Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Peru

Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports


2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Significant Advancement

In 2014, Peru made a significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government of Peru approved the Intersectoral Protocol against Forced Labor and strengthened the Penal Code's penalties for human trafficking. Peru also joined the UNODC Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking and engaged with officials in Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil on child labor issues. The Public Ministry opened a criminal prosecution office in Lima to specialize in human trafficking cases, and the National Labor Inspection Superintendency hired over 90 new labor inspectors and opened 8 regional offices. However, children in Peru continue to engage in child labor, including in agriculture, and in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation. Peruvian law does not fully comply with international standards to protect children engaged in night work and hazardous work. Labor inspectorates remain underfunded and the number of child labor inspections is insufficient, especially in regions with the highest rates of child labor. In addition, not all Regional Commissions for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor have drafted and funded action plans to combat child labor, although they are mandated to do so.


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Children in Peru are engaged in child labor, including in agriculture. Children are also engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation.(1-7) According to the Government's 2011 National Household Survey, 68 percent of child laborers under the legal working age work in rural areas, principally on farms.(1, 8) According to the same survey, approximately 31 percent of child laborers in urban areas work in the service sector, including in hazardous occupations such as street work. Official statistics indicate that the rates of child labor are significantly higher in the highland and jungle regions of Peru than in the coastal regions.(8) Table 1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in Peru.

Table 1. Statistics on Children's Work and Education

Working children, ages 6 to 14 (% and population):

19.4 (1,014,688)

School attendance, ages 6 to 14 (%):


Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%):


Primary completion rate (%):


Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2012, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(9)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children's Work Project's analysis of statistics from Encuesta Nacional de Hogares (ENAHO), 2011.(10)

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




Production of Brazil nuts/chestnuts* (4, 5)

Planting and harvesting avocados,* barley,* beans,* cocoa,* coffee,* corn,* grass,* passion fruit,* pineapples,* plantains,* potatoes,* rocoto chili peppers,*rice,* and yucca* (11-14)

Herding and caring for farm animals*† (8, 15)

Fishing,† including deep sea fishing,† organizing tools, throwing fishing lines and nets,† harvesting crabs and shrimp eggs,*† and cleaning shrimp and prawns for packaging*†(14)

Logging *† and clearing forestland for mining, including cutting down and burning trees*† (4-6)


Mining,† including silver mining* and particularly gold mining (4-6, 12, 16, 17)

Production of bricks and fireworks† (4, 5)


Street work,† including vending, begging, shoe shining, unloading ships, carrying loads, and car washing (3-5, 8, 14, 18)

Collecting fares on public buses† (14)

Repairing motor vehicles† (6)

Garbage scavenging† and battery recycling* (4, 5, 16)

Domestic work† (4, 15)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Forced labor in mining,* particularly gold mining* (3-7)

Forced labor in logging,* street vending, and begging (2-7)

Forced domestic work sometimes as a result of human trafficking(3, 4)

Working in bars and brothels, commercial sexual exploitation sometimes as a result of human trafficking (2, 4-7, 19-21)

Growing and processing coca (stimulant plant) sometimes as a result of human trafficking, transporting drugs, and smuggling gas and gasoline* (2-5, 7, 14, 20, 21)

Used in armed conflict sometimes as a result of forced or compulsory recruitment* (2, 3, 5)

* 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.

Remnants of the terrorist group Shining Path use children as soldiers. The Shining Path, as well as other drug traffickers, use children to produce coca and transport drugs.(2-5, 7) Colombian children from the departments of Amazonas and Nariño frequently travel across the border to Peru to work in the cultivation of coca and illegal drug production. Sometimes these children, including indigenous children, are trafficked to perform these activities.(22, 23)

Evidence suggests that children in Peru work in informal mining, particularly in informal gold mines and peripheral services. Informal and small-scale mining companies have higher risks of being exposed to hazardous incidents including wall and mine collapses, landslides, explosives accidents, and exposure to harmful gases.(4, 14, 24) Children engaged in fishing often work at night, leading to frequent absences from school, and face risks including entanglement in nets, falls, and exposure to the elements.(14)

