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Revista de Salud Pública

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BRICENO, Leonardo  and  PINZON, Ángela María. Child labor in a marketplace in Bogotá. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2005, vol.7, n.1, pp.26-38. ISSN 0124-0064.

OBJECTIVE: Child labor in marketplaces has not been sufficiently studied. It is present even in developed countries and it has been associated with problems in the physical, psychological, emotional and social development of children. This paper aims at determining the number of children working in the largest marketplace in the country and the risk factors to which they are exposed. METHODOLOGY: Children working in the marketplace were counted and classified by gender and occupation. Working places were analyzed under Fine’s professional risk plan. RESULTS: 376 children were found, 318 boys and 58 girls. 30 % were carrying loads, 42 % were selling merchandise, and 28 % were doing minor jobs or accompanying relatives. The risk factors related with their personal security have the greatest danger level. They are followed by the ergonomic, psychosocial and biological factors. CONCLUSIONS:The risk factors affecting children’s health the most in the short term are those related to personal security. They include vehicle traffic, inadequate materials storage that can be dangerous, and the physical burden that they have to suffer. According to the professional risk factors plan, this is a dangerous job for children. Child labor in marketplaces shall be regulated and the carrying of heavy loads prohibited.

Keywords : Child labor; fruit; vegetables; Colombia.

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