In relating the child labor debate to the observed variety of children's work patterns, this review reveals the limits of current notions such as labor, gender, and exploitation in the analysis of this work. Particularly in the developing world, most work undertaken by children has for a long time been explained away as socialization, education, training, and play. Anthropology has helped disclose that age is used with gender as the justification for the value accorded to work. The low valuation of children's work translates not only in children's vulnerability in the labor market but, more importantly, in their exclusion from remunerated employment. I argue that current child labor policies, because they fail to address the exclusion of children from the production of value, reinforce paradoxically children's vulnerability to exploitation.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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