AMERICA/BOLIVIA - 850 000 maltreated children who work in precarious conditions
La Paz (Agenzia Fides) – Half of the Bolivian population, over 5 million people, is 17 years or less old, and among these, approximately 850 000 children and adolescents working in dangerous and poorly paid activities such as in the cultivation of cane sugar and chestnuts, in mines, fisheries, construction, sale of alcoholic drinks, collecting trash, cleaning in hospitals, in addition to dealing with security or domestic labor. From a study carried out by the Ministry of Labor, it showed that the health and physical integrity of minors working environment is compromised. There are 76 000 boys and 58 000 girls, between 5 and 13 years of age, who work in urban areas, while 160 000 boys and 143 000 girls are registered in rural areas working mainly in the agricultural field. As for the age group ranging from 14 to 17 years, in the urban area, about 99 000 workers are boys and 73 000 girls, while in the rural areas boys are 78 000 and girls are 58 000. In addition to the family economic difficulties, these children are forced to work because of poverty, migration, parental irresponsibility and the separation of families. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 13/4/2012)
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