A cultural understanding of child labour in Lower Nyakach, Kisumu District (Kenya)
As early as 1919, the International Community was addressing the problem of Child Labour - one of the first International concerns. At both national and international levels, laws have been passed and ratified, safeguarding the interest and welfare of the child. Several conventions have been held, recommendations of which are almost universally ratified today. Child welfare institutions at international level like UNICEF and at national level have come up as strategies for containing the problem. In Kenya African Network for the Protection and Prevention of Children Against Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAAN), (Kenya Chapter), Child Welfare Society of Kenya and several church - based organizations have been set up to address child welfare yet child labour, todate, remains a major threat to the development and welfare of the child and a major concern. Even though drawing such a magnitude of attention, the escalating rate of child involvement in labour is mind boggling. Efforts have been focussed on child employment in the industrial and plantation agricultural sectors, and in the urban centres, yet it is the rural and particularly in the family and household sector in which majority of children are involved in detrimental child labour. Containing and erradicating the problem calls for a conceptualization of child labour within a cultural context and understanding the cultural forces attendant to it. The approach then has to be holistic and multifaceted. iv This study is a comprehensive ethnographic analysis of the cultural understanding of Child Labour in Lower Nyakach in Kisumu District (Kenya). The study focuses on cultural definition ofthe child, work, and the cultural understanding of child welfare. It also focuses attention on the socialization process which children of this society go through and its role in child labour, socio-demographic determinants of child labour, exploitative nature of child labour and its implications on the development and welfare of the child. Making its analysis in a socio-cultural context and framework, this study finally makes recommendations on how to contain and erradicate child labour in all sectors of society - rural, urban, industrial and domestic.