Home Truths: Wellbeing and vulnerabilities of child domestic workers, by Anti-Slavery International
Research reports, working paper
This report presents the findings of a multi-country study into the psychosocial wellbeing of child domestic workers (CDWs) across three continents. The study was conducted in Peru, Costa Rica, Togo, Tanzania, India and Philippines during 2009 with around 3,000 children, mostly between the ages of 10 and 17; half of whom work as paid or unpaid domestic workers.
A multidisciplinary research team including psychologists, anthropologists and epidemiologists used a specifically designed questionnaire to explore the nature and circumstances under which child domestic work is performed in order to understand how this affects the psychosocial wellbeing and health of child domestic workers. A total of 1,465 CDWs and 1,579 neighbourhood controls were interviewed on a one-to-one basis to quantitatively assess their socio-demographic and family situation, working life, conditions, cognitive abilities and psychosocial wellbeing in what is the first study of this nature and scale.
The findings provide a rich description of the lives of CDWs across the globe and suggest that a broad spectrum of working conditions and situations affect these child workers in different ways. A significant proportion of CDWs in Togo and India are clearly harmed by the situation in which they are working. In these two countries physical abuse is common, CDWs work long hours for little or no pay and this full time work often completely excludes them from the education system, leaving them with little opportunity for social mobility. Our data suggests that many of these children are seriously harmed on a psychosocial level and that policy and programme level interventions are urgently needed.