Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Ecuador

Bananas
Bananas
Child Labor Icon
Bricks
Bricks
Child Labor Icon
Flowers
Flowers
Child Labor Icon
Gold
Gold
Child Labor Icon
Ecuador
2018 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Significant Advancement

In 2018, Ecuador made a significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The National Assembly's Workers' Rights Committee presented legislation to reform Ecuador's Labor Code to strengthen provisions related to the eradication of child labor. The National Assembly also passed the Law to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women, which includes protections for girls and women who become victims of sexual exploitation. In addition, the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion signed agreements to strengthen child labor prevention efforts with local governments. The Ministry of the Interior also began drafting a new National Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Ministry of Labor began drafting a 2018–2021 update to the current National Plan to Eradicate Child Labor. However, children in Ecuador engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also perform dangerous tasks in agriculture. The labor inspectorate continues to lack sufficient resources.

Children in Ecuador engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also perform dangerous tasks in agriculture. (1,2) Table 1 provides key indicators on children’s work and education in Ecuador.


Table 1. Statistics on Children’s Work and Education

Children

Age

Percent

Working (% and population)

5 to 14

4.9 (168,530)

Working children by sector

5 to 14

 

Agriculture

 

82.3

Industry

 

3.2

Services

 

14.6

Attending School (%)

5 to 14

97.3

Combining Work and School (%)

7 to 14

5.6

Primary Completion Rate (%)

 

104.8

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2016, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2019. (3)
Source for all other data: International Labor Organization’s Analysis of Statistics from Encuesta Nacional de Empleo, Desempleo y Subempleo, 2016. (4)

Although the government conducted two surveys in 2017 that included some information on child labor, the government has not conducted a nationwide child labor survey since 2012. Both government and civil society agree that a lack of updated statistics hampers efforts in eradicating child labor. (2)

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

Production of bananas,† palm oil,† and flowers,† including the use of chemical products and machetes (2,5-7)

Fishing† (2,5,6) 

Industry

Gold mining† and small-scale mining† (2)

Production of bricks† (2,8)

Construction,† including loading construction materials, mixing materials to make concrete, and brickwork (2,6,8)

Services

Domestic work† (2,5,9)

Street work, including begging, shoe shining, selling newspapers, and vending (2,5,10)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (2,10-12)

Use in illicit activities, including drug trafficking and robbery (2,12,13)

Recruitment of children by Colombian non-state armed groups for use in armed conflict (2,12,14)

Use in the production of pornography (2,12)

Forced labor in banana and palm plantations, floriculture, fishing, mining; and in domestic work, street vending, and begging, each sometimes as a result of human trafficking (2,12)

† 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.

Civil society and government sources reported incidences of Peruvian adolescents being recruited into forced labor under false promises of employment in illegal mines in Ecuador. (2,14,15) Migrant and refugee girls from Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela are particularly vulnerable to labor trafficking in domestic servitude and forced begging. (2,8,12) Indigenous children between the ages of 6 and 10 from the highlands are trafficked for forced begging in Guayaquil, Quito, and Rumiñahui. (7,16) Children of Venezuelan and Colombian migrants and refugees are also vulnerable to exploitative labor practices in some parts of the fishing sector in the coastal region and artisanal mining in southern Ecuador and in the northern province of Imbabura. (2,10)

Migrant and refugee children from other Latin American countries, girls from poor families, and indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian girls are used in commercial sexual exploitation. (2,12) Commercial sexual exploitation in Ecuador also occurs near illegal mining sites. (2,16,17) Venezuelan, Colombian, and Peruvian girls are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation in Ecuador. (10,12) Sex trafficking networks also recruit children from schools, and, increasingly, through social media platforms which encourage children to recruit their friends and classmates. (12,14) On Ecuador’s northern border, children are forcibly recruited to engage in drug trafficking and robbery. (12)

