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Work-related injuries among Syrian refugee child workers in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon: A gender-sensitive analysis

Rima R Habib, Diana Mikati, Josleen Al-Barathie, Elio Abi Younes, Mohammed Jawad, Khalil El Asmar and Micheline Ziadee

PLOS ONE, 2021, vol. 16, issue 9, 1-17

Abstract: Background: Syrian refugees in Lebanon have endured increasing hardships since the onset of the Syrian war in 2011, with many resorting to child labor. Working refugee children endure socioeconomic deprivation and harsh working conditions. This study explores the relationship between working conditions and the reporting of injuries among male and female Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and the related gender differences. Methods and findings: A cross-sectional survey of Syrian refugee children working in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon was conducted in 2017. Face-to-face interviews with children (8 to 18 years) collected sociodemographic information and testimonies of their work experiences. Logistic regression tested the association between reporting of injuries and risk factors including school enrolment, field of work, means of transportation to work, age started working, number of working hours, multiple jobs, work pressure and hazards, and abuse. Analyses were stratified by gender. Conclusions: This study is the first to obtain direct testimony on work-related injuries and working conditions, exploring gender differences, among Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Results demonstrated the association between the occurrence of injury and multiple risk factors highlighting their strenuous working conditions, with some differences detected between males and females. Many injuries can be prevented through direct safety interventions and proper implementation of child labor policies. Multidimensional interventions are essential to address the complex evolving challenges facing refugees.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257330

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