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ABSTRACT

Recent literature concerning work in the lives of children raises several contentious issues. This contribution starts with issues arising from conceptualizations of childhood: we need to understand the continuities between the various stages of childhood and the adult world, and see children as active agents in their own development. The article discusses discourse and terminology surrounding children's work; children's rights and their relationship with fundamental human rights; the relationship between work and school; and briefly the relationship between children's work and poverty. It questions whether discourse on ‘abolishing child labour’ works in the children's interests.