Bolivia legalizes Child Labour from the age of 10
'Desperate situations call for desperate measures'
And short-sighted Bolivian lawmakers believe every word of it - both in letter and spirit.
The poorest country of South America has taken the extreme decision to legally allow the children above 10 to be part of nation's workforce - a move seen as poverty alleviation measure (strangely).
- It allows any self-employed child above 10 to work provided that they don't miss out on schooling.
- For Children above 12 working for others (contracted job) is now permitted if it has parental authorisation.
- The legislation seeks to balance out the law by setting harsher punishment for violence against children.
Some stark facts about Bolivia
- More than 500,000 children already work to economically sustain the family in the landlocked nation as per an old Unicef report.
- It's estimated that the number must have crossed 1 million by now, accounting for 15 percent of the workforce, in Bolivia.
- These are figures of those who works regulary and thus lose access to education.
- Another report says that one in every three Bolivian kid don't attend school.
- Neighbouring Chile has illegalized child labour under 16 years of age - a stark contrast.
What says the International Law?
- As per International Labour Organisation its illegal to employ children under the age of 15.
- However, the rules have been relaxed for poor and developing countries to a minimum working age of 14. (including India)
- Maybe these measures have helped in bringing the global child labor figure down by one-third since 2000.
- While most of the world is united in discouraging the child labor by framing stringent labour laws, Bolivia defies the progressive trend with such regressive legislation.
- Child labor may appear a solution to economic misery in short-term, However in reality this magnify and perpetuate poverty by creating an army of uneducated, unskilled and unhealthy workforce.