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Title: Children in informal trading, Cusco, Peru
Author: Mackie, Peter Kelso
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2007
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Children in informal trading have been the subject of only a limited amount of academic research, most of which considers the broader issues of child labour, informal trading or children's geographies. This thesis brings the fields of enquiry together and investigates the geography of children in informal trading. The study is set in Cusco, a city where children's involvement in the urban informal sector is particularly visible. It aims to identify the space-time patterns of children's work in informal trading, explore their working conditions, investigate children's experiences, examine the ways in which children and their consumers relate to each other during the act of exchange, and consider the policy and legal contexts of child trading in Cusco. A comprehensive multi methodological approach is pursued to meet the objectives, incorporating quantitative and qualitative techniques. The results suggest that children in informal trading occupy two marginal trading niches: the stall trader and the ambulant trader. Notably, children comprise a substantial proportion of ambulant traders across central Cusco. Whilst children are apparently 'disadvantaged traders', marginalised to less serviced locations, selling less profitable goods and at less desirable times, there appears to be a generalised hierarchy amongst children, reflecting their age, gender and origin. At the lower end of this hierarchy are younger children, girls and children of rural origin. In contrast to many of the findings which suggest that these children are marginalised, there is some evidence which implies children in informal trading exhibit a degree of agency, choosing to work, determining their prices, integrating work and play and enjoying their work. Finally, the thesis establishes that current international policies on child labour have a limited impact on child traders. It is argued that children's enjoyment of work and the many benefits they experience must be taken into account for policies to be truly beneficial to the world's children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available