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Risk of increase in child labor

Exploitation of children and teenagers could grow by up to 3%

Daniel Cymbalista / Fotoarena

The reduced income and increased economic insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to a rise in child labor rates in Latin America and the Caribbean. Analyses by the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO) and Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released on June 12 suggest that the economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus may lead to an increase in the number of children and teenagers who will start working to help support their family. The report extrapolated data from Costa Rica, Mexico, and Peru to other countries in the region. Child labor is estimated to grow by between 1 and 3 percentage points in the region over the next few months. This would represent 109,000–326,000 children and teenagers entering the labor market—a figure that already stands at 10.5 million in the region.