In many cases the establishment-based investigation was not particularly successful, notably where it was difficult to identify employers and managers of workplaces. While it was hoped that the information obtained from the household heads and the children themselves would allow a list to be compiled of establishments where the children work, this proved difficult, mainly because many children were not available during the household inquiry and many adults (usually mothers or proxies) were unable to provide the precise address of the children's place of work. Nevertheless, in some countries it was possible to compile lists consisting of a reasonable number of establishments for the purposes of testing the instruments designed for employers using child labourers.
Where a list or directory of establishments does not exist or cannot be compiled on the basis of the information obtained from the household-level survey, a micro-level approach can be taken in which the type of formal sector activities (industries, services) where children may be working are identified and the enterprises engaged in these activities are investigated. In view of the fact that a large majority (90 per cent) of economically active children are unpaid family workers and some others are self-employed or casual labourers, this approach may often suffice. It is to be noted that in a few of the countries where a proper sample survey of establishments proved difficult, small purposive or convenience inquiries were carried out which produced some interesting statistical results, though for the most part these were qualitative and not representative of enterprises as a whole.
Another problem regarding the establishment-based inquiry was the lack of full, or even any, cooperation on the part of the employers, especially where the employment of youngsters under a specified age is illegal. For this reason, the use of the term "child activity" or "child work" instead of "child labour" in the survey instruments, and by field personnel during interviews, may lead to a better response rate at all levels. In addition, conducting a well-formulated campaign, prior to the launching of the survey, in the various localities and at the national level to publicize the importance of the data to be collected for improving children's welfare (schooling, health, and the like, including working conditions if children have to work) could make respondents much more cooperative.
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