The prevalence of working children in Portugal is a controversial issue, with more than 24,700 under-14s in employment. The phenomenon is most visible in the textile, clothing and footwear industries (TCF) of the northwest around Oporto. This article presents an overview of the role of Portuguese child labourers. In particular, it focuses upon the TCF sectors, and outlines the causes. It evaluates the reactions to the problem and assesses the likelihood of short-term solutions being successful. In the longer term, it is argued that positive outcomes will be based upon improved education, an alteration in the views of the factory owners, parents and their children, and greater knowledge of innovative working practices among key companies.
- Child labourers