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El Salvador

2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Significant Advancement

In 2014, El Salvador made a significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government signed the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle, a development initiative that includes among its many goals increasing educational and vocational training opportunities for youth and combatting human trafficking. The Government passed the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons that increased penalties for the trafficking of children to a minimum of 16years in prison, and permanently established the Attorney General's anti-trafficking unit and the National Council Against Trafficking in Persons (CNCTP). The Government's National Council for Children and Adolescents (CONNA) provided technical assistance in developing Departmental and Local Committees for Children's and Adolescents' Rights, pursuant to the Law for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents (LEPINA). The Government also expanded educational programs that aim to keep children in schools and out of harmful activities by providing meals, supplies, and extracurricular activities. However, children in El Salvador are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in agriculture and in illicit activities sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Law enforcement agencies continue to lack sufficient resources to enforce child labor laws, and monetary penalties for labor violations remain low.

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I. Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of Child Labor

Children in El Salvador are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in agriculture and in illicit activities sometimes as a result of human trafficking.(1-4) Table 1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in El Salvador.

Table 1. Statistics on Children's Work and Education
Working children, ages 5 to 14 (% and population): 6.3 (84,927)
Working children by sector, ages 5 to 14 (%):  
Agriculture 56.0
Industry 10.4
Services 33.6
School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%): 92.2
Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%): 6.2
Primary completion rate (%): 101.0

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2012, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(5)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children's Work Project's analysis of statistics from Encuesta de Hogares de Propósitos Múltiples (EHPM), 2011.(6)

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children's work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children's Work by Sector and Activity
Sector/Industry Activity
Agriculture Harvesting sugarcane† and coffee† (3, 7, 8)
Fishing,*† including harvesting shellfish† (3, 8-10)
Industry Manufacturing fireworks† (3, 4, 8, 11)
Construction,† activities unknown (3, 8, 12)
Services Garbage scavenging† (3, 4, 8)
Vending on the streets† and in markets† (3, 4, 8, 10)
Street begging*† (8, 13)
Domestic service† (3, 4, 8)
Repairing motor vehicles*† (12, 13)
Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡ Commercial sexual exploitation sometimes as a result of human trafficking (2, 3, 8, 14)
Used by gangs to perform illicit activities, including committing homicides and trafficking drugs sometimes as a result of human trafficking (2, 4, 8, 15, 16)
Forced begging and forced domestic service (2, 3, 8, 17)

* Evidence of this activity is limited and/or the extent of the problem is unknown.
† Determined by national law or regulation as hazardous and, as such, relevant to Article 3(d) of ILO C. 182.
‡ Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a) — (c) of ILO C. 182.

In 2014, El Salvador, like Honduras and Guatemala, was a principal source of the high numbers of unaccompanied children from Central America migrating to the United States. These children often lack economic and educational opportunities and are vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor, including commercial sexual exploitation and the recruitment by gangs into illicit activities such as committing homicides and trafficking drugs.(18, 19) Children often emigrate to escape violence, extortion, and forced recruitment by gangs, in addition to seeking economic opportunities and family reunification. Once en route, they become vulnerable to human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.(18, 19)

Child labor in El Salvador is predominantly male, with boys comprising more than three-fourths of child laborers ages 5 to 17.(20, 21) However, girls comprise the majority of children engaged in domestic service in third-party homes.(3) Victims of forced domestic service include migrant children from Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.(2) In some cases, girls do not attend school because they have child care responsibilities while their mothers work.(22) There are also reports that children are recruited into gang activity or are threatened by gangs while at school, which may cause children to stop attending school.(15, 23-25) The Government has reported that approximately 50 percent of sex trafficking victims in El Salvador are girls ages 13 to 18.(26)

The Government regularly collects statistics on children's work through its annual Multipurpose Household Survey. It reports that with regard to 2012, there has been a decrease of 11.9 percent in child labor among children ages 5 to 17.(20, 27) However, the Government does not appear to conduct research on hard-to-reach populations who are engaged in the worst forms of child labor. For example, the Government reports that children who are used in illicit activities are not covered by its Multipurpose Household Survey.(20) A third-party monitoring group has documented an overall decrease in the use of child labor in the sugarcane harvest since 2010.(7)



