Hausangestellte arbeiten. Die Studie weist drei Schwerpunkte auf: (1) äußere Zusammenhänge der Kinderarbeit, (2) Arbeitsbedingungen und Kontexte, (3) das Recht auf Bildung. In Interviews und Gruppendiskussionen in einer Stadt und zwei ländlichen Distrikten wurden Aussagen von 91 kindlichen Hausangestellten und 84 Erwachsenen erhoben. Das Ergebnis zeigt, dass die Gründe für die Kinderarbeit sowohl in der Armut als auch im Verhalten der Erwachsenen lagen, und dass die Kinder risikoreichen Arbeitsbedingungen und ökonomischer Ausbeutung unterworfen waren. Die meisten der kindlichen Hausangestellten gingen nicht zur Schule. Diejenigen, die zur Schule gingen, hatten mit rigiden Schulstrukturen und autoritären Unterrichtsbedingungen zu kämpfen. Sie beteiligten sich wenig am Unterricht und schwänzten oft.

Resumen

EL DERECHO A LA EDUCACIÓN PARA LOS NIÑOS QUE TRABAJAN EN TAREAS DOMÉSTICAS: EVIDENCIA EMPÍRICA DE KENIA – Desde el año 1948, diversas convenciones de las Naciones Unidas reconocen la educación básica como derecho humano. Sin embargo, este derecho les sigue siendo negado a muchos trabajadores infantiles en todo el mundo. Este artículo expone los resultados de un estudio destinado a comprobar cómo acceden y participan de la educación los niños que en Kenia trabajan en tareas domésticas. Se han analizado tres puntos: (1) Las circunstancias que acompañan al trabajo doméstico infantil; (2) sus condiciones y contextos de trabajo, y (3) el derecho a la educación. De las entrevistas y de las discusiones en grupo realizadas en una ciudad y en dos distritos rurales se obtuvieron datos de 91 trabajadores domésticos infantiles y de 84 adultos. Los resultados indicaron que el trabajo infantil estaba inducido por la pobreza y que se debía a la iniciativa de personas adultas, y que los niños trabajaban en entornos de riesgo, caracterizados por la explotación económica. La mayor parte de ellos no concurría a la escuela, y los que lo hacían se veÍan confrontados con una rígida estructura escolar y un entorno autoritario en las aulas. Los niños ocupados en tareas domésticas frecuentemente faltaban a la escuela, y cuando no lo hacían, su participación en las clases era muy reducida. Open image in new window

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Leadership Department, College of EducationNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational Foundations, School of EducationKenyatta UniversityNairobiKenya

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