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A Toolkit for Responsible Businesses
Boy working in match-making industry

How to Interview a Child

“Interviewing a child is necessary in connection with recruitment of young people: a) to assess their age, b) to assess the maturity in connection with finding out what job the person is able to carry out, c) possible work experience and/or d) if one of the workers is identified to be underage for the type of job/process that the child or young person carries out.

When interviewing a child that you suspect to be below the minimum required age for the particular type of job or where the child has been engaged in hazardous work, it is important to create a trusting and relaxed atmosphere.  It is also important that the conversation takes place in an undisturbed but not too remote and out of sight environment.  Essentially, the child must feel as secure as possible

What to Observe?

  • The child must be treated with respect and recognized as an individual in his or her own right.
  • There must always be two adults present at the interview at all times. An adult must not spend excessive time alone with children away from others in order not to create unnecessary worry for the child and create a basis for suspicion of inappropriate or threatening behavior and abuse.
  • When interviewing a girl, there must always be a woman present.
  • It is advisable to invite the child’s parents or guardians for the interview.
  • If the child is an orphan and no guardian or relatives can be identified, a representative of a child rights NGO may be invited. 

During the Interview with a Child

The key objective of the interview is always to listen to the child and to try to make an overall assessment of the child’s family and work situation:

  • Reasons why the child works
  • How does the child contribute to the family income and what are the circumstances of the family (e.g. unemployment, disease etc.)?
  • How does the child understand and appreciate his or her own work?”

Source:  Save the Children Denmark, Child Labour Toolkit, Responsible Approaches to Child Labour in the Textile and Garment Industry, 2006.


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