II. Legal Framework for the Worst Forms of Child Labor

El Salvador has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor
Convention Ratification
ILO C. 138, Minimum Age
ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor
UN CRC
UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict
UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

The Government has established laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor
Standard Yes/No Age Related Legislation
Minimum Age for Work Yes 14 Article 114 of the Labor Code; Article 38 of the Constitution; Article 59 of the Law for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents (LEPINA) (28-30)
Minimum Age for Hazardous Work Yes 18 Article 105 of the Labor Code; Article 38 of the Constitution; Article 2 of Agreement 241 of 2011 (28, 29, 31)
Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children Yes   Article 1 of Agreement 241 of 2011 (31)
Prohibition of Forced Labor Yes   Articles 3 and 54-55 of the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons; Articles 4 and 9 of the Constitution (28, 32)
Prohibition of Child Trafficking Yes   Articles 3 and 54-55 of the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons; Article 56 of the LEPINA (30, 32)
Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Yes   Articles 3 and 54-55 of the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons; Articles 169-173 of the Penal Code; Article 55 of the LEPINA (30, 32, 33)
Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities Yes   Articles 3 and 54-55 of the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons; Articles 214 and 345 of the Penal Code; Article 56 of the LEPINA (30, 32, 33)
Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment Yes 18 Article 215 of the Constitution (28)
Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service Yes 16 Articles 2 and 6 of the Military Service Law (34)
Compulsory Education Age Yes 16 Articles 5, 18, and 20 of the General Education Law; Article 82 of the LEPINA; Article 56 of the Constitution (28, 30, 35)
Free Public Education Yes   Articles 5, 18, and 20 of the General Education Law; Article 82 of the LEPINA; Article 56 of the Constitution (28, 30, 35)

In 2014, the Government passed the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons, which replaces previous legislation and increases prison sentences for convicted traffickers. The previous penalties of a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 8 years for convictions are now 10 and 14 years, respectively.(32, 36) When the trafficking victim is a child or adolescent, these penalties are increased to 16 to 20 years, and when the convicted trafficker is the head of a gang or organized criminal group, the penalties are increased to 20 to 25 years.(32) The law also treats forced labor and the use of children in illicit activities as trafficking in persons (TIP) crimes, and expands mandated assistance to survivors of trafficking. The Law took effect on January 12, 2015.(26, 32, 36)

Article 627 of the Labor Code specifies a default fine of no more than $60 per violation of all labor laws, including child labor laws.(29) The Government is currently reviewing national legislation to ensure that monetary penalties for all labor violations are proportionate to the nature and seriousness of the offense.(37)



III. Enforcement of Laws on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement
Organization/Agency Role
Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MTPS) Enforce regulations on child labor, including hazardous child labor. Inspect registered businesses for all types of labor violations, including child labor.(8, 13) Maintain a special child labor unit that trains inspectors and businesses on child labor law.(38) Refer cases of possible crimes committed against children to the Office of the Attorney General.(8)
Office of the Attorney General (AG) Enforce criminal law related to the worst forms of child labor. Maintain a TIP Unit, made permanent by the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons, that consists of 14 prosecutors who investigate human trafficking and related crimes.(8, 32) Refer exploited children to the Salvadoran Institute for the Comprehensive Development of Children and Adolescents (ISNA) for social services and shelter.(8)
National Civilian Police (PNC) Enforce criminal laws regarding the worst forms of child labor. Maintain a Special Unit on Trafficking in Persons that investigates cases of commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking, including child trafficking.(8, 13) Maintain an emergency hotline that receives complaints about commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking.(39)
Salvadoran Institute for the Comprehensive Development of Children and Adolescents (ISNA) Receive referrals from law enforcement agencies on cases of criminal exploitation of children, including forced labor, human trafficking, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Provide child victims with services, including shelter, medical attention, psychological help, and legal advice.(40)

Law enforcement agencies in El Salvador took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms.

