Child_Labour_and_Health_Evidence_and_Res.pdf

Giffrida et al 2001 study referred to in section 3

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Giffrida et al (2001) study referred to in section 3 adopted this general statistical framework, incorporating, but not focussing on, child labour as one of the health causes. 6. CONCLUSION 38. The most harmful forms of child labour certainly include those that damage the short and long run health prospects of the working child. To an extent, identification of the forms of child labour that are potentially most damaging to health is not difficult. Children working under appalling conditions in construction, mining and manufacturing face immediate threats to their health which are all too often realised. However, the majority of working children are not found in these sectors but in agriculture. While the safety record of agriculture is very far from exemplary, threats from health hazards must be set against the possibility that the working child sustains its own health by helping to maintain subsistence living standards of the family. At present, evidence on the health consequences of child work activity is limited. Illness and injury hazard rates by sector of employment describe the risks faced by the working child but, in the absence of comparison with the “no work” counterfactual, they do not provide a basis for evaluating the impact of work on health. Comparisons between the growth rates of working and non-working children in rural settings provide mixed results. There is more support for deleterious effects of work on particular forms of child morbidity related to the nature of the work undertaken. There is also some evidence from retrospective studies (based on Brazil) of a negative correlation between work activity in childhood and health in adulthood. Interpretation of all current estimates of the relationship between child labour and health is difficult given the absence of analyses that account for the potential endogeneity of child work activity to health outcomes. If individuals born with a predisposition to poor health are also those who are most likely to engage in work as a child, correlations between child work activity and health will overstate the impact of the former on the latter. On the other hand, if healthy individuals are selected into work early as a child, the true health impact of child labour will be understated. Resolution of the endogeneity problem should be a priority of future research. 39. The design of effective policy requires the accumulation of more detailed evidence of the relationships between work activity in childhood and health both in childhood and in adulthood. Future empirical work should endeavour to take account of a number of characteristics of the true relationship between child labour and health and of factors that govern the statistical relationship between the variables. There are a number of channels through which child work activity can influence health. A direct negative effect as a result of workplace hazards and stress is obvious but there may also be indirect effects, positive and negative, operating through impacts on family living standards and education. The total (net) effect of child work on health
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  • Spring '17
  • The Land, Occupational safety and health, International Labour Organization, International Labour Organisation

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