This paper analyzes the contributions of the Government’s Child Labor Eradication Program (PETI) in its participants’ perspective: students and their families. 359 children and adolescents, and 153 families participated. A semi-structured interview including questions related to the meaning of PETI, to the reasons for students’ inclusion, to the pros and cons regarding the program, and to the changes in students’ lives after joining the program was conducted. Thematic content analysis and SPSS were used for data analysis. Results show that the contribution of PETI occurs predominantly in removing children and adolescents from risk situations, with less emphasis on combating child labor. The activities offered are more focused on the level of assistance than on the educational one, being restricted to plays and leisure, indicating the absence of a suitable pedagogical project. It is also noticeable a lack of qualified educators, what makes their work often based on common sense.
Child labor; Public policy; Children and adolescents