Despite education being free in Ecuador, children face barriers to accessing education, including having to pay for uniforms and books, lack of space and teachers, and lack of transportation for children who must attend schools far from their homes. (2,18) The lack of schools in some areas specifically affects indigenous and refugee children, who must travel long distances to attend school. (2) Many indigenous children abandon school early, both in rural and urban areas. (6,11) Specifically, almost half of all indigenous children in rural areas, and 37 to 40 percent of those in urban areas, do not attend secondary school, which can make them more vulnerable to child labor. (19) International humanitarian organizations and local government officials reported that, in practice, schools sometimes denied children of refugees and migrants access to education because they did not have refugee status and lacked identity and academic documents. (2) International organization representatives said these cases were likely due to Ministry of Education administrative staff error about required documentation and differences between the Venezuelan and Ecuadorian academic calendars. (2,20) According to the Ministry of Education, of the approximately 240,000 Venezuelans residing in Ecuador as of November 2018, 37,000 are below the age of 17, but only 12,514 Venezuelan children and adolescents had registered for school. (2)


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’s laws and regulations are in line with relevant international standards (Table 4).


Table 4. Laws and Regulations on Child Labor

Standard

Meets International Standards

Age

Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

15

Article 46 of the Constitution; Article 82 of the Childhood and Adolescence Code (21,22)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Article 87 of the Childhood and Adolescence Code (22)

Identification of Hazardous Occupations or Activities Prohibited for Children

Yes

 

Article 8 of Resolution No. 016 of 2008; Article 5 of Ministerial Accord MDT–2015–0131 (23,24)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Articles 82, 91, 105, and 213 of the Integral Penal Code (25)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Articles 47 and 91 of the Integral Penal Code; Article 117 of the Organic Law on Human Mobility (25,26)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Articles 91 and 100–104 of the Integral Penal Code (25)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

Articles 47, 219, and 220 of the Integral Penal Code (25)

Minimum Age for Voluntary State Military Recruitment

Yes

18

Article 57 of the Childhood and Adolescence Code; Article 161 of the Constitution (21,22)

Prohibition of Compulsory Recruitment of Children by (State) Military

N/A*

   

Prohibition of Military Recruitment by Non-state Armed Groups

Yes

 

Article 127 of the Penal Code; Article 57 of the Childhood and Adolescence Code; Article 161 of the Constitution (21,22,25)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

15

Article 38 of the Organic Intercultural Education Law (27)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 4 of the Organic Intercultural Education Law; Chapter 5, Article 28 of the Constitution (21,27)

* No conscription (21)
In May 2018, the National Assembly's Workers' Rights Committee presented legislation to reform Ecuador's labor code to strengthen provisions on the eradication of child labor, labor protections of adolescents ages 15 to 18, and the fight against the worst forms of child labor, including sex and labor trafficking. (2,12) The reform proposes to make it easier for labor inspectors to conduct inspections for the purposes of identifying child labor; establishes a registry of employers who hire working adolescents; and supports an initiative to strengthen local governments' awareness and prevention of child labor. (2,12) In January 2018, the National Assembly passed the Law to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women, which includes the protection of girls and women against human trafficking for sexual exploitation. (2,28) The law is intended to coordinate the efforts of local governments, the Attorney General’s Office, and other government entities to develop action plans, programs, and policies. (2,28)

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


Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Ministry of Labor and Industrial Relations (MOL)

Monitors child labor, conducts labor inspections at worksites, and enforces child labor laws in the formal sector, administering sanctions and collecting fines from companies found using child labor. Also provides technical assistance to local governments on child labor. (2) Using the Unified System of Registration of Child Labor (SURTI), collects information on child laborers and refers children to appropriate government services. (2)

Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), Office of Special Protection to Vulnerable Population

Provides remediation services to child laborers and their families. Assists victims of child labor found in the informal sector. (2) Through its Office of Special Protection, maintains a national anti-child–labor program involving coordination with civil society organizations and local governments. (2)

