Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Bolivia

Brazil Nuts/Chestnuts
Brazil Nuts/Chestnuts
Child Labor Icon
Forced Child Labor Icon
Forced Labor Icon
Bricks
Bricks
Child Labor Icon
Cattle
Cattle
Forced Labor Icon
Corn
Corn
Child Labor Icon
Forced Labor Icon
Gold
Gold
Child Labor Icon
Peanuts
Peanuts
Forced Labor Icon
Silver
Silver
Child Labor Icon
Sugarcane
Sugarcane
Child Labor Icon
Forced Child Labor Icon
Forced Labor Icon
Tin
Tin
Child Labor Icon
Zinc
Zinc
Child Labor Icon
Bolivia
2018 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2018, Bolivia made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. Following the Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal (TCP) decision that ruled unconstitutional provisions of the 2014 Child and Adolescent Code which allowed children as young as 10 years old to work, in December 2018 President Evo Morales signed complementary legislation that further clarified the minimum age of 14 years. The legislation eliminated remaining provisions that permitted children to work at ages 12 and 13. The labor inspectorate also increased the number of labor inspectors, mobile inspection units, and the number of inspections conducted throughout the year. In addition, the major sugar-producing Department of Santa Cruz addressed child labor in the sector through several social programs. However, children in Bolivia engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in mining and commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also perform dangerous tasks in agriculture. Although Bolivian law requires that apprentices attend school, it does not set a minimum age for participation in apprenticeships. In addition, Article 1 of Supreme Decree No. 1875 sets the minimum age for compulsory military service at 17 years, which does not comply with international standards.

Children in Bolivia engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in mining and commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. (1,2) Table 1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in Bolivia.


Table 1. Statistics on Children’s Work and Education

Children

Age

Percent

Working (% and population)

7 to 14

15.2 (265,746)

Attending School (%)

7 to 14

97.4

Combining Work and School (%)

7 to 14

14.5

Primary Completion Rate (%)

 

92.9

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2017, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2019. (3)  

Source for all other data: International Labor Organization's analysis of statistics from Encuesta Continua de Hogares Survey, 2017. (4)

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

Planting and harvesting corn and peanuts (5)  

Production and harvesting of Brazil nuts/chestnuts† and sugarcane† (2,5,7)  

Ranching and raising cattle† and plucking chickens (2,9,10)  

Industry

Mining† of gold, silver, tin, and zinc (1,2,7,8,12)  

Construction,† including heavy lifting and shoveling (2)  

Production of bricks† (2,13,14)  

Services

Street vending, juggling, shoe shining, and assisting transportation operators (2,15-18)  

Cleaning cemeteries (graves) and hospitals† (17-19) 

Domestic work (2,20,21)  

Restaurant work, activities unknown (12) 

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Forced labor in ranching, and in the production and harvesting of Brazil nuts and sugarcane (7,11,21,22)  

Forced begging, and forced labor in mining and domestic service (2,9,11,21,23) 

Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (2,24)  

Forced illicit activities, including robbery and producing or transporting drugs (9,11,21,25) 

† 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.

Children produce and harvest sugarcane and Brazil nuts in the Departments of Beni, Pando, Santa Cruz, and Tarija. (1,7) Indigenous children are particularly vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor. (21)  Some indigenous Guaraní families live in debt bondage and work on ranches, including raising cattle, in the Chaco region of Bolivia. (21) In Tarija, the sugar cane and Brazil nut harvest seasons attract over 3,000 internal migrants, increasing the vulnerability of these workers—many of them children—to forced labor and human trafficking. (11)

The cultural practice known as padrinazgo, which involves rural families sending their children to urban areas to live with individuals for better access to education, social services, and food, often leads to forced labor, including in domestic work and third party businesses. Girls, on average age 14, were found to be engaged in commercial sexual exploitation in El Alto. (11) Bolivian children are also smuggled to other countries, where they are vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. (21)  The government does not have a system in place to track data on forced child labor, commercial sexual exploitation of children, or engagement of children in illicit activities. (11)

Bolivian law requires children to attend school up to age 17. Ministry of Labor (MOL) officials report that the school desertion rate dropped from 5 percent in 2006 to 2 percent in 2018. (2) However, attendance rates for secondary education remain low in rural areas. (23,27,28)

Bolivia 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 (Table 4). However, gaps exist in Bolivia's legal framework to adequately protect children from child labor, including the prohibition of military recruitment.


