Child labour is a global phenomenon. Out of the total population of an estimated 4 million children aged five to 17 in Cambodia, there are 429,380 who are child labourers. An estimate of 48 percent of the aforementioned child labourers surveyed had dropped out of school. The majority of literature based on quantitative research regarding influences of child labour on school attendance does not use qualitative methodologies to explore the phenomenon. This paper describes strengths and challenges of implementing creative participatory methodologies during Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) conducted with children in rural Cambodia. The method provided a safe and social space for children to explore the context of their work and how it affects their school attendance. A strength of the participatory method includes trust building with child participants through creative play. Challenges include power differences between the research team and child participants, conducting cross-cultural child-focused research in a developing country and effectively implementing FGDs to generate rigorous data.
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