Domestic work is principally carried out by girls, who often migrate from impoverished areas in the highland and jungle regions to the coastal areas to work in third-party homes.(4) Girls are found in commercial sexual exploitation across the country, in particular in mining communities.(19, 25) Commercial sexual exploitation of children is also a problem in the tourist zones of Cuzco, Iquitos, and Lima.(2, 26) Research indicates that young Colombian girls and boys often enter Santa Rosa, Peru by canoe where they engage in commercial sexual exploitation and illicit activities and are further exploited in commercial sexual exploitation because they are unable to return to Colombia at night, as canoe access to Colombia closes from 6 pm to 6 am every day.(20, 21)

Adolescents from indigenous communities had a 42.5 percent secondary school completion rate in 2013, compared to the 67.6 percent completion rate of non-indigenous youth. Only 42.1 percent of girls ages 17 to 18 from rural communities completed secondary school in 2013, as opposed to 75.7 percent of girls in urban areas.(27) Some parents choose not to send their daughters to high school because of the distance, cost, and concerns over sexual violence and teen pregnancy.(28) A 2012 family health survey indicated that 34.9 percent of girls who have only completed primary school are pregnant or already have a child.(29) School authorities reportedly deny girls admission to school if they are pregnant or dating, despite legislation requiring school directors to ensure that students who are pregnant or have children remain in school and do not face discrimination.(28, 30)

In 2014, the Government signed legislation for the Complete School Day, which aims to increase instruction time from 35 to 45 hours per week in 1,000 public high schools in 2015 and to all public high schools by 2021. The Complete School Day aims to strengthen the quality of education, particularly in mathematics and English.(31, 32)

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

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor



ILO C. 138, Minimum Age

ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor


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




Related Legislation

Minimum Age for Work



Article 51 of the Child and Adolescent Code (33)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work



Article 58 of the Child and Adolescent Code (34)

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children



Sections A — B of the Supreme Decree No. 003-2010-MIMDES (35)

Prohibition of Forced Labor



Article 2 of the Constitution; Articles 128 — 129, 153, and 168 of the Penal Code (36, 37)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking



Article 4 of the Child and Adolescent Code; Articles 153 and 182 of the Penal Code (34, 36, 38, 39)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children



Article 4 of the Child and Adolescent Code ; Articles 153 and 179 — 183 of the Penal Code (34, 39, 40)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities



Articles 153, 179 — 180, 182 — 183, and 297 of the Penal Code (36, 39, 41)

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment



Article 42 of the Military Service Law (42)

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service



Article 42 of the Military Service Law (42, 43)

Compulsory Education Age



Article 17 of the Constitution; Article 12 of the General Education Law (37, 44, 45)

Free Public Education



Article 17 of the Constitution; Article 4 of the General Education Law (37, 44)

Article 57 of the Child and Adolescent Code prohibits children under age 18 from working between the hours of 7p.m. and 7 a.m., with the exception that a judge may authorize children age 15 and older to engage in night work not exceeding 4 hours a day. The Government of Peru has indicated that the pending bill to amend the Child and Adolescent Code may raise the minimum age for authorized night work to 16, which would bring the law into compliance with international standards on hazardous work.(34, 46)

Although Section A of the Supreme Decree No. 003-2010-MIMDES designates fishing and mining as work that is hazardous by nature, Article 51 of the Child and Adolescent Code allows children to perform work in mining at age 16 and in commercial fishing at age 17, without provisions to ensure that their health, safety, and morals are fully protected, or that they receive specific instruction or training in these activities.(33, 35)

In 2014, the Government updated Article 153 of the Penal Code to increase the maximum penalties applicable to perpetrators of human trafficking crimes and to require anyone who facilitates trafficking in persons to be charged as a principal offender. The modifications to the Penal Code also add forced labor as a form of human trafficking.(39)

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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



Ministry of Labor and Promotion of Employment (MTPE)

Set national policies and guidelines for labor law enforcement, including for inspections. Responsible for supporting and overseeing the National Labor Inspection Superintendency (SUNAFIL).(47)

National Labor Inspection Superintendency

Enforce child labor laws, including prohibitions on the worst forms of child labor.(48) Carry out labor inspections in the Lima region, as well as inspections of employers outside of Lima with more than 10 registered workers, in coordination with regional labor inspectorates.(49) Maintain a Special Inspection Group against Forced Labor and Child Labor, composed of 15 inspectors who conduct inspections targeting forced labor and child labor violations, and train other inspectors on these topics.(14, 42, 50) Address possible child labor violations during all inspections and refer cases of child labor to the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP) and the Public Ministry, as appropriate.(51, 52) In 2014, opened regional administrative units in Huánuco, Loreto, Ica, Moquegua, Tumbes, La Libertad, Cajamarca and Áncash.(7, 53)