Attorney General’s Office (AGO)

Enforces criminal laws against child labor, hazardous child labor, commercial sexual exploitation, and human trafficking. (2,29,30) The AGO's Specialized Victim Witness Protection Program (SPAVT) provides immediate support and shelter to victims and witnesses willing to press charges and testify against their abusers and coordinates referrals for further assistance with other government agencies. (2) During the reporting period, SPAVT provided services to 18 human trafficking victims. (12)

Ministry of Interior (MOI)

Oversees and evaluates all police actions, including the National Police Unit for Crimes against Children and Adolescents (DINAPEN). (2,15) DINAPEN investigates all crimes against children, including abuse, sexual exploitation, sex tourism, smuggling, kidnapping, exploitative child labor, and forced labor. (2) DINAPEN’s Anti-Trafficking Unit also investigates child trafficking cases. (2)

Office of the Prosecutor

Tries cases related to the worst forms of child labor. (2)

Labor Law Enforcement
In 2018, labor law enforcement agencies in Ecuador 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 human resource allocation.


Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor Law Enforcement

2017

2018

Labor Inspectorate Funding

$1,458,000 (14)

$265,398 (2)

Number of Labor Inspectors

150 (14)

249 (2)

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

Initial Training for New Labor Inspectors

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

 

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

Number of Labor Inspections Conducted

Unknown

15,605 (2)

 

Number Conducted at Worksite

Unknown

15,605 (2)

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

Unknown

72 (2)

 

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed

Unknown (14)

23 (2)

Number of Child Labor Penalties Imposed that Were Collected

Unknown (14)

107(2)

Routine Inspections Conducted

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

 

Routine Inspections Targeted

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

 

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

Complaint Mechanism Exists

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

In 2018, the Ombudsman's Office called on the MOL to conduct labor inspections in banana-producing areas, particularly in the coastal provinces of Los Rios, El Oro, and Guayas, to monitor the safety of affected families. (2) During the reporting period, the labor inspectorate's funding was drastically reduced. The MOL did not provide a specific explanation for the difference, but in general, the Ecuadorian government suffered from budgetary constraints in 2018 due to economic pressures. (2,20) The MOL reported that the labor inspectorate was understaffed and lacked the necessary resources, such as transportation and equipment, to fulfill its mandate. (2) The number of labor inspectors is likely insufficient for the size of Ecuador’s workforce, which includes over 8 million workers. According to the ILO’s recommendation of 1 inspector for every 15,000 workers in developing economies, Ecuador would employ about 534 labor inspectors. (2,31,32) MOL and ILO officials reported that inspectors' coverage of the agricultural sector is insufficient, even though most children work in this area. (2) According to the MOL, Ecuador's labor inspectors focus only on formal sector employment, despite large numbers of Ecuadorians and migrants working in the informal sector. (12)

Although Ecuadorian laws and regulations governing child labor are comprehensive, those regarding hazardous work are not enforced equally in rural areas and family-run businesses. (2,33)

The absence of appropriate sanctions against employers may also hinder efficient labor law enforcement. (14)

Inspectors do not have sufficient knowledge of child labor laws and lack training on identifying trafficking in persons (TIP) victims. (2,12,14)

Criminal Law Enforcement
In 2018, criminal law enforcement agencies in Ecuador took actions to combat child labor (Table 7). However, gaps exist within the operations of the National Police Unit for Crimes against Children and Adolescents (DINAPEN) that may hinder adequate criminal law enforcement, including its referral mechanism.


Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2017

2018

Initial Training for New Criminal Investigators

Yes (33)

Yes (2)

 

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

N/A (14)

Yes (2)

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (34)

Yes (2)

Number of Investigations

80 (14)

5 (2)

Number of Violations Found

Unknown

2 (2)

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

8 (14)

5 (2)

Number of Convictions

1 (14)

2 (2)

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

Unknown

Yes (2)&

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Yes (14)

Yes (2)

During the reporting period, criminal investigators received training on cases linked to cybercrime, cryptocurrency, child pornography, and the use of Facebook for commercial sexual exploitation of children. (2)

In 2018, the Anti-Trafficking Unit conducted 13 anti-trafficking police operations, arresting 18 traffickers, and rescuing 55 victims. Of these operations, six resulted in investigations of sexual exploitation, one for labor trafficking, one for the purpose of forced prostitution, and three for the purposes of child pornography. (12)

The Government of Ecuador reported two convictions for trafficking in persons of children and both defendants were sentenced to 16 years in prison. (20) Civil society reports that the Anti-Trafficking Unit and DINAPEN lack resources to adequately investigate trafficking in persons cases. (12)

In November, the Specialized Victim Witness Protection Program (SPAVT) inaugurated a new shelter for female adolescent TIP victims in Quito, which, once opened to victims, will have 21 spots and provide psychological services, education, and other social services. (2) The MOL, Ministry of Interior (MOI), Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), and the Ministry of Tourism all supported trainings for public officials, which addressed trafficking in persons and promoted anti-TIP public awareness campaigns. (12)

However, shelters serve only girls who have been victims of sex trafficking. There are no shelters for boys or girls who have been victims of trafficking unrelated to sex. (12,13,34) Although the MIES will generally assign child victims to shelters depending on space availability, the anti-TIP unit and MIES officials cite a lack of shelters in many provinces as a primary constraint in victim assistance. (2,12,20) Although the introduction in 2016 of the Unified System of Registration of Child Labor (SURTI) has improved the referral mechanisms for victims removed from the worst forms of child labor, the process is ad hoc and some government officials find it difficult to use, sometimes keeping their own records of child labor cases instead of using the system. Of the information collected, the government does not publish it. (2,14) MOL technical staff is exploring ways to improve the system. (2)

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 the provision of social services for victims of the worst forms of child labor.


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

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

Inter-institutional Committee for the Eradication of Child Labor

Coordinates government efforts to combat child labor. (2) Includes participation from MOL, DINAPEN, AGO, and MIES. (2,15)

Inter-Agency Committee against Trafficking in Persons

Coordinates government efforts to combat human trafficking, including child trafficking. Established as part of the National Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, Sexual and Labor Exploitation, and Other Forms of Exploitation. (30) MOI continued to chair this committee as the main coordinating body of the Government of Ecuador's anti-trafficking efforts in 2018. (12)

Technical Secretariat for the Lifetime Plan

Convenes government ministries to discuss issues, including child labor. (35) Remained the Government of Ecuador's signature social program in 2018. (2)

National Council for Intergenerational Equity (CNII)

Coordinates inter-agency efforts to protect vulnerable populations, including children. (35) The Council was active during the reporting period and is requesting MOL allow the Council to lead the Inter-Agency Committee to Eradicate Child Labor. (36)

Local Autonomous Governments

Participate in coordinating mechanisms to combat child labor and implement the guidelines provided by CNII. (35) Responsible for ensuring the correct application of norms related to child labor. (35)

Inter-Agency Table for the Eradication of Child Labor (Mesa Interinstitucional de Erradicación del Trabajo Infantil)

Coordinates regional efforts to address child labor. (37) Participants include MIES; regional councils of Childhood and Adolescence; Ministries of Education, Labor, and Interior; DINAPEN; and AGO. (20,37) Although the national roundtable was not active in 2018, provincial tables continued to coordinate work and reported to central government agencies when joint coordination was necessary in efforts to eradicate child labor. (36)

Weak coordination between ministries providing social services has caused difficulties in ensuring that children rescued from working in the informal sector receive adequate social assistance. (38)

