Children's paid work as an opportunity for autonomy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


During the tobacco season Isa, an Indonesian girl of around eight, rushes home after school at noon, has a quick lunch, and goes straight to her worksite. Isa ties tobacco leaves into poles so that they can be placed into the kilns to be dried out. She sits patiently, still in her school uniform, and works consistently until it gets too dark for her to see. She told me she would work longer if she could, but it’s just not possible to do the work right without enough light. She is paid on a piece rate, so the more poles she can tie up, the more money she earns. Each afternoon she makes about Rp 8000 (AUD 1) of which she keeps Rp 1000 for her own treats or savings, and gives the rest to her parents to help with the household expenses. Both of Isa’s brothers also earn money during the tobacco season, and so do most of her school friends. Every year, from April to October, boys, girls, men and women, young and old, are seen in the tobacco fields, around the tobacco kilns, and on trucks on the roads of Lombok transporting the tobacco bales to the warehouses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarly childhood development and social change concept papers
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameUna Working Paper


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