The Right to Education for Children in Domestic Labour: Empirical Evidence from Kenya
Munene, I. I.
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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.