Regional Labor Inspectorates

Inspect employers in regions outside of Lima with 10 or fewer registered workers, in coordination with SUNAFIL.(47, 49)

Public Ministry

Coordinate with the MTPE, SUNAFIL, and the National Police to investigate and prosecute cases of criminal violations of child labor laws.(52)

Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations

Maintain a Children's Bureau that coordinates with the MTPE and SUNAFIL to document complaints of violations of child labor laws.(48, 54) Maintain a hotline for exploited children, including child laborers, and provide social services to children found working in the worst forms of child labor.(50, 52)

National Police

Enforce criminal laws regarding child labor and child exploitation and maintain a Trafficking Investigation Unit to investigate cases of child trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation.(48, 52) Coordinate with the Public Ministry and MIMP to place rescued minors in the care of family members or state social services.(1)

Ministry of the Interior (MININTER)

Maintain a hotline functioning during office hours to receive reports of trafficking in persons. Provide victims and the general public with information on human trafficking; communicate cases of human trafficking to relevant government offices; and coordinate services for victims.(1, 55)

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

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2014, the National Labor Inspection Superintendency (SUNAFIL) employed 295 labor inspectors focused on the formal sector, 83 of whom were based in regional inspectorates outside of Lima.(7) In October, SUNAFIL announced the hiring of more than 90 new labor inspectors assigned to the regional administrative units of Huánuco, Loreto, Ica, Moquegua, Tumbes, La Libertad, Cajamarca and Áncash.(56) The MTPE and SUNAFIL provided training on child labor to 258 labor inspectors in 2014.(7, 54)

The 2014 budget for MTPE efforts to prevent and eliminate child labor was approximately $552,729. (14) SUNAFIL reported that its 2014 Budget was $24,647,980.(7) In general, inspectors lack sufficient resources, such as transportation and fuel, to address the problem of child labor, and inspections did not take place in the informal sector.(3, 14, 48) Many Regional Labor Inspectorates outside of Lima and Callao are particularly understaffed and underfunded, and the MTPE has reported that the number of inspectors is insufficient to conduct inspections effectively. Moreover, the ILO Committee of Experts has noted that the number of labor inspectors is also inadequate to monitor the informal economy, in which the majority of child labor in Peru occurs.(7, 57)

As of November 2014, SUNAFIL inspectors had carried out 692 labor inspections.(54) Inspections included routine, unannounced visits to areas with reported child labor problems, including in the agriculture, fishing, mining, construction, commerce, hotels and restaurants, and transportation sectors, as well as inspections responding to specific complaints. The number of child labor violations found as a result of these inspections was not available, although the MTPE reported that child labor was found mainly in the mining, agriculture, fishing, and commerce sectors.(7) Regional inspectorates conducted inspections only as a result of child labor complaints.(7) In May 2014, Peru's Office of the Ombudsman published a study on the MTPE's actions on child labor, with a focus on the inspection system. The study produced recommendations to improve government actions on child labor, including by increasing supervision in the informal sector and coordinating with social protection agencies before, during, and after labor inspections.(58)

As of November 2014, the Government had imposed fines on 23 employers for child labor violations, totaling approximately $5,292,000 and assisted 15 children working illegally, all in the Lima metropolitan area. Fines were insufficient to prevent child labor violations, however, particularly as NGOs estimate that only 10 percent of fines were collected.(7)

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2014, the MTPE, the National Police, and the Public Ministry worked together to investigate and prosecute criminal cases of the worst forms of child labor. The National Police's Trafficking in Persons Unit (DIRINTRAP) expanded from a small division to a directorate investigating cases involving the trafficking of minors for labor and hired 65 new officers in 2014, for a total of 110 National Police personnel.(7)

