30K minors currently employed in Costa Rica

The central government estimates that there are 30,000 youngsters between 5 and 17 years that are working after the Costa Rican national household survey for 2016 showed 12,000 minors were not officially working. The number represents only around a single percentage decrease.

According to the Módulo de Trabajo Infantil, the employment rate dropped with these new numbers from 4.3 percent to around 3.1 percent of the total workforce, according to the government’s data.

The government believes that this represents a success for the administration of Luis Guillermo Solís whose strategic plan to reduce and eventually eliminate child labor is making some progress. On the flip side, the Encuesta Nacional de Hogares which is the name of the government census showed enrollment in schools increased to around 86 percent as well. That is a 4.3 percent increase from five years ago, according to the data provided.

The Región Central of the country constitutes the location where more than half of all working minors in the country are. Around 60 percent of those minors work in agriculture and livestock.

Among other programs the government gives money to poor families whose children had been working if the youngsters go to school instead.

The central government and the International Labour Organization, a U.N. agency, frown on children working before they turn 18. However, some sources suggest that reasonable work provides financial and social benefits for children.

Many of the jobs here are not reasonable. Some parents put very young children out in the street to beg for money. In addition, more than 50 percent of rural children have a job before they become adults.

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