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2014, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MTPS) employed 114 labor inspectors, which is a significant decrease from the 203 inspectors employed in 2013. The MTPS reported that this number of inspectors was inadequate.(4) During the reporting period, MTPS inspectors and their supervisors received training from the ILO, and MTPS inspectors participated in an additional child labor training with the Sugar Association of El Salvador.(4)

In 2014, the budget for the MTPS Inspection Department was approximately $1.8 million, which was the same amount allocated in 2013.(4, 8) The MTPS acknowledged that this level of funding, and its 15 vehicles, were insufficient to fully enforce labor laws across the country. Despite these insufficiencies, the MTPS reported that it made efforts to increase efficiencies by holding preventative child labor workshops for employers in all 14 regions of the country.(4)

In El Salvador, inspectors conduct both complaint-driven and unannounced inspections.(4) It has been reported that the inspection process in El Salvador can entail multiple visits per site, and that the Ministry of Economy and the Office of the Attorney General (AG) issue penalties in a process that can take up to 6 months.(41)

In 2014, the MTPS conducted 25,538 labor inspections; of these, 1,477 were child labor-specific inspections. This was a substantial increase from the 249 child labor-specific inspections conducted in 2013.(4, 8) Research did not find information on the sectors or geographical regions in which these inspections were conducted. As a result of the inspections, the MTPS found 20 children engaged in work without prior authorization. Of that number, one child was under the minimum age for work, and two children were engaged in hazardous work.(4) Research did not find information on the activities in which these children were engaged. In December, the MTPS conducted a pilot project to increase labor inspections for child labor violations in the production and sale of fireworks, when these activities are prevalent. During this period, the MTPS reported that it removed one child from child labor.(4) In El Salvador, children removed from child labor are referred to the Salvadoran Institute for the Comprehensive Development of Children and Adolescents (ISNA) for services. In 2014, ISNA reported that it assisted 93 children who were engaged in child labor.(4) The MTPS also reported that no child labor-related penalties or citations were issued, and that no fines were collected, during the reporting period.(4)

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2014, the Government reported that the National Civilian Police's (PNC) Special Unit on Trafficking in Persons employed a staff of 34 officials, including 15 investigators. Nine of these investigators received training on trafficking in persons during the reporting period.(4) The Office of the Attorney General's (AG) TIP Unit employed 14 prosecutors. The AG TIP Unit participated in 10 training courses related to child labor, exploitation, trafficking, and international organized crime.(4) The AG TIP Unit also provided TIP-focused training to officials of the PNC, ISNA, the Ministry of Justice, and municipal governments.(4) Criminal law enforcement agencies in El Salvador have reported that they lack sufficient resources to adequately investigate and prosecute crimes, including the worst forms of child labor.(4, 42)

Reports indicate that a lack of effective coordination between the PNC and the AG may hamper efforts to investigate criminal cases. In addition, reports indicate that coordination between criminal law enforcement agencies and social service agencies also needs improvement.(26) These gaps in coordination may be rectified by the complete implementation and funding of the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons which expands, strengthens, and makes permanent existing law enforcement and coordinating bodies, including the National Council Against Trafficking in Persons (CNCTP).(26) In El Salvador, a lack of evidence is one of the major obstacles to investigating cases of child pornography.(42) Evidence that could be used by investigators is limited because Internet service providers, cell phone operators, and search engines are not required to keep information for a sufficient period of time to allow its use in investigations.(43)

In 2014, the AG investigated 53 cases of human trafficking. Of these cases, it investigated 40 cases of sex trafficking of children that included 39 female victims and 3 male victims.(26) The AG also investigated 2 cases of forced child labor that involved 2 female victims.(26) The AG reported that 4 of the 53 cases went to trial, with 3 cases resulting in convictions for the sex trafficking of children. Sentences ranged from 8 to 12 years of imprisonment in addition to civil compensation.(26) These crimes were prosecuted under Section 367-B of the Salvadoran Penal Code, given that the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons did not take effect until January 12, 2015.(26)

