A history of child labour in Portugal

PVV (Pedro) da silva Goulart, Arjun Bedi

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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This paper uses historical and current data covering the period 1850 to 2001 to
provide a history of child labour in Portugal. The Portuguese experience is set
against the backdrop of the country’s changing economic structure, changes in
education and minimum working age policies and the changing norms
espoused by its people. The paper highlights the rapid post-1986 decline in
child labour which is interpreted in terms of the cascading effect of policies
that operated synchronously. Our assessment of the Portuguese experience
suggests that while legal measures such as minimum working age requirements
and compulsory schooling laws do help reduce child labour, no single
legislation or policy is likely to be effective unless the various pieces come
together. The use of children in the labour market appears to be driven mainly
by the needs of the economic structure of the country, which in turn may be
reflected in the norms and values espoused by its political leaders and their
willingness to pass and implement legal measures.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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