In June 2018, in recognition of World Day against Child Labor, MIES signed agreements to strengthen child labor prevention efforts with local governments, including with multiple cities in Chimborazo, Napo, and Tungurahua provinces. (2) In Manta, MIES signed an agreement with local government and chamber of commerce officials to launch a seal certifying that goods made in Manta were not produced with child labor. MIES reported that their efforts reached 10,000 children and adolescents in 2018. (2) MOI drafted the Inter-Institutional Protocol for the Comprehensive Care and Protection of TIP victims (Protocolo Interinstitucional para la Atención y Protección Integral a Víctimas de Trata de Personas), which aims to strengthen inter-agency coordination of efforts related to TIP victims. (2) In order to improve and better coordinate government response to the Venezuelan migration crisis, the government established a Human Mobility Board of government ministries, local governments, international organizations, and civil society organizations and a TIP sub-group to organize anti-TIP efforts concerning Venezuelans. (12) In September 2018, the Governments of Ecuador and Colombia held a binational workshop for government officials focused on TIP victim identification, differentiating between TIP and other crimes, and methods for taking victim statements. (12)

The government has established policies related to child labor (Table 9). However, policy gaps exist that hinder efforts to address child labor, including implementation.


Table 9. Key Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Plan to Eradicate Child Labor

Establishes strategy to eradicate child labor in Ecuador by 2021. (2) During the reporting period, MOL updated the Plan, which is currently going through government approval. (2) As part of the plan, the government conducted trainings, workshops, public awareness campaigns, and partnerships with the private sector in 2018. (2) 

Lifetime Plan (Plan Toda Una Vida) (2017–2021)

Aims to support vulnerable populations from birth to advanced age through a series of social welfare programs. Aims to reduce child labor of children ages 5 to 14 to 2.7 percent by 2021. (14,39) Launched on November 28, 2017. (14) Led by the Technical Secretariat for the Lifetime Plan. (40) In 2018, and in accordance with the plan, the Government of Ecuador conducted social welfare activities including combating child malnutrition, expanding early childhood education programs, sponsoring conditional cash transfer programs, and increasing job training and higher education opportunities for at-risk youth. (20)  

National Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, Sexual and Labor Exploitation, and Other Forms of Exploitation

Establishes processes to prevent, investigate, and impose legal sanctions against human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, and other forms of abuse. Enacted by decree in 2006 to protect and restore the rights of victims. (41-43) In 2018, the government held activities to combat and prevent trafficking in persons including inter-agency coordination, such as trainings, workshops, public awareness campaigns, and partnerships with the private sector. (2) In addition, the government began drafting a new plan which is supported by an IOM technical assistance grant. (2,20)  

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 the adequacy of efforts to address all worst forms of child labor.


Table 10. Key Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

Project to Eradicate Child Labor (PETI)†

MOL project under the National Plan for Good Living to prevent hazardous child labor in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and mining. (6,44) In 2018, the project was under revision for the 2018–2021 period. (45) Between January and June of 2018, PETI conducted anti-child labor training to 166 people, assisted 184 local government officials with the development and implementation of public policies on eradicating child labor, and conducted 90 consultations on child labor with the private sector. (2,46)  

Business Network for a Child Labor Free Ecuador

UN initiative that seeks to gain commitment from participating industries to promote the prevention and elimination of child labor in their supply chains, trains businesses on child labor prevention, and creates employment opportunities for the parents of children engaged in child labor. (47,48) Through the network, MOL provided trainings on anti-child labor practices to companies nationwide during the reporting period. (2)  

National Program to Combat Child Begging†

Seeks to raise awareness about child begging; aims to facilitate social services for children begging in the streets. MIES continued to raise awareness in 2018 through its national campaign on child begging Give Dignity (Da Dignidad). (2) 

USDOL-Funded Initiatives

Reducing Child Labor and Forced Labor in Palm Oil Supply Chains (2018–2022),* $6 million project to improve the implementation of social compliance systems that promote acceptable conditions of work and reduction of child labor and forced labor in palm oil supply chains; Building Effective Policies Against Child Labor in Ecuador and Panama (2012–2018), $4.3 million project implemented by ILO in collaboration with Casa Esperanza, Comunidades y Desarrollo en Ecuador (COMUNIDEC), and Fundación Esquel. (49,50) EducaFuturo Project (2012–2018), $8.1 million project implemented by Partners of the Americas, in collaboration with Expoflores, COMUNIDEC, and Fundación de las Americas. Additional information is available on the USDOL website.

