The United States Department of Labor highlighted Costa Rica’s struggle against child labor. A report from the US Department of Labor’s International Labor Office acknowledged the effort made by Costa Rica.
The “Worst Forms of Child Labor” report (2016 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor) places the country as one of the 23 nations that scored “significant progress”. This is the highest level in the assessment made to a total of 135 countries.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Security highlighted the findings of the report.
In 2016, Costa Rica made significant progress in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor,”
states the report. Some of the highlighted actions are:
• The National Institute of Statistics and Census conducted the National Survey of Homes, with a module on child labor.
• The Ministry of Labor initiated a scholarship program with the Joint Institute of Social Assistance to cover the school expenses of child laborers.
• Agreements were signed with El Salvador and Guatemala to work together towards the eradication of child labor in their countries.
This reflects an effort not only governmental but intersectoral , where we have understood both employers and workers that we must continue with the initiatives aimed at achieving the eradication of this scourge in Costa Rica,”
said Minister Alfredo Hasbum.
In the Latin American region, 10 of the 26 countries covered in this report received a Significant Progress score: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.
Countries throughout the region have made significant efforts, including the adoption of laws prohibiting the worst forms of child labor, enforcing criminal laws relating to child trafficking and forced labor, and conducting research on the subject.
According to the Child Labor Module applied in the 2016National Survey of Households, Costa Rica showed a reduction of 12 thousand working people, which means a decrease of 1.2% in the employment rate.
The Ministry of Labor explained that the employment rate of underage people (from five to 17 years old) went from 4.3% in 2011 to 3.1% in 2016.
In the case of people from five to 14 years old (who are not fit to work, according to the law) the employment rate is set at 1.1%, showing a decrease of more than six thousand minors and the lowest rate in the entire Latin American region according to the International Labor Organization.