During the reporting period, ISNA assisted 93 children who were rescued from the worst forms of child labor, including 35 children engaged in commercial sexual exploitation, 17 children engaged in forced begging, and 13 children engaged in illicit activities. ISNA also referred 13 female victims of trafficking to a government shelter.(4)



IV. Coordination of Government Efforts on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

Table 6. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor
Coordinating Body Role & Description
National Committee for the Eradication of Child Labor (CNETI) Determine and implement government efforts to combat child labor, including the Roadmap to Make El Salvador a Country Free of Child Labor and its Worst Forms. Chaired by the MTPS and includes 12 government agencies, along with representatives from labor unions, business associations, and NGOs.(3, 13, 44) Utilize a Web-based monitoring system that allows government agencies to share and analyze information on their agencies to coordinate the implementation of the Roadmap.(45-47)
National Council Against Trafficking in Persons (CNCTP) Coordinate government efforts to combat trafficking in persons, including by implementing the National Policy Against Trafficking in Persons.(48) Headed by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, and composed of 11 government ministries and law enforcement agencies. Made permanent by the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons, and administered by an Executive Secretariat and a Technical Committee.(1, 26, 32)
National Council for Children and Adolescents (CONNA) Develop policies to protect the rights of children, including child labor policies, and implement the LEPINA and the National Policy for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (PNPNA).(30, 49, 50) Composed of Departmental and Local Committees for Children's and Adolescents' Rights, ISNA, the Ministry of Public Security and Justice, the AG, the Human Rights Ombudsman, and other agencies.(13)
Departmental and Local Committees for Children's and Adolescents' Rights Implement CONNA's policies, including the PNPNA, at the departmental and municipal levels, as well as receive complaints of child rights violations at the departmental level. Composed of local elected officials, government specialists in public health and education, and members of civil society.(30, 51, 52)

In 2014, the National Committee for the Eradication of Child Labor (CNETI) met to review its members' progress in implementing the Roadmap to Make El Salvador a Country Free of Child Labor and its Worst Forms.(44) Also during the reporting period, the National Council for Children and Adolescents (CONNA) continued to provide technical assistance in developing the Departmental and Local Committees for Children's and Adolescents' Rights, as mandated by the Law for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents (LEPINA).(51, 52) With funding from the ILO and the Salvadoran Chamber of Farming and Agro Industries (CAMAGRO), CONNA also conducted an outreach campaign on the prevention and eradication of child labor in agriculture and associated sectors that involved more than 1,000 parents, 180 youth, and 125 employers.(4) In addition, CONNA published a Public Registry of civil associations that monitor and advocate for the rights of children and adolescents for 2014. Along with ISNA, the 39 associations contained in this Public Registry comprise the Network of Shared Services.(53)

Despite these efforts, challenges remain. CONNA does not have sufficient resources to implement all of its mandates established by the LEPINA. As a result, it cannot fully implement the interagency coordination mechanisms it has developed to combat child labor and protect children's rights.(13, 54)



V. Government Policies on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government of El Salvador has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 7).

