Bypassing the law in Bolivia

| November 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries – is to ensure universal primary school enrolment for all children by 2015.

Yet, in many countries where poverty is on the rise, children must work to support their families instead of going to school to improve their own futures and those of generations to come.

Another MDG was intended to break this poverty cycle. However, Bolivia recently passed a law enabling children as young as 10 years old to work legally, bypassing a United Nations (UN) convention that sets the minimum age for child labourers at 14 years.

Whilst the new Bolivian law guarantees them fair wages and other protections, on the street young labourers frequently work long hours under strict instructions not to return home without a requisite amount of money. Thousands of Bolivian child labourers are also vulnerable in a myriad of other ways – for example, working without the permission of a parent or guardian. Parents and employees frequently do not abide by the law, which requires that all Bolivian children acquire a minimum period of schooling per day.

Critics say that the only way for children from impoverished families to get a proper education is for their working parents to be paid a decent living wage, so that their children can go to school.

Category: Summer 2014

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