The Syrian civil war that forced hundreds of thousands of Syrian women and children into Jordan as refugees dramatically increased the number of child labourers in that country. The current investigation aims to establish a body of knowledge on the issues surrounding child labour in Jordan by providing an exploratory diagnosis of the phenomenon. The purpose of this paper is to explore verbal and physical abusive practices towards working children and investigate whether there are differences between the treatment of domestic and Syrian refugee child labourers.
The research design is quantitative; however, we use a qualitative technique to support and expand the research findings. Data were collected from 124 Jordanian and Syrian working children over a seven-month period in 2013.
The results reveal that it is poverty that forces Jordanian children into work while Syrian children are driven by the need for asylum. Of the abusive practices directed towards working children, verbal abuse is the most common. Older children, children from unstable families and those who work long hours are more vulnerable to this form of abuse, while children from unstable family structures and who work long hours are more likely to experience physically abuse. The results reveal that Syrian children are paid much less, are less verbally abused, had better schooling and perceive working conditions more positively than do their Jordanian counterparts.
Limitations of this research arise from the size the sample.
The current study aims to raise awareness about the importance of preventing abusive practices towards local and refugee children working in Jordan.
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, very little is known about refugee child labour and how it might differ from domestic child labour.
Al Ganideh, S.F. and Good, L.K. (2015), "Understanding abusive child labor practices in the shadow of the Arab spring", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 76-91. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-06-2014-0031
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