COSTA RICA NEWS – About 47 .000 children and teenagers work today in Costa Rica, mainly in the agricultural and livestock sector, fairs and informal employments, reflect reports of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MTSS).
The head of the Department of Special Protection to Workers, Esmirna Sanchez, acknowledged that this figure may be higher and associated the high incidence of the problem to poverty, which affects 20.7 percent of households in this country.
She said that the school drop-out rate is another factor that affects so many children under the age of 15 who decided to join the workforce.
According to Sanchez, each month in her office they recieve just five out of six complaints related to child labour, but in accordance to the factors mentioned above she noted that these are few compared to what they assume is happening.
She said that in the cases detected, after the precise verifications, the process of child and teenager protection is activated, which includes the granting of financial assistance from the National Scholarship Fund of Costa Rica, a country that since 1998 seeks to eradicate this scourge.