Background: the International Labour Organization (ILO) defines child labour as works that can be mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children, and that interferes with their schooling. This phenomenon principally affects low- and middle-income countries and relates to poverty, displacement, lack of opportunities and cultural beliefs. The ILO estimates that there are more than 152 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 years in child labour in the world, and that 73 million of these are in hazardous work. Current evidence suggests that child labour impacts on physical and mental health in the short and long term and could impact the economy and development of countries where this phenomenon is present.
Objectives: to identify available literature related to the possible relationship between child labour and physical and mental health in children and adults.
Methods: this was a systematic literature scoping review. We included all published literature and grey documents addressing child labour, taking into account the ILO definition and its relationship with health outcomes and/or disorders reported by children and adults. Letters to the editor will be excluded. Outcomes are any outcomes measuring physical or mental health secondary to lifetime exposure to child labour, such as musculoskeletal disorders, headache, anxiety, depression, and stress.
Selection and evaluation of the literature: we will search databases including MEDLINE (PubMed), Embase, LILACS, Epistemonikos, TripDatabase, Redalyc, Psicodoc, BESCO, Scopus, OECD iLibrary, BioMed Central, EconLit, APA Databases, and CSIC. Grey literature will be recovered by Google Scholar, Proquest, Prospero, NIH report, CenterWatch, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, NIOSH, Biblioteca virtual de salud en Colombia, ILO, and TESTEO. All published literature from 1918 to December of 2018 will be included. Two independent reviewers will screen titles and abstracts using Covidence software. If there is no consensus, a third reviewer will decide. We will classify and retrieve articles into conceptual categories to present them later in the results.
Expected results: this scoping review will map the scientific literature and identify gaps in the relationship between child labour and the development of short-term health disorders in children and long-term health disorders in adults, all to know and report the most frequent disruptions in mental and physical health associated with exposure to child labour. Results of this review will be grouped in subcategories by types of studies and main outcomes. In addition, the review will provide a basis for future primary research around this topic.