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Title: Child labour in Old Cairo and the roles children negotiate through work, leisure and family bonds
Author: Rifaey, Tonia
ISNI:       0000 0001 3518 5410
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis looks at 49 child labourers from a poor district in Old Cairo, Egypt and how they negotiate their roles. The children are all employed by the pottery factories in Old Cairo, and work six days a week for an average of 11 hours a day. Most of these children have never received any formal education and are under the legal age of employment. The thesis will explore the children's interactions with their families, friends and employers through the use of case studies, structured interviews and photo-elicitation. Most of the children attended a centre run by a local NGO that was geared to enhance their skills as artists, attending every week on Fridays, their only day off. The age range studied was from 9 to 15 years of age. The families of these child labourers depend on them financially, just as the children depend on their parents for security and nurturing. Child labourers participate actively within their own lives, constantly negotiating constraints and rights that they believe are important to them. Families actively seek what is best for the family as a unit, which includes preserving the pride of the family at all costs. Education is continually contrasted against the children's employment, yet education comes with many hidden costs and with longer term gains. For the child labourers and their families the here and now is what dictates what is most suitable for the families. Children's rights, based on conventions and legislations in the Arab world, have very little weight compared to the traditional customs that families apply to their own situation. While child labour, specifically hazardous labour, is not the ideal place for children to inhabit, it is also by many accounts their choice to continue in the role. The child labourers had voices and, when asked, speak about their hopes and dreams. Many, specifically boys, stated their preference to stay within the labour market. It is therefore the aim of this thesis to represent the voices and describe the lives of these children, as well as to address their ability to follow and negotiate for their rights.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available