On Third World streets or First World televisions, Latin America's children are seen but seldom listened to. Child labourers, street children and shanty town kids are portrayed in the West as helpless victims, passive, big-eyed and hungry, besieged by poverty and violence. However, this text argues that if you talk to the children themselves a different picture emerges - one of children as active, energetic and resourceful fighters, struggling to improve their lives, get an education, and earn a living. The book explores the lives of children through their own eyes and voices. It argues that child participation is both a right and a necessity if child-centred social programmes are to succeed. More broadly, harnessing the energy of children could help the region tackle pressing environmental and social problems. Duncan Green talks to children across the continent, watching them at work and play, on the streets or in the home. He interviews children in Brazil, Jamaica, Peru, Columbia, Honduras and Nicaragua, as well as teachers, welfare workers and other adults involved in their lives. He provides comprehensive background research to support his findings, while photographs illustrate the text.