The prevalence of working children in Portugal is a controversial issue. Up to 200,000 under fourteen-year olds are now employed illegally in labouring activities as diverse as stone-breaking and shoe-shining. The phenomenon is most visible in the textile, clothing and footwear industries of the north-western region around Oporto. Drawing on a series of interviews, this article examines the role of Portuguese child workers. It looks at their contribution to the industrial development process, evaluates the dilemmas facing the children, and assesses the likelihood of recent short-term answers being successful. In the longer term, it is argued that solutions will be based upon an improved national education system, and a greater knowledge of innovative working practices among key companies.
|Journal||International Journal of Iberian Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|