Table 4. Laws and Regulations on Child Labor

Standard

Meets International Standards

Age

Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

14

Articles 8 and 58 of the General Labor Law; Article 129 of the Child and Adolescent Code; Sentence 0025/2017 of the Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal; Article 3 of Law No. 1139 (29-32)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Articles 58 and 59 of the General Labor Law; Articles 5 and 136 of the Child and Adolescent Code (29,30)

Identification of Hazardous Occupations or Activities Prohibited for Children

Yes

 

Article 136 of the Child and Adolescent Code (30)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Articles 15, 46, and 61 of the Constitution; Article 291 of the Penal Code; Article 34 of the Comprehensive Law against Human Trafficking and Smuggling (33-35)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Article 15 of the Constitution; Article 34 of the Comprehensive Law against Human Trafficking and Smuggling (33,35)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Articles 34 and 35 of the Comprehensive Law against Human Trafficking and Smuggling (35) 

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

Article 56 of the Law on Coca and Controlled Substances (36)

Minimum Age for Voluntary State Military Recruitment

Yes

16*

Articles 1 and 2 of the General Directive of Pre-Military Recruitment; Articles 2 and 7 of the Law of National Military Service (37,38)

Prohibition of Compulsory Recruitment of Children by (State) Military

No

17

Articles 108 and 249 of the Constitution; Article 1 of Supreme Decree No. 1875; Article 1 of Supreme Decree No. 21479 (33,39,40) 

Prohibition of Military Recruitment by Non-state Armed Groups

No

   

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

17‡

Article 81 of the Constitution; Articles 1, 8–9, and 11–14 of the Avelino Siñani-Elizardo Pérez Education Law (33,41)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Articles 17 and 81 of the Constitution; Article 1 of the Avelino Siñani-Elizardo Pérez Education Law; Article 115 of the Child and Adolescent Code (30,33,41)

* The minimum age for combat is 18 per Article 36 of the Law of National Military Service (37) 
‡ Age calculated based on available information

On December 19, 2018, the Bolivian National Assembly passed legislation modifying the 2014 Child and Adolescent Code, which President Evo Morales officially signed into law on December 20. The amendments removed provisions of the Child and Adolescent Code that allowed children ages 12 and 13 to work, clarifying that the minimum age of work in Bolivia is 14. (30,32,42,43) The Code allows children ages 14 to 18 to work with authorization from the Offices of the Child Advocate on the conditions that the work is not precarious to the child's well-being and is not conducted for more than 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. (32) However, because the minimum age for work is still lower than the compulsory education age, children may be encouraged to leave school before the completion of compulsory education. (32)

Although Bolivian law requires that apprentices attend school, it does not set a minimum age for participation in apprenticeships. (29,44) Articles 108 and 249 of the Constitution require Bolivian males to perform compulsory military service in accordance with national law. (33) Article 1 of Supreme Decree No. 1875, passed in 2014, lowered the minimum age at which compulsory military service may begin from age 18, as previously established, to age 17, which does not comply with international standards. (39,40)

The government has established relevant institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor (Table 5). However, gaps exist within the operations of the MOL that may hinder adequate enforcement of child labor laws.


Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Ministry of Labor (MOL)

Enforces child labor laws, in part through its Fundamental Rights Unit, which also addresses forced labor of indigenous peoples. (45) Refers cases to the Labor Courts for adjudication of penalties and unpaid wages. (9) Engages municipal Offices of the Child Advocate to ensure the protection of children's rights. (2,46) Assists in the implementation of the Child and Adolescent Code. (2,30)

Municipal Offices of the Child Advocate

Authorizes children from the age of 14 to engage in work and registers them in the government's Child and Adolescent Information System (SINNA), pursuant to the Child and Adolescent Code. Protects the rights and welfare of children, including by accompanying child labor inspectors and referring criminal child labor cases to prosecutors and for social services. (2,30)

Prosecutor's Office

Enforces criminal laws against forced labor, trafficking of children, commercial sexual exploitation, and the use of children in illicit activities at a departmental level in coordination with the Attorney General. (2,47)

Ministry of Justice and Transparency

Creates and administers the SINNA, in which municipal Offices of the Child Advocate register children ages 14 and up to work, as required by the Child and Adolescent Code. (30,32)

Attorney General's Office

Oversees all human trafficking investigations and prosecutions on a national level. (47) Oversees through its National Coordinator's Office regional prosecutors who, in conjunction with the Bolivian National Police, pursue cases of human trafficking. Maintains a database of human trafficking cases. (47)

Bolivian National Police

Maintains the Special Force in the Fight Against Crime (FELCC), which runs 15 investigative human trafficking units, and the Police Unit for Migratory Control and Assistance, which patrols national borders. (8,48,49)

During the reporting period, the Child Advocate Offices worked on awareness-raising campaigns for children and their parents on their rights and responsibilities under the new Child and Adolescent Code. (2) In La Paz, the Child Advocate Office conducted interviews on radio and television to inform families about the new code, and UNICEF is working with the city government to organize an informational campaign. (50) Following the amendment of the Code, Municipal Offices of the Child Advocate are now responsible for registering working children ages 14 and older in the government's Child and Adolescent Information System (SINNA). (2,32) However, the 2014 Code transferred this registration responsibility to municipal governments without additional resources.

