International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
This study presents the prevalence of, and factors associated with workplace abuse and economic exploitation among 584 children ages 5 to 17 working in the streets of the Latin American cities of Bogotá, Lima, Quito, and São Paulo. Each additional 10 hours/week of children's work in the streets increased workplace abuse prevalence by 8% (odds ratio [OR], 1.08; 95% confidence interval [95%CI], 1.01-1.19). Suffering an occupational injury was associated with abuse (OR, 1.70; 95%CI, 1.13-2.57). Participation in begging was associated with an almost five-fold increase in economic exploitation (OR, 4.94; 95%CI, 1.96-12.48). Children residing with their mothers were 2.6 times more likely to experience economic exploitation (OR, 2.61; 95%CI, 1.58-4.33), reflecting our definition of economic exploitation in which a child's income is confiscated by parents, even if used for basic family needs. Increased health care coverage and conditional cash transfer programs are recommended to improve the situation.