Special Issue "Child Labour, Working Children and Health"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2022) | Viewed by 8874
Interests: migration; child labour; labour exploitation; early childhood development; evidence synthesis methods
Worldwide, there are an estimated 218 million working children, of whom 152 million are child labourers. Of these children, 72.5 million are in hazardous work, defined in global estimates as children working in hazardous industries, hazardous occupations or working beyond the set thresholds of hours for their age group (ILO, 2017). According to recent systematic reviews, child labour is associated with adverse physical health outcomes, ranging from poor nutritional status, a higher prevalence of injuries, occupational illness and infectious diseases (Shendell et al., 2016; Batomen Kuimi et al., 2018; Ibrahim et al., 2019). Child labour is also associated with poor mental health outcomes, including depression, anxiety and low self-esteem (Sturrock and Hodes, 2016). Moreover, the developmental stages of adolescence must be considered when examining the interaction with Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) risks among young workers (Sámano-Ríos et al., 2019). Developmental characteristics include biological shifts to more nocturnal wakefulness among adolescents, who may be less alert during long work shifts (Sámano-Ríos et al., 2019). Adolescents may feel a proclivity for thrill seeking and increased reactivity to stressors, alongside a lack of understanding and awareness of OSH risks, until cognitive shifts take place via neuromaturation (ibid). Currently, few studies account for these unique developmental characteristics among young workers.
While studies indicate the burden of ill health among working children and adolescents, the current evidence base is of poor methodological quality. Sampling methods are often opportunistic or purposive, with just a third of studies in one review including a control group and adjusting for potential confounders (Batomen Kuimi et al., 2018). Furthermore, methods to measure health outcomes among working children are rarely documented, making it difficult to assess whether methods are appropriate for use with working children (Pocock et al., 2020). Methodological weaknesses limit the causal interpretation of associations reported in existing studies.
This Special Issue in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is devoted to recent findings on “Child Labour, Working Children and Health”. Following the first special issue on these children a decade ago (Miller, 2010), this Issue will make a substantial contribution to the measurement of health outcomes among child labourers and working children. We particularly welcome submissions that focus on the following, under-studied topics and regions:
- Child domestic workers;
- Child labourers and working children in Africa and China;
- Psychosocial health of child labourers/working children;
- Long-term health impacts of child labour into adulthood;
- Evaluations of interventions for current working youth;
- Workplace violence measurement among child labourers/working children;
- Occupational health risks and outcomes measurement among child labourers/working children;
- Empirical studies that explore thresholds at which particular tasks become hazardous for health;
- Empirical studies that include control groups of non-working children;
- Validation studies of outcome measures used with child labourers/working children.
Papers may be methodological or subject matter specific. Studies may involve primary or secondary quantitative or qualitative data. We also welcome systematic and scoping reviews on these topics.
We look forward to receiving your submission.
Batomen Kuimi, B. L. et al. Child labour and health: a systematic review. International Journal of Public Health 2018, 63, 663–672. doi:10.1007/s00038-018-1075-9.
Ibrahim, A. et al. Child labor and health: a systematic literature review of the impacts of child labor on child’s health in low- and middle-income countries. Journal of Public Health (Oxford, England) 2019, 41, 18–26. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdy018.
ILO. Global Estimates of Child Labour: Results and trends, 2012-2016. Report. ILO. 2017. Available online: http://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_575499/lang--en/index.htm (accessed on 1 October 2018).
Miller, M. E. Child labor and protecting young workers around the world. An introduction to this issue. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 2010, 16, 103–112. doi:10.1179/107735210799160435.
Pocock, N. S. et al. Measurement tools for occupational safety and health and workplace violence among working children: rapid review protocol. 2020. Available online: https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=194325.
Sámano-Ríos, M. L. et al. Occupational safety and health interventions to protect young workers from hazardous work—A scoping review. Safety Science 2019, 113, 389–403. doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2018.11.024.
Shendell, D. G. et al. Exposures resulting in safety and health concerns for child laborers in less developed countries. Journal of Environmental and Public Health 2016, doi:10.1155/2016/3985498.
Sturrock, S. and Hodes, M. Child labour in low- and middle-income countries and its consequences for mental health: a systematic literature review of epidemiologic studies. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2016, 25, 1273–1286. doi:10.1007/s00787-016-0864-z.
Dr. Nicola Suyin Pocock
Prof. Dr. Anaclaudia Gastal Fassa
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- child labour
- working children
- young workers
- occupational safety and health