Reports indicate that up to 15 percent of municipalities in Bolivia lack an Office of the Child Advocate; many more are reported to lack sufficient resources and the capacity to perform their mandate and raise awareness of children’s rights and their parents’ obligations under the Code. (11) This lack of institutional coverage may leave certain children particularly vulnerable to child labor. (8,9,51) 

In La Paz and Santa Cruz, Child Advocate Offices reported additional barriers to implementation of the registration section of the Code. These barriers include lack of cooperation from parents to register their working children and prohibitive financial obstacles to obtain the proper paperwork required for registration. (11)

Labor Law Enforcement
In 2018, labor law enforcement agencies in Bolivia took actions to combat child labor (Table 6). However, gaps exist within the operations of the MOL that may hinder adequate labor law enforcement, including the lack of proper financial resource allocation.


Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor Law Enforcement

2017

2018

Labor Inspectorate Funding

Unknown

Unknown (2)  

Number of Labor Inspectors

87 (11,52)

106 (2) 

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

No (11)

No (2) 

Initial Training for New Labor Inspectors

Yes (11)

Yes (2) 

 

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

Yes (11)

Yes (2) 

Refresher Courses Provided

Unknown (11)

Unknown (2) 

Number of Labor Inspections Conducted

850 (11,52)

4,426 (2) 

 

Number Conducted at Worksite

Unknown (11)

Unknown (2) 

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

Unknown  (11)

Unknown (2) 

 

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed

Unknown (11)

Unknown (2) 

Number of Child Labor Penalties Imposed that Were Collected

Unknown (11)

Unknown (2) 

Routine Inspections Conducted

Unknown (11)

Unknown (2) 

 

Routine Inspections Targeted

Yes (11)

Unknown (2) 

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Yes (9)

Yes (2) 

 

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

Unknown (11)

Yes (2) 

Complaint Mechanism Exists

Yes (11)

Yes (2) 

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Yes (11)

Yes (2) 

In 2018, government officials reported contributing additional resources for monitoring, evaluating, and addressing child labor in all sectors, though they did not provide monetary specifics. (2) The labor inspectorate increased the number of inspectors, including the number of child labor inspectors, from 6 in 2017 to 14 in 2018. All 106 labor inspectors received specialized training to identify forced and child labor infractions during the reporting period. (2) 

The MOL also continued to use mobile inspection offices to augment the ability of inspectors to examine child labor issues. The number of mobile units increased from 20 in 2017 to 42 in 2018, which greatly contributed to the MOL's ability to conduct additional inspections during the reporting period. (50) Each mobile unit is made up of 2 general labor inspectors and 1 child labor specialist who travel to predominately rural areas throughout the country to conduct unannounced inspections. (2) However, the number of labor inspectors is likely insufficient for the size of Bolivia's workforce, which includes approximately 5.7 million workers. According to the ILO’s technical advice of a ratio approaching 1 inspector for every 15,000 workers in industrializing economies, Bolivia would employ about 380 labor inspectors. (53)  

The MOL, Prosecutor's Office, and the Ministry of Justice do not have a consolidated database or systemized records of the number of violations found related to child labor. (2) Labor inspectors lack necessary resources to enforce labor laws, especially in the Chaco region. (6) Additionally, the government does not publish information regarding labor inspectorate funding. (2) 

The government reported that children removed from child labor are referred to the municipal Offices of the Child Advocate for services. While law mandates that every municipality in the country have a dedicated Child Advocate Office, not every municipality does, and information on the number of children removed from child labor and whether they received services is not publicly available. (2) Rural offices of the Child Advocate in municipalities throughout the country lack proper funding, personnel, and materials. While municipalities are required to allot a certain percentage of their budget to the Child Advocate’s office, this percentage has decreased over the last few years. (2)

Criminal Law Enforcement
In 2018, criminal law enforcement agencies in Bolivia took actions to combat child labor (Table 7). However, gaps exist within the operations of the criminal law enforcement agencies that may hinder adequate criminal law enforcement, including allocating financial resources to conduct criminal investigations.


Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2017

2018

Initial Training for New Criminal Investigators

Yes (11)

Yes (2) 

 

Training on New Laws Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Yes (11)

Yes (2) 

Refresher Courses Provided

Unknown (11)

Unknown (2) 

Number of Investigations

Unknown (52)

Unknown (2) 

Number of Violations Found

Unknown (11)

Unknown (2) 

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

Unknown (11)

52 (2) 

Number of Convictions

Unknown (11)

Unknown (2) 

Imposed Penalties for Violations Related to The Worst Forms of Child Labor

Unknown (11) 

Yes (47) 

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Yes (11)

Yes (2) 

In 2018, the Bolivian National Police held the Second National Conference of Human Trafficking Divisions of the Special Anti-Crime Force and conducted training and communication courses on trafficking in persons for the public. (24)

he Public Ministry registered 359 trafficking-in-persons investigation in 2018, 77 of which related to child pornography. (24) Although the government provided data on human trafficking cases during the reporting period, the data were not disaggregated to reflect cases of the worst forms of child labor. (24) 

