Those expats who had paper routes when they were young might be surprised to learn that Costa Rica considers such activities to be illegal.
The country has renewed an effort to eliminate what it calls trabajo infantil and and trabajo adolescente. The first, child labor, includes youngsters who are less than 15 years. The second, adolescents, includes youngsters from 15 to 18. Child labor is prohibited, and youngsters from 15 to 18 work under special rules.
The central government is involved in the campaign with the International Labor Organization. The idea is to crack down on the estimated 40,000 jobs held by these youngsters when the jobs are not permitted by law, said the government. The government outlined a 10-year plan in 2010 that is being followed now by the Luis Guillermo Solís administration
Part of the plan is to create economic conditions so that children do not have to work, said an announcement. There are plenty of children in the Central Valley who are on the streets with parents trying to sell small items or otherwise make money. Others work in domestic servant roles in homes.
In agricultural areas, the jobs are in the fields.
The Fundación Telefónica is supporting the government effort. This is a foundation linked to Movistar.