Contravening to international treaties which prohibits child labor affecting about 169 million children worldwide, child-labor-unions plead from the Bolivian Government to legalize child labor for kids as young as ten. Recently the Government approved this appeal with a new regulation, but still prohibiting hard and exploitive work. The Government insists that this legislation,- giving priority to education -, is necessary for a country where 45% of the population lives below the poverty line and 850.000 poor children have no choice but to sustain their families by working part-time. Despite certain difficulties in managing the time of work and education, most of the kids use the earned money to pay their studies and to reconcile the economic needs of their family with their own ambitions. The Human Rights Watch called it a “short-term solution to economic hard-ship” which could compromise the education of the younger generations. Source: Matteo Fagotto, Bolivia Kids, biber newcomer, Winter 2015/16, page 17. The International Labor Organization claims that global child labor had been reduced by a third since 2000 and in between 2008 and 2012 child labor in Latin America and the Carribean had fallen by nearly 2 million. The ILO argues that the move by Bolivia could halt the progress currently being made. Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bolivia-becomes-first-nation-to-legalise-child-labour-9616682.html
The child labor, – even if the requirement is small – , shall be linked with relevant education and training from the very beginning. Maybe an adapted Dual Education System tailored to the requirement of the work and to the age of the children is maybe a good solution.
Roland Leithenmayr VfV