Children rescued from the worst forms of child labor are often not referred to social service providers because some cities lack shelters and other social services for children. (11,24,54,55) Shelters maintained by departmental governments are underfunded and child victims were often cast out of shelters on the basis of fixed timelines—after spending the maximum number of days allowed—rather than an assessment of need. (24) The government did not report the number of children referred to receive social services. While children can report workforce abuse to the Child Advocate’s Office, they rarely do. (11)

Many criminal law enforcement agencies reported that funding levels were inadequate to carry out their mandates. (56) Additionally, low rates of dedicated training on human trafficking hampered law enforcement efforts. The high rate of rotation among police, prosecutors, and judges—a standard practice to help combat corruption—leads to insufficient knowledge, lack of experience on human trafficking, and a judicial backlog for these types of cases. (54)

The government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor (Table 8). However, gaps exist that hinder the effective coordination of efforts to address child labor, including efficacy in accomplishing mandates.


Table 8. Key Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

National Commission for the Progressive Eradication of Child Labor (CNEPTI)

Coordinates national enforcement efforts on child labor issues. Led by the MOL, and includes the Ministries of Justice, Education, and Planning, and several NGOs. (2)  

Plurinational System for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents (SIPPROINA)

Coordinates national efforts to manage and implement the Plurinational Plan for Children and Adolescents, the Coordinating Council for Children and Adolescents, and the Congress on Children’s Rights. Evaluates and advises on national plans, public policies, reports, and budget allocation relating to children's and adolescents’ rights. (30) In coordination with the National Institute of Statistics, monitors and updates the SINNA. Led by the Ministry of Justice. (30)

Plurinational Council to Combat the Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons

Coordinates anti-trafficking efforts and implements national laws and policies on human trafficking and smuggling. (2,35,57) Chaired by the Minister of Justice and comprising eight ministries, the Public Advocate, and NGOs. (48) Leaders from the Council participated in the Ministry of Government's National Convention Against Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants held in September 2018. (24) 

Department-Level Councils against Human Trafficking and Smuggling

Coordinates efforts of the Plurinational Council in Bolivia's nine departments. Comprising officials from the Special Force in the Fight Against Crime, the MOL, the Ministries of Migration and Education, the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office, and NGO representatives. (8,35,57)

The National Commission for the Progressive Eradication of Child Labor has not fulfilled its role as the central coordinating body, and its activities, while ongoing, have not resulted in any significant coordination. (2) Reports also indicate that some of the MOL's departmental sub-commissions on child labor have not been active, due in part to a lack of resources. (8,23)

The Comprehensive Law against Human Trafficking and Smuggling mandates that the Plurinational Council to Combat the Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons include NGOs. However, reports indicate that NGOs have not participated fully in this Council despite NGOs' efforts to be included. (48) Reports also indicate that some Department-Level Councils against Human Trafficking and Smuggling have yet to develop department-level plans to combat human trafficking, as mandated by law. (9,35,56,57)

The government has established policies related to child labor (Table 9). However, policy gaps exist that hinder efforts to address child labor, including implementing a new national action plan.


Table 9. Key Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

Bolivian General Plan for Economic and Social Development (2016–2020)

Sets goals for economic and social development including eliminating child labor. (58) The Plan was active during the reporting period. (47) 

National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons (2015–2019)

Establishes eight lines of action drawn from the five core areas of the Plurinational Policy to Combat Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons, including building capacity and coordination among criminal law enforcement agencies. Replaces the 2013–2017 policy. (24,47,61) During the reporting period, the technical secretary of the National Council on Human Trafficking reported that the government used the 2015–2019 National Action Plan as a general guide while updating their 2016–2020 National Action plan. (24,47) 

‡ The government had other policies that may have addressed child labor issues or had an impact on child labor. (62)

Bolivia's national policy for addressing child labor, the National Plan for the Progressive Eradication of Child Labor (2000–2010), expired in 2010. (63)

In 2018, the government funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor (Table 10). However, gaps exist in these social programs, including funding and adequacy of programs to address the full scope of the problem in all sectors and regions.


Table 10. Key Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

Juancito Pinto Subsidy Program†

Government program that provides a conditional cash transfer to all primary and some secondary school students to increase school attendance and reduce the dropout rate. In 2018, provided $68.1 million to more than 2 million participating students. (2)

Safe Terminal Program*

A child sex tourism prevention campaign launched by the Bolivian government in 2018 which includes training, awareness activities, and informational workshops for officials of transport and accommodation companies in the city of La Paz. (24) In the department of Tarija, the campaign focuses on the development and implementation of codes of ethics and conduct to promote children's' rights in private sector companies' corporate social responsibility programs. (24) 

Human Rights of Children Working in Sugarcane, Brazil Nuts, and Mining†

Human Rights Ombudsman's Office program that promotes the elimination of the worst forms of child labor, along with labor and social protections for working adolescents ages 14 to 17. Launched in 2013 in the Tarija, Potosí, and Beni Departments and expanded in 2014 to monitor the use of child labor in sugarcane harvesting in Santa Cruz. (64) Research was unable to determine whether activities were undertaken to implement this program during the reporting period.

Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute's Triple Seal Initiative

Ministry of Labor collaboration with the Bolivian Institute of Standardization and Quality (IBCE), UNICEF, and the ILO to develop a voluntary certification program that recognizes companies that comply with Bolivian law and ILO conventions on child labor, forced labor, and worker discrimination in the production of their goods. (8,65) In 2018, the Santa Cruz government continued to collaborate with private industry to implement this initiative to reduce child labor, which was established in 2016. Through the government led initiative, the IBCE trains sugarcane workers in Santa Cruz on child labor laws, monitors product sites for violations, supports school attendance for the children of sugarcane workers, and audits the producers, providing a "Triple Seal" if child labor is not used in the production of the sugar. (2,65) 

Child Trafficking Awareness-Raising Campaigns†

Government program implemented with the Bolivian Network for the Fight Against Human Trafficking and Smuggling that conducts awareness-raising campaigns to educate the public about the Comprehensive Law against Human Trafficking and Smuggling. (46,66) In 2018, the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office carried out a public awareness campaign, entitled Seducción/Trabajo + Trampa =Tráfico de Personas (Seduction/Work + Tricks = Human Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons), which focused on measures to prevent human trafficking. (24) The Ministry of Government also conducted two human trafficking prevention campaigns: Que la Trata no Borre tu Sonrisa (Don't Let Human Smuggling Erase Your Smile) and Una Persona Informada es una Víctima Menos (One Informed Person is One Less Victim). (24) 

Program to Protect the Rights of Children and Adolescents

Government collaboration with UNICEF and funding from the Government of Italy and the Swiss Cooperation Agency. Provides education assistance in 17 Bolivian Brazil nut and sugarcane-producing municipalities. Seeks to improve living conditions of 2,300 families and reintegrate 3,400 children in school. (67) The program continued to be implemented during the reporting period. (50) 

Social Risk Program

Established by the Mayor of La Paz, provides financial support to allow children to choose school over work, or to finish their school day before attending work. (2) The Mayor's Office continued to implement this program in 2018. (2) 

Critical Route (Ruta Critica)*

Program created by the La Paz Child Advocate’s Office to better identify working children, facilitate registration of working children with the Advocate's Office, and help working children understand their legal rights. (2) 

* Program was launched during the reporting period.
† Program is funded by the Government of Bolivia.
‡ The government had other social programs that may have included the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor. (23,67-70)

In 2018, the major sugar-producing Department of Santa Cruz created the Responsible Consumer Program (Programa de Consumidor Responsable), a strategic communication program to educate consumers on the harm of supporting products made with child labor. (2) The program has broadcast information on Bolivian television and radio programming and is working with the private sector to encourage labels to identify products free of child labor. (50) The Santa Cruz Department government and the Child Advocate's Office continue to implement the "Markets that Support Childhood" Program, which offers education, health, and childcare centers in markets throughout the city (called "Mercados amigos de la niñez") to provide a safe environment where parents can leave their children instead of having them also engage in work. (2)

Although Bolivia has programs that target child labor, the scope of these programs is insufficient to address the extent of the problem, particularly in the production of Brazil nuts and sugarcane, ranching and cattle raising, mining, domestic work, street work, and commercial sexual exploitation. (23) Although the Juancito Pinto subsidy program continues to expand and has been adequate in rural areas, reports indicate that the $29 per year subsidy is insufficient to meaningfully cover costs, such as transportation, associated with attending school in larger cities. For example, reports indicate that costs associated with attending school in La Paz's sister city, El Alto, may reach $410 per year. (23)

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor in Bolivia (Table 11).


Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Ensure that the law prohibits children under the age of 14 from participating in apprenticeships.

2010 – 2018

Ensure that the law establishes 18 as the minimum age for compulsory recruitment by the state military, and criminally prohibits the recruitment of children under age 18 into non-state armed groups.

2015 – 2018

Raise the minimum age for work to the age up to which education is compulsory.

2018

Enforcement

Establish and maintain in every municipality an Office of the Child Advocate with sufficient resources to ensure that legal protections are extended to all children who are permitted to work, and to coordinate the provision of services to children who are removed from child labor, including its worst forms.

2014 – 2018

Ensure that Offices of the Child Advocate publicly report on the number of children authorized to work and the number of children rescued from child labor and referred for social services.

2015 – 2018

Provide sufficient funding to increase the MOL's capacity to ensure the adequate enforcement of child labor laws.

2013 – 2018

Increase the number of labor inspectors responsible for enforcing laws on child labor to meet the ILO’s technical advice.

