72 Assessment of child labour in agriculture among syrian refugees in lebanon

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Abstract

Introduction

The Syrian war, ongoing since 2011, has had numerous implications on Lebanon’s precarious infrastructures and labour economy. Over 1 million Syrians have sought refuge in Lebanon, and with laws prohibiting working of displaced Syrian adults, many Syrian families and Lebanese employers have become dependent on working Syrian children particularly in the agricultural sector.

Methods

This research study employs mixed methods, both quantitative and qualitative approaches. A household survey will be carried out with 1409 families in Syrian refugee communities located near agricultural areas in Lebanon to assess child labour practices among the displaced children and their families. Stakeholder focus group discussions will also be conducted, made up of members of the displaced community and a number of local and government institutions involved in the management of the refugees’ livelihood. Data and trends from the qualitative and quantitative analysis will be triangulated to develop a holistic understanding of Syrian child labour in the Lebanese agricultural sector. Findings will be stratified by age, gender, refugee camp, and other variables.

Results

The study will provide contextualised analysis of the nature and dynamics of the precarious involvement of Syrian children in the agricultural labour force, via focusing on both the living and working conditions of Syrian working children, as well as on the socioeconomic processes and environment in which children work. The study will also suggest recommendations for intervention at the field, family, community, and policy levels.

Discussion

Enriched understanding of the underlying socioeconomic factors that drive refugee children to participate in the agricultural labour force will better guide the development of evidence-based interventions that support child education and address underlying issues of familial financial instability. This research can be used to inform labour policies and guidelines that will have positive, tangible impacts on the lives of displaced children and their families.

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