Working children in Patio Bonito, Bogotá. The role of Proyecto Pequeño Trabajador (PPT) in improving the situation of working children.
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Based on fieldwork, this thesis analyzes in what ways and to what extent the organization Proyecto Pequeño Trabajador (PPT) succeeds in improving the situation of working children in Patio Bonito, Bogotá. The research is based on participation in the daily activities of PPT, informal conversations and semi-structured interviews. These interviews were held with participating (former) working children and employees of the organization about their work and their experiences with PPT. Despite the prohibition, child labor remains a persistent phenomenon in Colombia. There are several reasons for the existence of child labor; poverty seems to be the most important. Children from the poor neighborhood Patio Bonito indicate to work in order to earn money with which they contribute to family income or can buy their own things. (Former) working children state that work has both a positive and a negative impact, though it appears to be that the positive effects prevail. Child labor is a point of debate in Colombia. Several parties such as the government and various organizations consider that child labor must be eradicated. PPT in contrast, does not believe that child labor should be prohibited. PPT states that work can be valuable for children, provided that they work in decent conditions. In the debate about child labor, the question whether or not children are able to take well-considered decisions occupies a central position. PPT strives for participation and dialogue with working children, and contributes to the development of awareness among its participants. The organization contributes to working children’s self-esteem, gives them a voice, and teaches them be proud of their work.