2013 – 2018

Authorize the labor inspectorate to assess penalties for child labor, including its worst forms.

2015 – 2018

Publish information on child labor law enforcement, including the number of children found in child labor as a result of inspections, the number of violations found, the number of penalties imposed and collected, and whether routine inspections were conducted and targeted.

2009 – 2018

Disaggregate data between inspections involving child labor and criminal investigations involving the worst forms of child labor.

2018

Provide sufficient funding and training, including training on human trafficking, to criminal law enforcement agencies to ensure adequate enforcement of laws related to the worst forms of child labor.

2015 – 2018

Ensure that victims of the worst forms of child labor and trafficking are not turned out of shelters due to fixed timelines.

2018

Coordination

Ensure that the National Commission for the Progressive Eradication of Child Labor fulfills its central coordinating role and develops concrete mechanisms to improve coordination among participating agencies and organizations.

2009 – 2018

Ensure that all MOL departmental sub-commissions designed to combat child labor convene and receive sufficient resources to carry out their functions.

2014 – 2018

Ensure that NGOs participate in the Plurinational Council to Combat the Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons, as required by the Comprehensive Law against Human Trafficking and Smuggling.

2014 – 2018

Ensure that all Department-Level Councils against Human Trafficking are fully operational as required by the Comprehensive Law against Human Trafficking and Smuggling.

2014 – 2018

Government Policies

Establish and implement a new National Plan for the Progressive Eradication of Child Labor.

2010 – 2018

Social Programs

Expand national programs, especially those targeting children in rural areas to increase secondary school attendance.

2010 – 2018

Increase the Juancito Pinto subsidy to ensure that school children are able to cover the costs associated with attending school.

2014 – 2018

Expand social programs to address the worst forms of child labor at sites in which hazardous child labor exists, particularly in the production of Brazil nuts and sugarcane, ranching and cattle raising, mining, domestic work and street work, and commercial sexual exploitation.

2009 – 2018

  1. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Bolivia (ratification: 2003) Published: 2015. Accessed January 18, 2015.
    http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:3186215:NO.

  2. U.S. Embassy- La Paz. Reporting. February 13, 2019.

  3. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education, both sexes (%). Accessed March 16, 2019. For more information, please see “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
    http://data.uis.unesco.org/.

  4. UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Encuesta Continua de Hogares, 2017. Analysis received March 12, 2019. Please see “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.

  5. Verite. Research on Indicators of Forced Labor in the Supply Chains of Brazil-Nuts, Cattle Corn, and Peanuts in Bolivia. 2013.
    http://www.verite.org/sites/default/files/images/Research on Indicators of Forced Labor in the Bolivia Brazil-nut, Cattle, Corn, and Peanut Sectors__9.19.pdf.

  6. ILO. Application of International Labor Standards. Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations. International Labour Conference, 107th Session, 2018. Geneva.
    http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_617065.pdf.

  7. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Bolivia (ratification: 2003) Published: 2012. Accessed January 18, 2015.
    http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:2700546:NO.

  8. U.S. Embassy- La Paz. Reporting, February 12, 2015.

  9. U.S. Embassy- La Paz. Reporting, January 13, 2017.

  10. Correo del Sur. Tres niños trabajaban toda la noche en granja avícola. April 15, 2018.
    http://correodelsur.com/local/20180415_tres-ninos-trabajaban-toda-la-noche-en-granja-avicola.html.

  11. U.S. Embassy- La Paz. Reporting, January 19, 2018.

  12. Bocking, David. Bolivia: The Proud Child Laborers. Accessed November 3, 2017. Spiegel Online.
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/tomorrow/child-labor-in-bolivia-is-legally-permissable-a-1130131.html.

  13. Meier, M. In Bolivia, Legitimizing Child Labor [video]. December 19, 2015. New York Times.
    http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/americas/100000003982850/in-bolivia-legitimizing-child-labor.html?partner=rss&emc=rss.

  14. Quispe Condori, Jorge Hernán. Niños de Ladrillo: Explotación laboral en Alpacoma. April 7, 2014. La Razón.
    http://www.la-razon.com/index.php?_url=/suplementos/informe/Ninos-Ladrillo-Explotacion-laboral-Alpacoma-informe_0_2027797323.html.

  15. Ertl, M. Union Kids. February 17, 2015. Latterly Magazine.
    http://latterlymagazine.com/union-kids/.

  16. Gilbert, A. Bolivia debate un proyecto contra el trabajo infantil. June 25, 2014. Diario de León.
    http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/internacional/bolivia-debate-proyecto-trabajo-infantil_900045.html.

  17. Peredo, Nelson. La realidad supera a la ley en la lucha contra el trabajo infantil. December 6, 2017. Los Tiempos.
    http://www.lostiempos.com/especial-multimedia/20170612/realidad-supera-ley-lucha-contra-trabajo-infantil.

