Portuguese Child Labour: An Enduring Tale of Exploitation

Martin Eaton, Pedro Goulart

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Child working remains a significant minority activity in semi-industrialized parts of the Portuguese labour market. This article outlines the scale and spatial extent of the phenomenon before debating the role of children employed in the textiles, clothing and footwear sectors. We consider key determinants governing supply and demand for these workers together with an evaluation of state-sponsored efforts to alleviate the situation. Analysis shows that some factories in mono-industrial parts of north-west and central-eastern interior Portugal are continuing to resist the globalization of competitive pressures. This is achieved by reducing real labour costs, utilizing informal work practices, exploiting the cheap productive capacity which minors bring and the legislative loopholes which prevent its eradication.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)439-444
    JournalEuropean Urban and Regional Studies
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Oct 2009


    • Child labour
    • Informal work practice
    • Manufacturing industry
    • Portugal


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