Table 7. Policies Related to Child Labor
Policy Description
Roadmap to Make El Salvador a Country Free of Child Labor and its Worst Forms Serves as the Government's main policy framework to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. Aims to eliminate the worst forms of child labor by 2015, and all child labor by 2020, by reducing poverty, improving education and health, protecting children's rights, raising awareness, and generating knowledge.(1, 55)
National Policy for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (2013 — 2023) (PNPNA) Sets government policies and action plans aimed at guaranteeing children's rights and protecting them from violence and harm, including the worst forms of child labor. Objectives include improving health services for children, improving access to quality education, improving services for children with disabilities, reducing poverty among children, and others.(50) Drafted and launched by CONNA after it consulted thousands of children and adults throughout El Salvador per its mandate by the LEPINA.(56)
National Policy Against Trafficking in Persons Defines a comprehensive plan to combat human trafficking of both adults and children, including commercial sexual exploitation, labor exploitation, begging, pornography, and sex tourism. Aims to improve prevention efforts, victim assistance, prosecution, interagency coordination, training, and anti-corruption efforts.(1, 57, 58)
Inclusive Education Policy Defines actions that the Ministry of Education (MINED) should implement to improve education for marginalized and excluded groups, including child laborers.(1, 59)
National Youth Policy (2010 — 2024)* Outlines the Government's strategy to provide integrated services to socially excluded youth. Includes the goal of providing vocational training and creating 50,000 temporary jobs for youth.(60)
Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle† Aims to create economic growth, increase educational and vocational training opportunities for youth, and reduce violence in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, in part to reduce the number of unaccompanied minors who leave El Salvador and other Central American countries for the United States and who are vulnerable to human trafficking. Signed by the presidents of each country in 2014.(61-63)
Partnership for Growth: Joint Country Action Plan between El Salvador and the United States (2011 — 2015) Aims to promote broad-based economic growth in El Salvador, with a focus on human capital development and crime prevention, including the provision of assistance to at-risk youth.(64, 65)
Declaration of the Regional Initiative: Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labor (2014 — 2020)† Aims to increase regional cooperation on eradicating child labor by 2020 through signatories' efforts to strengthen monitoring and coordination mechanisms, government programs, and South-South exchanges. Reaffirms commitments made in the Brasilia Declaration from the Third Global Conference on Child Labor (October 2013), and signed by El Salvador at the ILO's 18th Regional Meeting of the Americas in Lima, Peru (October 2014).(66-68)
Memorandum of Understanding between El Salvador and Colombia on Preventing and Investigating Trafficking in Persons and Assisting Victims Establishes joint actions between Salvadoran and Colombian government agencies to improve their coordination in preventing and investigating human trafficking cases, and protecting victims. Signed in 2013.(69)
Central American Regional Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking Aims to improve government and civil society efforts to combat human trafficking in Central America. Includes the participation of civil society organizations and the national police and public prosecutor's offices in Central America, including those of the Government of Guatemala.(70-72) Includes a Memorandum of Understanding between El Salvador and Guatemala on Protecting Trafficking Victims and the Illicit Trafficking of Migrants, which establishes actions for the Governments of Guatemala and El Salvador to improve the protection of trafficking victims and reduce the trafficking of migrants along the Guatemala-El Salvador border. Includes a focus on improving services for children.(70-72)

* Child labor elimination and prevention strategies do not appear to have been integrated into this policy.
† Policy was approved during the reporting period.



