Most children in Africa start working from a very early age - helping the family or earning wages. Should this work be abolished, tolerated, or encouraged? Such questions are the subject of much debate: international and national organizations, employers, parents, and children often have diverse opinions and put pressure in different directions. The authors of this book contribute to the discussion through intensive fieldwork and careful analysis of children's activities. They consider childhood and family, work and play, work in rural and urban contexts, paths to learning, work and school, and children's rights.
Gerd Spittler is Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology at the University of Bayreuth. His publications on work include Hirtenarbeit (1998), Le travail en Afrique noire (co-editor, 2003), and Founders of the Anthropology of Work (2008).
Michael Bourdillon is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology, University of Zimbabwe. Recently he has specialised on children's work and is a co-author of Rights and Wrongs of Children's Work (2010).