Laws or Lip Service?

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales argues that children have the right to work. In 2014 he lowered the minimum working age for children from 14 to 10 at home. At 12 children can work for others.

Child labor is an economic lifeline for many families in Bolivia, where 850,000 children work, according to UNICEF. The economy is improving under Morales, and poverty levels are down—though they still stand at 39%.

But experts at the UN and the International Labor Organization have raised concerns that Morales’ child labor protection policies fail to do just that. Child labor reports and registers intended to protect working children have not materialized; up to a fifth of municipalities lacked a child protection advocate in 2016.

Pulitzer Center / NBC News

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