VI. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

In 2014, the Government of El Salvador funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms. The Government has other programs that may have an impact on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. Social Programs to Address Child Labor
Program Description
Project to Combat Child Labor in El Salvador $14 million USDOL-funded, 4-year project implemented by ILO-IPEC to combat child labor, including by strengthening national and municipal government capacity to address child labor.(22, 73) As of October 2014, has provided educational or vocational services to 9,377 children engaged in, or at risk of engaging in child labor. In 2014, MINED implemented a teacher-training diploma program for 200 teachers in municipalities where child labor is prevalent so that they may better respond to students' educational and social needs, and to help prevent child labor.(74, 75)
Child Labor Measurement and Policy Development (MAP) USDOL-funded research project implemented by the ILO in 10 countries, including El Salvador, to increase the knowledge base around child labor by collecting new data, analyzing existing data, and building capacity to conduct research in this area.(76)
Solidarity Communities Programs (Comunidades Solidarias)*‡ Government programs implemented in the poorest municipalities to reduce social exclusion and boost household income by increasing access to public services and building human capital. Includes Health and Education Bonus Programs that assist more than 100,000 families with cash transfers conditioned on children's school attendance and regular health checkups.(1, 77-79) Includes the Temporary Income Support Program (PATI) that provides financial support and vocational training to beneficiaries age 16 and older and female heads of household who face poverty. PATI is financed with support from the World Bank.(1, 77-79)
School Meal and School Supply Programs*‡ MINED programs that provide low-income children with school meals and school supplies, including uniforms, to encourage school attendance.(80-82) In 2014, expanded to assist 1.4 million students with school meals.(83)
Inclusive Full-Time School Program (Escuela Inclusiva de Tiempo Pleno)*‡ Government program that provides extracurricular programs in schools, such as art and entrepreneurship classes, to extend the school day and prevent children from becoming involved in harmful activities. Funded by the World Bank, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and others, with the Government providing $10.2million.(4, 84, 85) Begun in 2011; in 2014, the program expanded to incorporate 1,620 schools in 100 municipalities across the country.(4, 86)
School Prevention and Security Plan*‡ Programs implemented by MINED, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, and the PNC in schools with high levels of violence. Includes activities such as providing psychological help, skills workshops for youth, crisis intervention, and increased police patrols.(87) In 2014, continued to operate in 345 schools.(88)
"Don't Put Your Lives at Risk" Public Awareness Campaign (No pongas en riesgo sus vidas)†‡ CONNA campaign that sensitizes children and their families to the dangers of irregular and unaccompanied migration, including the risks of being trafficked and forced to engage in commercial sexual exploitation. Supported by UNICEF and IOM.(89)
Public Awareness Campaigns on Child Labor‡ Government public awareness campaigns implemented by MINED, the Ministry of Health, CONNA, and others to inform children about the dangers of child labor, including manufacturing and handling fireworks.(90, 91) In 2014, MINED implemented awareness efforts in 74 school districts with high levels of child labor.(4)
Research on Trafficking in Persons and Victims' Assistance Programs‡ Government program to conduct research on trafficking routes in El Salvador, and provide shelter and medical assistance to female victims of trafficking, including children.(92)
First I Learn (Primero Aprendo en Centroamérica) MTPS project implemented with the Ministries of Labor from Nicaragua and Guatemala that assisted 1,000 children at risk of commercial sexual exploitation in the three countries. Provided training to businesses in the tourism sector on commercial sexual exploitation and developed a manual for workers on the prevention and eradication of child labor.(4)
Education and Monitoring Program for the Eradication of Child Labor $1.3 million Government of Spain-funded, 2-year project implemented by ILO-IPEC to strengthen public policies and government capacity to combat child labor in 19 countries in the Americas, including El Salvador. A main objective of the project is to develop information systems on the worst forms of child labor.(93)

* The impact of this program on child labor does not appear to have been studied.
† Program was launched during the reporting period.
‡ Program is funded by the Government of El Salvador.


The Government implements several programs to reduce the worst forms of child labor by assisting poor families and school children; however, research found no evidence that the Government has programs that assist child laborers who may not be living with their families or attending school, such as children engaged in domestic service. In addition, although government programs have expanded basic education coverage, gang violence has hindered efforts to increase school enrollment and decrease dropout rates.(94, 95)



VII. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in El Salvador (Table 9).

Table 9. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms
Area Suggested Action Year(s) Suggested
Legal Framework Ensure that monetary penalties for child labor violations are proportionate to the nature and seriousness of the offence. 2009 — 2014
Enforcement Ensure the number of labor inspectors is sufficient to fully enforce child labor laws. 2014
Provide sufficient funding and resources to the MTPS and criminal law enforcement agencies to fully enforce child labor laws. 2010 — 2014
Strengthen enforcement of child labor and other laws by streamlining the labor inspection process and the issuance of fines. 2009 — 2014
Publicly report on the sectors and geographical regions in which labor inspections are conducted, on the activities in which children are engaged in child labor, and on penalties or citations issued for child labor law violations. 2014
Implement and fund the Special Law Against Trafficking in Persons to improve coordination between the PNC and the AG in their investigation and prosecution of criminal cases, as well as their referral of cases to social service providers. 2014
Establish a code of conduct for Internet service providers, cell phone operators, and search engines to combat child pornography by reporting cases, blocking sites, and retaining information for investigations. 2009 — 2014
Coordination Provide sufficient funding to CONNA to fully implement the LEPINA. 2012 — 2014
Government Policies Integrate child labor elimination and prevention strategies into the National Youth Policy for 2010 — 2024. 2014
Social Programs Improve children's access to education by:
  • Expanding childcare options for working mothers to allow girls to go to school.
  • Ensuring that school children are safe in schools.
2011 — 2014
Conduct a study on the use of children in illicit activities. 2009 — 2014
Assess the impact that existing social programs, such as the Solidarity Communities Programs, have on addressing child labor. 2014
Implement programs to address child labor in domestic service. 2014



