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Photo of Patrik Olsson by Emma Lord

Patrik Olsson

Senior lecturer

Photo of Patrik Olsson by Emma Lord

Legal Ideals and Normative Realities : A case study of children's rights and child labor activity in Paraguay


  • Patrik Olsson

Summary, in English

The present study is composed of eight chapters relating to children's rights and child labor activity in the Republic of Paraguay. The problem of child labor in Paraguay is central for this study and the legal ideals that are intended to uphold and strengthen the rights of the child are described and contrasted with the present normative reality in which the children work and live. The discrepancy between the stipulated legal ideals and the normative reality for many Paraguayan children suggests that children's rights have a low priority for the local government in view of the achievements that have been made to improve the situation. The law has degenerated to become only a symbol, which is not likely to be enforced and exercised in relation to the rights of the child since this area does not encompass enough importance amongst the decision-makers and politicians. The general socio-legal situation reveals that the law is only utilized and operational for a privileged few in the Paraguayan society and hardly ever practiced by those citizens that belong to the society's socio-economically vulnerable groups with lack of resources, influence or knowledge. Poverty is one of the most influential factors giving rise to the subsistence of child labor, and poverty is in turn generated by the system conditions, which for decades has disfavored the poor and unprivileged citizens and consequently also their children. The present system conditions are still influenced by the previous norm system that was established during the repressive periods of dictatorship in Paraguay and the new democratic-based norms and values have considerable difficulties to gain ground. Many poor children in Paraguay have to work from an early age in order to contribute to their family's precarious survival needs, and their manual labor capacity is economically exploited in different ways.


  • Department of Sociology of Law

Publishing year





Lund Studies in Sociology of Law



Document type



Lund University


  • Law and Society


  • deficient infrastructure.
  • exploitation
  • social injustice
  • social inequality
  • poverty
  • child soldiers
  • rural poverty
  • urban poverty
  • system conditions
  • will
  • values
  • norms
  • socio-legal
  • Paraguay
  • normative reality
  • legal ideals
  • Child labor
  • children's rights
  • Sociology of labour
  • sociology of enterprise
  • Juvenile law
  • Arbetslivssociologi
  • företagssociologi
  • Rätt rörande minderåriga




  • [unknown] [unknown]


  • ISSN: 1403-7246
  • ISBN: 91-7267-155-6
  • ISRN: LUSADG/SARS--03/1027--SE

Defence date

26 September 2003

Defence time


Defence place

Carolinasalen, Kungshuset, Lund University


  • Walter Dekeseredy