NATs: working children’s identity. The particular case of the Bolivian working children’s union within the Western child labour discourse.
According to the International Labour Organization, more than 850’000 children execute lucrative activities in Bolivia. Through the Western discourse on child labour, children who work are often specifically characterized and connected with negative terms such as exploitation and poverty. The Bolivian working children have created their own labour union, the UNATsBO, in order to defend their right to work and to promote a positive perception on children’s work. After years of demands from the UNATsBO, the Bolivian government promulgated a new law authorizing children’s work under the age of 14 in July 2014. I conducted fieldwork from May to August 2014 with children affiliated to the local sub-group of the UNATsBO in Cochabamba. In this thesis I describe the children’s work life in a cemetery and in a market place and their role as UNATsBO representatives during the negotiation around the new law. From a methodological point of view, I describe the strategies to gather some bits of the chil-dren’s lives using a video camera. This work is about the incongruence between the West’s attitude towards child labour as a global issue, and the reality experienced on a daily basis by children working in the surroundings of Cochabamba.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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