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Abstract

This study evaluates a combined economic empowerment and child rights intervention to prevent violence against children and exploitation of children in ultra-poor communities in Burkina Faso. A three-arm randomized control trial with baseline and one-year follow-up includes 360 households (120 households per arm). Extreme poverty heightens risks of violence and exploitation of children, particularly girls, who may end up in the worst forms of child labor (e.g., slavery, debt bondage, forced or hazardous work in gold mines, cotton fields, or plantations in the Ivory Coast or in the South of Burkina Faso, involving physical deprivation and violence). About 1.25 million (or 37.8%) of children ages 5-14 in Burkina Faso are working to augment the incomes of their families, or because their families are too poor to support them. Adolescent girls being sent away to work as maids, facing risks of sexual exploitation and abuse. Boys being sent to religious schools madrassas, where they are made to do unpaid and/or hazardous work including begging in the street, and are subject to physical abuse.

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