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Child labor in a rural Egyptian community: an epidemiological study

Abstract

Objectives

Estimating the burden of child labor in a rural community of El-Minia governorate, Egypt and exploring its determinants and health impact.

Methods

One hundred and ninety nine children randomly participated from a randomly selected village; 147 (73.9 %) males and 52 (26.1 %) females, whose ages ranged from 6 to 17 years (mean age 12.1 ± 2.9). All children were subjected to interview questionnaire, and medical examination.

Results

Ninety (45.2 %) of the children reported that they are engaged in a work. The working children belonged to 65.6 and 85.6 % of illiterate fathers and mothers, respectively. The majority of the working children were engaged in jobs at quarries (58.9 %), followed by farming (21.1 %), then small proportions of children were working in other jobs. Poverty, big families and insufficient family’s income were the most frequently reported reasons for starting to work (80 %). There was a significant higher prevalence of the reported health complaints among working children.

Conclusions

Working children are at high risk of many health problems. Poverty, parents’ illiteracy, large family size and fathers’ absence are the driving force for child labor in the rural community of Eastern Minia.

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Acknowledgement

The authors would like to offer their sincere thanks to Ayman Soliman and Omnia Kamal, assistant lecturers of Occupational Medicine, at El-Minia University for their help in field work. We are grateful for all the children of Sawada village and their guardians, Eastern Minia, El-Minia, Egypt, for their participation in the study.

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Correspondence to Eman Sameh Mohammed.

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Mohammed, E.S., Ewis, A.A.A. & Mahfouz, E.M. Child labor in a rural Egyptian community: an epidemiological study. Int J Public Health 59, 637–644 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-014-0559-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-014-0559-5

Keywords

  • Child labor
  • Minia
  • Quarries
  • Work-related hazards
  • Health impact