Prevention of Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents

Ministry of Tourism program that seeks to prevent commercial sexual exploitation by creating regulations and awareness campaigns in the tourism sector. In 2018, the Ministry continued to provide online training to hotel owners and employees on identifying, responding to, and reporting suspected cases of child sex tourism and trafficking in persons. (2) It also conducted public awareness workshops and participated in the XI Meeting of the Regional Action Group of the Americas, which seeks to address and share strategies in prevention. (2)

Young Workers’ Symphonic Orchestra (Orquesta Sinfónica de los Trabajadores Jovenes Eloy Alfaro)†

Orchestra that performs to raise awareness of child labor. (38) Established by MOL in 2016, comprises more than 200 former child laborers from Quito and Cuenca who take daily music lessons funded by MOL.

Grants for Human Development

Conditional cash transfer program run by MIES that supplements household income for vulnerable families. (2) In October 2018, President Moreno announced that the administration assigned $730 million to the grant. The Moreno Administration planned to expand coverage to one million cash transfers by the end of 2018. (20) 

Mission Tenderness (Misión Ternura)†

Seeks to promote the development of children under age 5 by combating malnutrition, increasing the number of children participating in early childhood education programs, and increasing participation of children from poor and vulnerable families in public childhood development programs. (2) 

Less Poverty, More Development (Menos Pobreza, Más Desarrollo)†

Aims to reduce extreme poverty from 8 percent to 3.5 percent by 2021, in part, through a conditional cash transfer for families living below the poverty line. (2,51)

Youth Impulse (Impulso Joven)†

Seeks to increase job training and higher education opportunities for at-risk youth, support youth entrepreneurship through preferential loans, and connect employers with at-risk youth. (2) 

*Program was created during the reporting period.
† Program is funded by the Government of Ecuador.
‡ The government had other social programs that may have included the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor. (2,38,52,53) 

Although civil society stakeholders commended the government's social programs, they reiterated that these programs only make limited interventions in sectors in which child labor is most prevalent, specifically the informal and agricultural sectors. (2) 

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


Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Enforcement

Ensure that laws and regulations governing child labor, especially hazardous labor, are enforced consistently throughout the country, including in rural areas and family-run businesses.

2016 – 2018

Increase the number of labor inspectors to meet the ILO's technical advice.

2009 – 2018

Ensure that the labor inspectorate is properly funded so that  inspectors receive sufficient resources, including transportation, to adequately carry out their duties. Ensure that inspections sufficiently cover sectors in which child labor has been reported, including the agricultural sector and the informal sector.

2014 – 2018

Ensure that labor inspectors have sufficient knowledge of existing laws, penalties, and processes, and training in victim identification to conduct inspections and refer victims to social services.

2015 – 2018

Ensure that police investigators receive sufficient resources, including shelters for victims, to investigate cases of the worst forms of child labor and refer victims.

2016 – 2018

Strengthen the provision of specialized services for victims under the age of 18.

2018

Continue to improve the Unified System of Registration of Child Labor (SURTI), ensure that labor inspectors use it to track cases of the worst forms of child labor, and publish this information.

2018

Coordination

Strengthen coordinating mechanisms among ministries providing social services to victims of child labor, especially in the informal sector.

2015 – 2018

Social Programs

Conduct a new child labor survey so that there is sufficient data to inform government actions to eliminate child labor.

2018

Enhance efforts to eliminate barriers and make education, particularly secondary education, accessible for all children, including indigenous and refugee children and children from rural areas, by removing school-related fees, increasing classroom space, and providing adequate transportation.

