2 child labour and child health 21 negative effects 7

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2. CHILD LABOUR AND CHILD HEALTH 2.1 Negative effects 7. Concern about the health consequences of child labour derives primarily from the belief that work increases the child’s exposure to health hazards that threaten to subject the child to illness or injury. The hazards may be obvious and threaten immediate damage to health, such as those risks arising in construction, manufacturing and mining from the use of dangerous tools and machinery and exposure to high temperatures and falling objects. Alternatively, the hazards may be less perceptible and hold longer-term consequences for health such as risks from contact with dust, toxins, chemicals and pesticides, the lifting of heavy loads and the forced adoption of poor posture. Hazards may also threaten psychological health through exposure to abusive relationships with employers, supervisors or clients (ILO, 1998). The health consequences of child labour will vary with the type of hazards to which the child worker is exposed. Variation in the nature of child work across industries and across countries means there is no one relationship between child work and health but a variety of such relationships. 8. A large scale ILO sponsored survey undertaken in the Philippines, found 60% of all economically active children to be exposed to hazardous working conditions: 19% being exposed to biological hazards, 26% to chemical and 51% to environmental (NSOP, 1998). Of all child workers, 24% were found to suffer work related illness and/or injury, a prevalence rate much higher than that for adult workers. Most common injuries were cuts, wounds or punctures, accounting for 69% of the total. Body aches and pains (59%) and skin diseases (22%) were the most common work related illness.
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