  18. Carpio, Edwin. El estado Boliviano esta en deuda con todos los ninos. Los Tiempos. April 11, 2017.
    http://www.lostiempos.com/tendencias/bienestar/20170411/estado-boliviano-esta-deuda-todos-ninos.

  19. Valecillos, Lucas. Pequeños sepultureros. September 27, 2017. El Periodico.
    http://www.elperiodico.com/es/mas-periodico/20160612/pequenos-sepultureros-bolivia-5191024.

  20. Instituto de Investigación e Interacción Educativa - Universidad Mayor de San Andrés. Estudio sobre trabajo doméstico de niñas, niños, y adolescentes en hogares de terceros en Bolivia. 2014.
    http://www.unicef.org/bolivia/Trabajo_NNA_en_hogares_de_terceros_en_Bolivia.pdf.

  21. U.S. Department of State. 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report Country Narrative_Bolivia. June 2018.
    https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-trafficking-in-persons-report/bolivia/.

  22. ILO-IPEC. Niñez Indígena en América Latina: Situación y Perspectivas (Compilación de documentos de trabajo), in Trabajo Infantil-Encuentro Latinoamericano Pueblos Indígenas y Gobiernos-De la Declaración a la Acción. 2010.
    https://ilo.userservices.exlibrisgroup.com/view/delivery/41ILO_INST/1243209910002676.

  23. U.S. Embassy- La Paz. Reporting. January 15, 2016.

  24. U.S. Embassy- La Paz. Reporting. March 8, 2019

  25. U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report- 2017: Bolivia. Washington, DC. June 27, 2017.
    https://www.state.gov/reports/2017-trafficking-in-persons-report/bolivia/.

  26. U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report- 2015: Bolivia. Washington, DC. July 27, 2015.
    https://2009-2017.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2015/243399.htm.

  27. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Bolivia (ratification: 2003) Published 2015. Accessed March 4, 2015.
    http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:3186211:NO.

  28. La Razón. Acceso a la educación. December 18, 2014. La-razon.com.
    http://www.la-razon.com/opinion/editorial/Acceso-educacion_0_2181981919.html.

  29. Government of Bolivia. Ley General del Trabajo. Enacted: December 8, 1942.
    http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/46218/65057/S92BOL01.htm#t4c6.

  30. Government of Bolivia. Código Niño, Niña y Adolescente, Ley 548. Enacted: July 17, 2014.
    http://www.gacetaoficialdebolivia.gob.bo/.

  31. Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional. Sentencia Constitucional Plurinacional 0025/2017. July 27, 2017. Source on file.

  32. Government of Bolivia. Ley No 1139, Ley de Modificación Código NNA Enacted: December 20, 2018.
    http://www.derechoteca.com/gacetabolivia/ley-no-1139-del-20-de-diciembre-de-2018/.

  33. Government of Bolivia. Nueva Constitución Política del Estado. Enacted: February 9, 2009.
    http://pdba.georgetown.edu/Constitutions/Bolivia/constitucion2009.pdf.

  34. Government of Bolivia. Código Penal y Código de Procedimiento Penal. Enacted: 2010.
    https://www.unodc.org/res/cld/document/bol/codigo-penal_html/Bolivia_Codigo_Penal.pdf.

  35. Government of Bolivia. Ley Integral Contra la Trata y Tráfico de Personas, Ley 263. Enacted: July 31, 2012.
    http://bolivia.infoleyes.com/shownorm.php?id=3946.

  36. Government of Bolivia. Ley del Régimen de la Coca y Sustancias Controladas, 1008. Enacted: July 19, 1988.
    https://www.lexivox.org/norms/BO-L-1008.html.

  37. Government of Bolivia. Ley del Servicio Nacional de Defensa. Enacted: August 1, 1966.
    http://www.resdal.org/Archivo/bolivia-ley-servicio-nacional-defensa.htm.

  38. Government of Boliva. Directiva General de Reclutamiento para el Servicio Premilitar No. 12/13 Categoria 2013-2014.
    http://www.mindef.gob.bo/mindef/sites/default/files/Servicio_Premilitar.htm.

  39. Government of Bolivia. Decreto Supremo Nº 1875. Enacted: January 23, 2014.
    http://www.cepb.org.bo/calypso/juridica/adjuntos/ds_1875.pdf.

  40. Government of Bolivia. Decreto Supremo Nº 21479. Enacted: December 17, 1986.
    http://www.derechoteca.com/gacetabolivia/decreto-supremo-21479-del-17-diciembre-1986/.

  41. Government of Bolivia. Ley de Educación Avelino Siñani-Elizardo Pérez, No. 070. Enacted: November 8, 2010.
    http://www.oei.es/quipu/bolivia/Leydla .pdf.

  42. ILO Committee on the Application of Standards. 107th Session_5th sitting Discussion of Individual Cases. May 30, 2018. Source on file.