1.UCW. Entendiendo los Resultados del Trabajo Infantil y el Empleo Juvenil en El Salvador  Rome; June 2013. http://www.ucw-project.org/attachment/trabajo_infantil_empleo_juvenil_el_Salvador_201320130912_132756.pdf.

2.U.S. Department of State. "El Salvador," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2014. Washington, DC; June 20, 2014; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/226846.pdf.

3.Government of El Salvador. Respuesta a Cuestionario del Departamento de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos sobre Trabajo Infantil y Trabajo Forzoso. San Salvador; May 3, 2013.

4.U.S. Embassy- San Salvador. reporting, January 8, 2015.

5.UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed January 16, 2015]; http://www.uis.unesco.org/Pages/default.aspx?SPSLanguage=EN. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. For more information, please see the "Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions" section of this report.

6.UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Encuesta de Hogares de Propósitos Múltiples, 2011. Analysis received January 16, 2015. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children's work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor. For more information on sources used, the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the "Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions" section of this report.

7.UL. The Sugar Association of El Salvador Case Study; 2013. http://www.ul.com/global/documents/verificationservices/businesssegments/RS/MC202_AAES_CaseStudy_F_Web.pdf.

8.U.S. Embassy- San Salvador. reporting, February 28, 2014.

9.Alas, M. "La isla encantada de dolor." ContraPunto.com [online] March 14, 2011 [cited April 10, 2014];
http://www.archivocp.contrapunto.com.sv/pobreza/la-isla-encantada-de-dolor.

10.Fuentes, L. "Niños trabajan en peores condiciones en Usulután." La Prensa Gráfica, San Salvador, March 20, 2011; El Salvador. http://www.laprensagrafica.com/el-salvador/lodeldia/179415-ninos-trabajan-en-peores-condiciones-en-usulutan.html.

11.La Prensa Gráfica. "Dos niños quemados tras explosión de cohetería." laprensagrafica.com [online] December 24, 2014 [cited January 5, 2015]; http://www.laprensagrafica.com/2014/12/24/dos-nios-quemados-tras-explosion-de-coheteria.

12.Salvadoran National Institute for the Full Development of Children (ISNA). Situación del trabajo infantil en el municipio de Juayúa. San Salvador, ISNA and ILO; 2012. http://bit.ly/12LlqPk.

13.U.S. Embassy- San Salvador. reporting, February 1, 2013.

14.Lopez, J. "Cinco de cada 10 casos de explotación sexual son niños." El Salvador.com [online] October 28, 2011 [cited April 10, 2014]; http://www.elsalvador.com/mwedh/nota/nota_completa.asp?idCat=47654&idArt=6334056.

15.AFP. ""Maras" salvadoreñas confirman inédita tregua y declaran escuelas como "zonas de paz"." El Mercurio, Santiago, May 3, 2012; Mundo. http://www.emol.com/noticias/internacional/2012/05/03/538611/maras-salvadorenas-confirman-inedita-tregua-y-declaran-escuelas-como-zonas-de-paz.html.

16.El Diario de Hoy. "Maras aún reclutan a menores de edad para delinquir." elsalvador.com [online] January 21, 2013 [cited December 11, 2014]; http://www.elsalvador.com/mwedh/nota/nota_completa.asp?idCat=47859&idArt=7622016.

17.U.S. Department of State. "El Salvador," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2013. Washington, DC; April 19, 2013; http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/.

