Child domestic workers: Evidence from West and Central Africa

A third of all children in West and Central Africa are estimated to work full- or part-time, paid or unpaid. Many of children are involved in hazardous and harmful economic activities, such as working in mines. Some are also exploited for sex and trafficked. Based on a review of a broad range of literature – spanning from newspaper articles, to reports of commissioned research, to Master and Doctoral theses, to peer reviewed academic publications – this briefing paper focuses specifically on children’s experience of doing domestic work and on their aspirations for the future to bring to light a nuanced perspective of children’s dreams, strategies and tactics whether they have looked for domestic work themselves or have been put to work by their parents or guardians. The paper is aimed towards professionals working on child protection, education and social policy in countries in West and Central Africa.

Published 2012-07-05