  43. ILO Committee on the Application of Standards. 107th Session_12th sitting Discussion of Individual Cases. June 4, 2018. Source on file.

  44. 44
  45. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Bolivia (ratification: 1997) Published: 2015. Accessed March 4, 2015.
    http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:3186134:NO.

  46. Ministerio de Trabajo Empleo y Previsión Social - Unidad de Derechos Fundamentales. Contribución a la Erradicación Progresiva del Trabajo Infantil. Accessed January 18, 2015.
    http://www.mintrabajo.gob.bo/Descargas/UDF/CONTRIBUCION_A_LA_ERRADICACION_PROGRESIVA_DEL_TRABAJO_INFANTIL.pdf.

  47. U.S. Embassy- La Paz official. Email communication to USDOL official. June 21, 2016.

  48. US Embassy- La Paz official. Email Communication to USDOL official. July 2, 2019.

  49. U.S. Embassy- La Paz. Reporting, March 6, 2015.

  50. Government of Bolivia. Unidad Policial de Apoyo al Control Migratorio (UPACOM). Migracion.gob.bo. Accessed March 7, 2015. Source on file.

  51. U.S. Embassy La Paz Official. Email communication to USDOL official. April 10, 2019.

  52. Lind, P., and L. Paz. How Bolivia’s Children Are Being Exploited by a Failing Labor Law. May 12, 2016. Time.com.
    http://time.com/4322522/bolivia-child-labor-law-la-paz-unatsbo/.

  53. U.S. Embassy- La Paz official. Email communication to USDOL official. February 28, 2018.

  54. CIA. The World Factbook. Accessed February 26, 2018.
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2095.html#131.

  55. U.S. Embassy- La Paz. Reporting, February 1, 2018.

  56. U.S. Embassy- La Paz official. Email communication to USDOL official. July 3, 2018.

  57. U.S. Embassy- La Paz. Reporting, February 14, 2017.

  58. Government of Bolivia - Consejo Plurinacional Contra la Trata y Tráfico de Personas. Política Plurinacional de Lucha Contra la Trata y Tráfico de Personas 2013-2017. 2014.
    http://saludpublica.bvsp.org.bo/cc/bo40.1/documentos/588.pdf.

  59. Government of Bolivia. Economic and Social Development Plan (2016–2020). December 2015.
    http://www.fndr.gob.bo/bundles/fndrdemo/downloads/pdes/pdes2016-2020.pdf.

  60. Ministerio de Justicia. Presentan Política Plurinacional de Lucha Contra la Trata y Tráfico de Personas ante el cuerpo diplomático. June 4, 2014. Justicia.gob.bo.
    http://www.justicia.gob.bo/index.php/noticias/notas-de-prensa/1328-presentan-politica-plurinacional-de-lucha-contra-la-trata-y-trafico-de-personas-ante-el-cuerpo-diplomatico.

  61. Government of Bolivia. Resolución de Consejo / CPCTTP No. 001/2014. Enacted: January 6, 2014.

  62. Government of Bolivia - Consejo Plurinacional Contra la Trata y Tráfico de Personas. Plan Nacional de Lucha Contra la Trata y Tráfico de Personas (2015–2019). 2015.
    http://vjdf.justicia.gob.bo/images/cargados/files/plan-trata.pdf.

  63. Government of Bolivia. Programa de Gobierno - Juntos Vamos Bien Para Vivir Bien (2015-2020).
    http://www.boliviarural.org/images/documentos/programa_gobierno_2015-2020.pdf.

  64. Inter-Institutional Commission for the Eradication of Child Labor. Plan de erradicación progresiva del trabajo infantil: 2000-2010. November 2001.
    http://white.lim.ilo.org/ipec/documentos/planbo.pdf.

  65. U.S. Embassy- La Paz official. Email communication to USDOL official. June 9, 2014.

  66. Instituto Boliviana de Comercio Exterior. Triple Sello_Una Herramiento de Inclusión Social. June 2013.
    http://ibce.org.bo/images/publicaciones/ce_213_Triple_Sello_una_herramienta_inclusion_social.pdf.

  67. U.S. Embassy- La Paz. Reporting, February 14, 2014.

  68. UNICEF. Plan de Acción de Programa País 2013–2017. April 2013.
    http://www.unicef.org/bolivia/PlanAccionProg_2013_2017.pdf.

  69. UNICEF. Bolivia Country Programme Document, 2013–2017. 2015.
    http://www.unicef.org/about/execboard/files/Bolivia-2013-2017-final_approved-English-14Sept2012.pdf.

  70. Inter-American Development Bank. Bolivia - Programa de Apoyo al Empleo II - Perfil de Proyecto. 2016.
    http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=40369655.

  71. Campaña Boliviana por el Derecho a la Educación. OIT confiere reconocimiento a CEMSE por el aporte a la formación técnica. September 29, 2015.
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=873994582678255&id=109452819132439.