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    Bolivia and the successes of NATs

    Tuesday, December 31, 2013

    The movements of working children in Bolivia have recently made international news for their productive meeting with President Evo Morales, after which he made an official statement that “child labor should not be banned.”   Responding to a legislative proposal to ban all children under the age of fourteen from any kind of work, Morales drew on his own experience as a working child and on his conversation with representatives from the Bolivian working children’s movements to not only argue that banning child labor can…

  • MOLACNATs Statement

    Monday, October 7, 2013

    Starting tomorrow, the International Labor Organization will be hosting a Global Conference on Child Labor in Brasilia.  In response to this conference, the Latin American and Caribbean movement of working children has made the statement that I post below.  As a scholar of social movements, the thing I find most striking about this statement is the fact that it is just the most recent in a long chain of very similar statements written by the movement over the past 20 years.  The movement appears, from…

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    The Participatory Landscape

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    I recently attended a meeting between Rosa Maria Ortiz, the Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and representatives of children’s organizations from around Lima.  The meeting highlighted for me the breadth and depth of children’s rights activity in Peru, but also some of the limitations of the right to participation. It was obvious at this meeting that the organizational terrain of children’s rights and children’s participation in Lima is quiet extensive.  There were kids from a veritable…

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    Children’s Protagonismo

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    Protagonismo is a concept that is often very difficult to translate into English, and it is a concept that has been developing over time in Latin America since its emergence in the popular movements in the 1960s and 1970s.  Both the movements themselves and many social scientists and analysts began speaking about “protagonismo popular” to describe the collective action and engagement of the poor, whether it be in neighborhood associations or labor unions.  From this historical moment, protagonismo has had a fairly open, and yet…

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    Children’s Rights Festival

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

        On July 18th, the kids involved in the project Trabajo de Crecer put on a festival in Villa El Salvador to educate the public (both adults and children) about children’s rights.  There was a lot of singing, dancing, speeches, and many games where players were asked questions about children’s rights. Most of the emphasis was on the right to participation.  Banners and signs all proclaimed that “our opinion matters!” and that children are the present, not just the future.  This right to participation,…


rebel girls

An ethnography of teenage girl activists in Buenos Aires, Caracas, Mexico City, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Vancouver.   From anti-war walkouts to anarchist youth newspapers, rallies against educational privatization, and workshops on fair trade, teenage girls are active participants and leaders in a variety of social movements. Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change Across the Americas illuminates the experiences and perspectives of these uniquely positioned agents of social change. Jessica K. Taft introduces readers to a diverse and vibrant transnational community of teenage girl…




For more than 30 years, working children in Peru have been organizing together for their rights as workers, as children, and as full citizens.  This movement of NNATs, or niñas, niños, y adolescentes trabajadores is the focus of my current research project. Some of the major organizations in this movement include MANTHOC and MNNATSOP, which both have local groups as well as regional and national organizing structures.  INFANT provides support and training for the children and youth in the movement, while IFEJANT provides similar resources for the adults…

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