18.Dennis Stinchcomb and Eric Hershberg. Unaccompanied Migrant Children from Central America: Context, Causes, and Responses. Center for Latin American & Latino Studies, American University; 2014 November,. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2524001.

19.United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Mission to Central America: The Flight of Unaccompanied Children to the United States; November 2013. http://www.usccb.org/about/migration-policy/upload/Mission-To-Central-America-FINAL-2.pdf.

20.Government of El Salvador - Dirección General de Estadística y Censos. "Encuesta de Hogares de Propósitos Múltiples 2013." digestyc.gob.sv [online] 2014 [cited December 11, 2014]; http://www.digestyc.gob.sv/index.php/temas/des/ehpm/publicaciones-ehpm.html.

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22.ILO-IPEC. Eliminating Child Labour in El Salvador through Economic Empowerment and Social Inclusion. Project Document. Geneva; December 2010.

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26.U.S. Embassy- San Salvador. reporting, February 17, 2015.

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66."Declaración de Constitución de la Iniciativa Regional América Latina y el Caribe Libre de Trabajo Infántil, signed at the ILO's 18th Regional Meeting of the Americas, October 14, 2014." [cited November 17, 2014]; https://iniciativaregionalcontraeltrabajoinfantil.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/declaracic3b3n-ir_espac3b1ol.pdf.

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68.UN News Centre. "At UN-backed forum, Latin American, Caribbean nations pledge robust efforts against child labour." October 15, 2014. http://www.un.org/apps/news/printnews.asp?nid=49082.

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72.EFE. "Instan a Centroamérica a articular medidas contra la trata de personas." abc.es [online] September 9, 2013 [cited May 21, 2015]; http://www.abc.es/agencias/noticia.asp?noticia=1492206.

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74.ILO-IPEC. Eliminating Child Labour in El Salvador through Economic Empowerment and Social Inclusion. Technical Progress Report. Geneva; October, 2014.

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83.Voces. "MINED verificó funcionamiento de programa alimentación escolar." voces.org.sv [online] March 7, 2014 [cited December 12, 2014]; http://voces.org.sv/2014/03/07/mined-verifico-funcionamiento-de-programa-alimentacion-escolar/.

84.Segura, B. "MINED expandirá el Sistema Integrado de Escuela Inclusiva de Tiempo Pleno a 900 escuelas en 2013." Diario Co Latino, San Salvador, November 3, 2012.
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85.Alvarado, T. "Escuelas a Tiempo Pleno un modelo transformador de la educación." Transparencia Activa, January 23 2013. http://www.transparenciaactiva.gob.sv/escuelas-a-tiempo-pleno-un-modelo-transformador-de-la-educacion/.

86.Alvarado, T. "Programa de Escuelas a Tiempo Pleno se extiende a 2,285 centros educativos." Transparencia Activa, July 25, 2014. http://www.transparenciaactiva.gob.sv/programa-de-escuelas-a-tiempo-pleno-se-extiende-a-2285-centros-educativos/.

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90.National Council for Children and Adolescents. CONNA participa en pre lanzamiento de campaña "No existe pólvora segura". Press Release. San Salvador; October 1, 2013. http://www.conna.gob.sv/index.php/novedades/noticias/item/116-campaña.html.

91.Ventura, AM. Lanzan campaña para sensibilizar sobre el riesgo del uso de la pólvora Radio Nacional de El Salvador; November 19, 2014. http://rnes.sv/lanzan-campana-para-sensibilizar-sobre-el-riesgo-del-uso-de-la-polvora/.

92.U.S. Embassy- San Salvador. reporting, March 25, 2014.

93.ILO-IPEC Geneva official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. January 9, 2015.

94.Hernández, C. "Reconocen que la violencia influye en baja de escolares." El Mundo, San Salvador, May 30, 2012.
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95.Morán, O. "Inseguridad, principal causa de deserción escolar en el país según Educación." Diario La Página, San Salvador, May 30, 2012. http://www.lapagina.com.sv/ampliar.php?id=67087.

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