Child labor in agriculture in the Beqaa valley of Lebanon: The case of Syrian refugees

Project description

In late 2015, the Child Labor Unit at the Lebanese Ministry of Labor in coordination with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), approached the Faculty of Health and Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) to undertake an assessment of child labour among Syrian refugees in the agricultural sector of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Consequently, a quantitative household survey was conducted in Syrian refugee communities located near agricultural areas in Bekaa.

This study was initiated in 2016 with partial funding and support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the American University of Beirut (AUB). This report explores the experiences of child labour among Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley. The report is based on data collected on 12,708 refugees living in 1,902 informal tented settlements. These refugees are among the most vulnerable populations in the country. They experience poverty characterized by a lack of basic necessities and comforts, as well as hazardous living conditions. Financial strain and food insecurity are primary motivators pushing children in refugee families into work and out of school.

Potential interventions include renewing efforts to enforce Lebanese laws meant to address child labour and protect children. Simultaneously, these types of initiatives must be met with scalable development projects that cultivate financial stability for households and social and educational capital among children. Displaced children that continue to be outside school are likely to suffer from diminished future prospects and difficulties in escaping child labour even after the conflict is over.


First name Last name Gender Rank Affiliated Institution Country
Rima Habib Male American University of Beirut Lebanon




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