2014 – 2018

Enhance efforts to address exploitative labor practices and labor trafficking of migrant and refugee children.

2018

Ensure that children of refugees and migrants have full access to education, regardless of their ability to provide documentation.

2018

Ensure that social programs make interventions in sectors where child labor is most prevalent, specifically in the informal and agricultural sectors.

2018

  1. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC). Se presentan resultados de la Primera Encuesta Nacional de Trabajo Infantil. Accessed March 28, 2014. Source on file.

  2. U.S. Embassy- Quito. Reporting. February 8, 2019.

  3. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education, both sexes (%). Accessed January 4, 2018. 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. ILO. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 5, 2014, Please see “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.

  5. Government of Ecuador, Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion. Response to USDOL request. February 5, 2015. Source on file.

  6. Ministerio de Trabajo y Relaciones Laborales. PETI - Proyecto de Erradicación del Trabajo Infantil 2014–2017. June 2013.
    http://www.trabajo.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/PROYECTO-PETI-2014-2017.pdf.

  7. IOM. Diagnostico Situacional Sobre la Trata de Personas en la Provincia de Pichincha. 2017. Source on file.

  8. El Mercurio. Trabajo Infantil baja pero persiste. August 31 2015. Source on file.

  9. UCW. Entendiendo el trabajo infantil y el empleo juvenil en Ecuador. September 2017.
    http://www.ucw-project.org/attachment/27092017229Ecuador_interagency_report_12092017.pdf.

  10. Observatorio Social del Ecuador. Niñez, migración y fronteras. 2013. Source on file.

  11. Ecuadorian Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion, National Council for Intergenerational Equality, and UNICEF. La niñez y adolescencia en el Ecuador contemporáneo: avances y brechas en el ejercicio de derechos. 2014. Source on file.

  12. U.S. Embassy- Quito. Reporting. March 11, 2019.

  13. U.S. Department of State. 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report- Ecuador. June 28, 2018.
    https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-trafficking-in-persons-report/ecuador/.

  14. U.S. Embassy- Quito. Reporting. January 16, 2018.

  15. U.S. Department of State official. Email communication to USDOL official. April 27, 2018.

  16. IOM. Diagnostico Situacional Sobre la Trata de Personas en la Provincia de Guayas. 2017. Source on file.

  17. IOM. Diagnostico Situacional Sobre la Trata de Personas en la Provincia de Manabi. 2017. Source on file.

  18. U.S. Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Ecuador- 2018. 2018.
    https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/ecuador/.

  19. UNICEF. Panorama de la situación de la niñez y adolescencia indígena en América Latina: El derecho a la educación y a la protección en Ecuador. 2014. Source on file.

  20. U.S. Embassy Quito official. Email communication to USDOL official. July 12, 2019.

  21. Government of Ecuador. Constitución del Ecuador. Enacted: 2008.
    http://www.asambleanacional.gov.ec/documentos/Constitucion-2008.pdf.

  22. Government of Ecuador. Código de la Niñez y Adolescencia with modifications until 2009. Enacted: 2003. Source on file.

  23. Government of Ecuador. Resolución No. 16 CNNA. Enacted: 2008. Source on file.

  24. Government of Ecuador. List of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Adolescents. Official Register, 2015. Source on file.

  25. Government of Ecuador. Código Orgánico Integral Penal. Enacted: 2014.
    http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ec/system/files/document.pdf.

  26. Government of Ecuador. Ley Orgánica de Movilidad Humana. Enacted: January 31, 2017. Source on file.

  27. Government of Ecuador. Ley Orgánica de Educación Intercultural. Enacted: 2011. Source on file.

  28. Government of Ecuador. Ley para prevenir y erradicar la violencia contra las mujeres. January 31, 2018.
    http://www.cordicom.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2018/06/Ley para prevenir y erradicar la violencia contra la Mujer.pdf.

