Child Labour and Health: Evidence and Research Issues

Understanding Children's Work Programme Working Paper

28 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2011 Last revised: 13 Mar 2011

See all articles by O. O'Donnell

O. O'Donnell

University of Macedonia

Eddy van Doorslaer

Erasmus School of Economics

Furio C. Rosati

United Nations - UCW Program; University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics

Date Written: January 2002

Abstract

The ILO definition of the worst forms of child labour includes work that is likely to jeopardise health and safety. Effective targeting of those child work activities most damaging to health requires both conceptual understanding and empirical evidence of the interactions between child labour and health. The aim of the paper is to review the current state of such knowledge, which is central to the design of policies that, whilst protecting children from work activities most damaging to their health, do not jeopardise the subsistence livelihood of their families. The relationships between child labour and health are complex. They can be direct and indirect, static and dynamic, positive and negative, causal and spurious. The diversity of potential relationships makes their empirical disentanglement a difficult exercise. A conceptual framework of analysis is required and important issues of measurement and of estimation must be given careful consideration.

Keywords: child labour, worst forms of child labour, health, poverty

JEL Classification: J13, I10, J20, J28, I30

Suggested Citation

O'Donnell, O. and van Doorslaer, Eddy and Rosati, Furio C., Child Labour and Health: Evidence and Research Issues (January 2002). Understanding Children's Work Programme Working Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1780320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1780320

O. O'Donnell (Contact Author)

University of Macedonia

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Eddy Van Doorslaer

Erasmus School of Economics ( email )

Netherlands

Furio C. Rosati

United Nations - UCW Program ( email )

ILO Office for Italy and San Marino
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Italy

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University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

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