LN – June 12: World Day Against Child Labor


Children who work constitute one of the most vulnerable sectors

A problem that violates the rights of Children

By Lic. Alejandra Perinetti. National Director of SOS Children's Villages Argentina

According to the CONAETI (National Commission for the Eradication of Child Labor), child labor is defined as “any economic activity and / or survival strategy, paid or not, carried out by girls and boys, below the minimum age for admission to employment. or work, or who have not completed compulsory schooling or who have not reached the age of 18 in the case of hazardous work “.

In 2015, the ILO (International Labor Organization) presented the report “Paving the way to decent work for young people”[1]. From this report it appears that there are more than 160 million working children and that the vast majority of them are between 5 and 14 years old, which accounts for the magnitude of the problem.

According to the same organization, child labor, prohibited in international law, contemplates children who perform activities linked to slavery and submission or who perform activities that, without becoming the first, put their well-being at risk physical and emotional, either by the characteristics of the work they perform or by the conditions in which they develop it. Finally, it also contemplates the group of children who carry out this type of activity at an age lower than that established by the legal frameworks of each country.

Regardless of this categorization, there are strategies for family survival and / or cultural crossings that allow the realization of work activities by children. From Aldeas Infantiles SOS we consider that there is not enough argument to justify or naturalize this violation of rights. But, we also understand, that only a strong State that prioritizes the eradication of this problem can interfere in the circle of reproduction of poverty that child labor represents.

Child labor:

Vulnera the right to health: premature aging, malnutrition, depression are only some of its manifestations since a child is not prepared physically or emotionally for the development of a work activity.

Vulnera the right to education because a child who works hard will be able to sustain schooling and if you can do it, your academic performance will not allow you to reach the maximum of its possibilities, exposing it to an inequality of opportunities in the future .

Vulnera the right to psychophysical integrity, since children who work are more exposed to different manifestations of physical, mental and sexual violence.

Vulnera the right to play, recreation and recreation, as children who work lose this possibility. A child who works is condemned to lose his status as such and enter the adult world through the worst of doors.

The negative effects of child labor are many. The most damaging aspect is the invisibility and naturalization with which the work developed by children tends to be “looked at”. This “activity” is nothing more than the reflection of mortgaged generations, of hundreds of children who, when adults, as the statistics show, will be condemned to reinsert themselves again and again in the informality and precariousness of work.

It's time to humanize the numbers and resignify everything they represent. The moment is today because the time of the children passes and they can not recover. As a society and State we must be able to punish severely those who promote child labor and work intentionally from inclusive public policies to prevent it from happening.


Publicado en el diario La Nación