  29. U.S. Embassy- Quito. Reporting. February 19, 2015.

  30. U.S. Embassy- Quito official. Email communication to USDOL official. May 17, 2016.

  31. CIA. The World Factbook. Accessed March 18, 2018.
    https://www.cia.gov/Library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2095rank.html. Please see “Labor Law Enforcement: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.

  32. ILO. Strategies and Practice for Labour Inspection. ILO Committee on Employment and Social Policy, November 2006: GB.297/ESP/3.
    http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/relm/gb/docs/gb297/pdf/esp-3.pdf.

  33. U.S. Embassy- Quito official. Email communication to USDOL official. March 16, 2018.

  34. U.S. Embassy- Quito. Reporting. February 8, 2018.

  35. U.S. Embassy- Quito. Reporting. January 22, 2016.

  36. U.S. Embassy- Quito official. Email communication to U.S. DOL official. April 15, 2019.

  37. Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social. Erradicación del Trabajo Infantil en el Sector Agrícola, El Nuevo Enfoque para el Ecuador. Accessed April 11, 2018.
    http://www.inclusion.gob.ec/erradicacion-del-trabajo-infantil-en-el-sector-agricola-el-nuevo-enfoque-para-el-ecuador/.

  38. U.S. Embassy- Quito. Reporting. January 17, 2017.

  39. Government of Ecuador. Plan Nacional Toda una Vida. November 2017.
    http://www.planificacion.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2017/10/PNBV-26-OCT-FINAL_0K.compressed1.pdf.

  40. Government of Ecuador. Programa Misión Ternura. Accessed March 6, 2018. Source on file.

  41. U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report- 2016: Ecuador. Washington, DC, June 30, 2016.
    https://2009-2017.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2016/258759.htm.

  42. Ministerio del Interior. Ecuador consolida acciones para combatir el delito de trata de personas. Accessed March 31, 2016.
    http://www.ministeriointerior.gob.ec/ecuador-consolida-acciones-para-combatir-el-delito-de-trata-de-personas/#.

  43. IOM Ecuador. Bi-monthly meeting of the prevention bureau of the national plan to combat human trafficking with the participation of IOM Ecuador. Quarterly Newsletter, 2015.
    https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/mission_newsletter/file/IOM-Ecuador-Quarterly-Newsletter-April-July-2015.pdf.

  44. U.S. Embassy- Quito official. Email communication to USDOL official. May 8, 2017.

  45. U.S. Embassy - Quito official. Email communication to USDOL official. April 15, 2019.

  46. Government of Ecuador. Proyecto Erradicación del Trabajo Infantil Periodo 018 – 2021. 2018. Source on file.

  47. Red Pacto Global Ecuador. Se presentan logros de la red de empresas por un Ecuador libre de trabajo infantil en 2014. December 2, 2014. Source on file.

  48. El Tiempo. Ministerio de Trabajo impulsa red contra trabajo infantil. September 27, 2017.
    http://www.eltiempo.com.ec/noticias/region/12/421806/ministerio-de-trabajo-impulsa-red-contra-trabajo-infantil.

  49. ILO-IPEC. Building Effective Policies Against Child Labor in Ecuador and Panama. Technical Progress Report, October 2016. Source on file.

  50. ILO-IPEC. Building Effective Policies Against Child Labor in Ecuador and Panama. Technical Progress Report, April 2016. Source on file.

  51. Agencia Efe. La Vicepresidenta de Ecuador presenta la misión "Menos pobreza, más desarrollo". January 9, 2018.
    https://www.efe.com/efe/america/politica/la-vicepresidenta-de-ecuador-presenta-mision-menos-pobreza-mas-desarrollo/20000035-3487517.

  52. ILO-IPEC. Global Action Program on Child Labor Issues. Technical Progress Report, October 2016. Source on file.

  53. ILO-IPEC Geneva official. Email communication to USDOL official. February 10, 2018.