Saturday 25 June 2022

ILO reveals that 3.3 million children work in Central America and Mexico

The report indicates that the proportion of minors in child labor in this subregion is above the average for the entire region of Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Q24N – The International Labor Organization (ILO) revealed this Monday in a report that in 2020 8% of children and adolescents in Central America and Mexico, equivalent to 3.3 million minors, were in child labor.

The study entitled “Eradicate child labor by 2025 in Central America and Mexico: The challenge of reaching goal 8.7” indicates that 67% of those 3.3 million perform hazardous work.

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The document published in the framework of the commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labor shows that among minors who do work, 40% are between 5 and 11 years old, 23.1% are between 12 and 14 years old, and the remaining 37% are between 15 and 18 years.

“Although we have seen progress in the region, we are still too far from reaching the goal of the Sustainable Development Goals that sets out to reach the year 2025 without child labor. Intensifying action is urgent and cannot be postponed”, said the specialist in labor migration and fundamental rights of the ILO in Central America, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Noortje Denkers.

The specialist added that this action “must be immediate, intensified, with a gender perspective, well coordinated, multisectoral, multi-stakeholder and based on rights.”

In the case of analysis by sex, these percentages differ notably: 4.8% are girls and 11% are boys who are in child labor. This difference widens with age more than 1.5 times for boys and girls between 5-11 years old, and even more than three times for adolescents between 15 and 17 years old.

The report indicates that the proportion of minors in child labor in this subregion is above the average for the entire region of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the analysis by sector, it stands out that agriculture is progressively losing prominence as age increases: from 58.2% among children between 5 and 11 years of age, up to 37.5% in adolescents between 15 and 17 years of age.

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The services sector goes from 32.4% in the range of 5 to 11 years, to 36.6% for the group of 15 to 17 years, while in the industry it grows from 9.5% to 26% between those same age groups.

The report also proposes nine key actions for action in Central America and Mexico. Among them, incorporating the prevention and eradication of child labor in economic and productive development policies and plans in a transversal and strategic manner, and strengthening the work of the Regional Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labor in the region.

In addition, to promote work in value chains of prioritized sectors of populations in vulnerable situations such as indigenous people, migrants, girls and Afro-descendants, as well as promoting South-South Cooperation between countries to share knowledge and experiences and maximize financial resources.

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Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

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