The work that children do is often ignored or sidelined, when in reality, children actually fill and create a large part of the overall work area. As David Oldman proposed (1994), children in work are a 'generational mode of production' for 'producing' human capital. His key claim is that "Children create child work, that is, work done by adults on the organization and control of children's activities." (ibid:155). This is to say that professions such as teaching, social work, child psychiatry, paediatrics, and so on, would not be available if it were not for children, which is a rather apparent and legitimate actuality.
Children in our society are incredibly often seen as 'non-workers'; they are seen as having no responsibilities and this explains why so many people feel that discussing children and work in the same topic is rather odd. In Jens Overtrup's point of view, in the majority of the world (including Britain as a primary point), children are involved in work, but in Western societies (the minority), for the most part children do not work.
David Oldman (Childhood as a Mode of Production, 1994) has a separate explanatory model which offers a means of going beyond to analyze the terms of exchange between adults and children where children are 'included in'. He primly applies his approach to youth departments, children's feeding schemes, education systems, raising initiatives, multi-lateral and even child rights agencies, analyzing where value is being made and added.
The exploitation of children occurs when the relations of production governing children's work are sub-optimal for children and yet maximized for the adults. More specifically, a common and perfectly usable example situation would be a school having high student to teacher ratios, where central costs would be minimized and yet teachers' salaries would not be undermined. While the end result of this archetype might not seem positively bad for the children involved, it is clearly more effective towards them; the teachers remain virtually untouched while the children are forced to deal with an extra cramped environment. Additionally, according to the comments of the previously explained criteria, this example would therefore be exploitive, because it is not organized in a way that prioritizes the best interests of the child.
There are three basic categories to which the types of work children do fall into: paid work, domestic work, and school work. One of the main areas which children work falls into the category paid work. While studies show that the main motive to work for children who participate in paid work is for consumer spending reasons (clothes, car, etc.), but for a small yet highly relevant number of children, the motive was to contribute to the family for economic reasons (rent, food, etc.). This is to say that although a high number of children work solely for their own accounts of explanations, there are still