Thursday 9 February 2023

Costa Rica urges the Americas to become the first region in the world free of child labor

Costa Rica is one of the Latin American countries with the lowest employment rate for children and adolescents and the best placed to meet the goal of ending child labor.

Q REPORTS – On Thursday, February 11, through a virtual broadcast, Costa Rica encouraged the region to join efforts to end the deprivation of children due to child labor.

The message, issued by the Costa Rica Vice President Marvin Rodríguez, was carried out within the framework of the launch of the international year for the elimination of child labor in the Americas, an event promoted by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The activity included Iván Duque, President of Colombia; Alejandro Giammattei, President of Guatemala; Francisco Sagasti Hochhausler, President of Peru; Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labor Organization; Vinicius Pinheiro, Regional Director of the ILO for Latin America and the Caribbean; Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize; Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC; Uoussouf Abdel-Jelil, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean; Alberto Echevarría, Representative of the International Organization of Employers (IOE); Cícero Pereira da Silva, Secretary for Social Policies of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (CSA); Sofía Mauricio, Peruvian activist for the rights of domestic workers; and Gabriela Frías, journalist for CNN en Español.

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The country’s presence in the event was due to the fact that Costa Rica is one of the Latin American countries with the lowest employment rate for children and adolescents and best placed to meet the goal of ending child labor in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Vice President Rodríguez expressed the country’s commitment to fighting to eradicate child labor in the region.

“This celebration and the declaration of 2021 as the international year for the elimination of child labor is so timely, since, in times as difficult as those we are going through, where the consequences of COVID-19 are not limited to the health sphere, but rather They are also translated into the economic and social sphere, it is necessary to meditate on the importance of strengthening the protection of our children and adolescents ”, said Rodríguez in his presentation.

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“It is not possible for children to deprive themselves of the right to study, to limit the full exercise of their human rights when entering the labor market with the intention of supporting their families. This situation further aggravates our reality in such difficult times, since a country that does not protect its childhood is a country that compromises its future, therefore, we must remain united, fight against this scourge and not lose the north with respect to compliance. goal 8.7 to end child labor by 2025,” he said.

“I believe that as a region we have set an example of unity for the world, so let’s show that it is possible to become the first zone in the world free of child labor,” urged the Vice President.

Costa Rica an example

In 2011, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), Costa Rica had 42,571 minors in this condition. By 2020, the number dropped to 6,706.

This reduction has been produced thanks to a tripartite national strategy called: “Roadmap to make Costa Rica a Country Free of Child Labor and its Worst Forms 2010-2020”.

This national strategy was declared of public interest by executive decree: 41172-MTSS, which has favored the country having low employment rates for minors.

In addition to this strategy, the country implemented the “Child Labor Risk Indicator Model”, as a statistical tool developed by the ILO and ECLAC within the framework of the Regional Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labor and that allows identify and classify the cantons with the greatest probability of child labor and dangerous adolescent work, made up of various risk indicators.

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Furthermore, the execution of agreements has benefited this reduction. For example, the signing of the Interinstitutional Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Mixed Institute of Social Assistance (IMAS), granted a Conditional Cash Transfer (TMC) aimed at working people under 18 years of age. By 2020, the benefit was granted to 422 students for a total amount of 136,384,000 colones invested.

Ending child labor and guaranteeing fundamental rights for children and adolescents has been at the heart of the ILO’s decent work agenda since its creation in 1919. This 2021 has been declared by the UN General Assembly as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor.

“It is a historic opportunity to ratify commitments, take action and inspire broad alliances to preserve the progress made on child labor and issues associated with it, such as social justice, inclusion and the reduction of inequalities,” said the ILO in its call to the event.

The regional initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labor is a tripartite cooperation platform made up of 30 countries, 7 employers ‘organizations and 7 workers’ organizations.


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