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close this bookAction Against Child Labour (ILO; 2000; 356 pages)
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contents1. National policies and programmes
Open this folder and view contents2. Towards improved legislation
close this folder3. Improving the knowledge base on child labour
View the documentINTRODUCTION
close this folder3.2 BASIC RESULTS
View the documentHousehold survey
View the documentEstablishment survey
View the documentSurvey of street children
View the documentThe time-use approach
Open this folder and view contents3.3 RECOMMENDATIONS ON CONDUCTING SURVEYS
Open this folder and view contents3.4 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INTERVIEWING CHILDREN
View the document3.5 FURTHER RESEARCH
View the documentAppendix 3.1 List of detailed variables in child labour surveys
View the documentBibliography on child labour surveys, statistics and related matters
Open this folder and view contents4. Alternatives to child labour
Open this folder and view contents5. Strategies to address child slavery
Open this folder and view contents6. Strategies for employers and their organizations
Open this folder and view contents7. Trade unions against child labour
Open this folder and view contents8. Awareness-raising
Open this folder and view contents9. Action by community groups and NGOs
Open this folder and view contents10. Resources on child labour
View the documentOther ILO publications
View the documentBack Cover

The time-use approach

The survey experiment based on a "time use" module was not successful for the purposes of investigating children's activities and the intensity of their work. Even when presented with a long list of economic and non-economic activities, many children could not recall the activities in which they had been engaged during the 24 hours preceding the date of the survey. And even when they were able to identify the activities, they had little recollection of the amount of time spent on each. Most children seem to remember only those activities which they most like, especially those in which they made "good" earnings. In many instances, it was difficult to consult the children themselves, and approaching proxies for this purpose was found to be futile since they could not account for the children's daily activities or their time allocation on each. Consequently, the results obtained from the "time use" exercise were found to be unsatisfactory.

However, better-quality data may be obtained if the investigators or interviewers spend time in the area where the children can be found and interact with them and/or observe them throughout the day. Unfortunately, this approach is neither practical nor feasible where the geographical coverage is wide and the sample size is large in order to make estimates at the national level. It is therefore recommended that, with the exception of a micro-level time allocation exercise, the application of a "time-use" approach to individual children to identify all their activities over a specific period of time (such as 24 hours) and to quantify the time devoted to each should be discouraged.

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