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Worst Forms of Child Labour in Latin-America

This research project carried out in-depth studies in three Latin American countries on specific sectors which are labelled as a worst form according to ILO Convention 182. This Convention explicitly calls for immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of those forms of child labour that pose a direct threat to the physical and moral health of children.

The IREWOC Worst Forms of Child labour research project began by documenting the specific worst forms sectors in three Latin American countries (Guatemala, Bolivia and Peru) and also identified which GOs and NGOs are working in the field of child labour in these countries and what their specific projects are. This part of the project was conducted from October 2006 to January 2007.

Secondly, in-depth anthropological fieldwork was carried out in specific worst form sectors in the research countries. In Guatemala research was carried out in the coffee sector and in the stone quarries. In Peru the mining sector, garbage dumps and markets were studied; and in Bolivia child labour was explored in the mining sector and on sugar cane plantations. The specific aim of the anthropological fieldwork was to document the reality of child labourers in the worst forms of child labour, to discover the reasons why children are (still) working under these conditions and to identify best practices of governmental and non-governmental organisations to eradicate these worst forms.

Upon completion of the research feedback workshops were organised in the three research countries at both local and national levels. In these workshops the research results were discussed with local governmental and non-governmental actors working on child labour as well as with the children and their parents. A final presentation of the findings was conducted in The Netherlands at the end of May.

This project was implemented by the IREWOC Foundation, and jointly supported by Kerk in Actie, ICCO, Edukans, Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Plan Netherlands, Stichting Kinderpostzegels and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. In addition, the project was endorsed by the international ILO/IPEC office in Geneva.


For the summary report:   The Worst Forms of Child Labour in Latin America: Identification and Policy Options 

In Spanish: Las Peores Formas de Trabajo Infantil en America Latina: Identificacion y Opciones Estrategicas

Hard copies can alternatively be ordered from

The individual country reports will not be published in hard copy, but can be downloaded here:

Tags: ["child labour working children", "Latin America"] By Laura Baas, Marten van den Berge, Anna Ensing, Luisa Quiroz
Published Nov. 3, 2008 1:33 PM - Last modified Apr. 17, 2013 4:00 PM