The Public Ministry investigated and prosecuted 110 cases involving trafficking in persons, and coordinated legal and psychological assistance for 177 victims; however, these data do not distinguish between children and adults.(14) In October, the Public Ministry converted a Lima office for criminal prosecution into an office specializing in human trafficking cases.(14, 59) There are 11 trafficking in persons prosecutors.(7) The Ministry of the Interior (MININTER) and the National Police participated in three bilateral operations with Ecuador, resulting in the repatriation to Ecuador of four adolescent victims trafficked into sexual exploitation and three adolescent victims of migrant trafficking.(60) MININTER reported having received approximately 1,099 calls to the trafficking in persons hotline, but information is unavailable on the number of these calls that were related to the trafficking of children. (14) The Judiciary reported having convicted 19 people for trafficking in persons between January and November of 2014, although the number of these cases involving children is unknown.(61) DIRINTRAP identified 25 minor victims of trafficking in persons; however, information was not available on the total number of children who were rescued or had received services in 2014.(61, 62)

The Public Defender's Office has recommended increasing the penalty for child endangerment beyond the maximum sentence of 4 years.(63, 64)

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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 Commission for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor (CPETI)

Propose public policies and coordinate, evaluate, and monitor government actions to combat child labor.(3) Maintain several subcommittees, including one on informal mining and one on child labor in indigenous villages.(3) Led by the MTPE and includes 17 government agencies, including MININTER, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Justice, as well as representatives from business associations, unions, and NGOs.(3)

Regional Commissions for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor

Carry out CPETI's mandate at the regional level.(65) Created in all 25 regions of Peru.(14) In 2014, a total of 1,700 public officials involved in efforts to address child labor in 24 regions received training.(54)

National Commission against Forced Labor

Coordinate government efforts to combat forced labor, including conducting research on forced labor, awareness-raising efforts, developing legislation, and strengthening Peru's institutional capacity to address forced labor. Led by the MTPE with participation of eight additional government ministries.(48)

Permanent Multi-Sectoral Commission on Illegal Mining

Coordinate the Government's efforts to address illegal mining, including by developing programs to eradicate child labor and child prostitution in mining areas. Led by the Prime Minister's Office and includes the participation of regional governments and six national government agencies, including the Ministry of Energy and Mines and MININTER.(66)

Multi-Sector Committee Against Trafficking in Persons

Lead and coordinate government efforts to combat trafficking in persons. Chaired by MININTER and includes 12 government agencies, including the Ministry of Justice, MIMP, and the MTPE.(48)

In October 2014, the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations and five other ministries met to develop strategies to combat child labor in the streets of Lima, focusing on preventative actions to be implemented in child laborers' communities of origin. The MTPE plans to provide additional funding to this initiative in 2015.(67)

In general, government agencies that identify and assist child laborers, as well as law enforcement agencies that investigate child labor cases, do not consistently coordinate with one another or share information about planned interventions or raids.(7, 62) The National Commission Against Forced Labor met infrequently throughout the reporting period.(7) The failure of law enforcement officials in different parts of the country to coordinate with one another on child trafficking cases also led to significant delays in both investigating the crimes and rescuing the victims.(2)

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

Table 7. Policies Related to Child Labor



National Strategy for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor for 2012–2021

Aims to eliminate the worst forms of child labor by improving the livelihoods of low-income families, improving education opportunities, raising awareness of child labor, improving work conditions for adolescents, and increasing child labor law enforcement.(8, 54) Also seeks to improve the quality of child labor data in Peru. Includes the objective of carrying out pilot programs to combat child labor in urban and rural areas.(8)

National Action Plan for Children and Adolescents for 2012–2021

Establishes a comprehensive set of government policies for children and adolescents, including the goal of eradicating the worst forms of child labor.(1, 48, 54)

Sector Strategy on the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor

Includes the objectives of increasing the availability of child labor data, raising public awareness, strengthening coordination between public and private entities on child labor issues, and improving investigations of child labor violations. Developed jointly by the MTPE and the ILO.(52, 68)

Second National Plan to Combat Forced Labor for 2013–2017

Establishes the Government's policies and priorities for combatting forced labor. Includes the goal of reducing children's vulnerability to becoming engaged in forced labor.(24)

Intersectoral Protocol against Forced Labor (2014)†

Outlines the Government's role in combatting forced labor and provides for the housing, legal defense, and educational reintegration of children and adolescent victims of forced labor. Monitored by the National Commission Against Forced Labor.(7, 69)

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 Peru at the ILO's 18th Regional Meeting of the Americas in Lima (October 2014).(70, 71)

A Peru without Child Labor (2014)†

Aims to prevent and eradicate child labor through a partnership between the Government and a network of private businesses committed to supporting the National Strategy by investing in child development and building a skilled workforce. Signed by the MTPE and principal business associations in June 2014.(54, 72)

Illegal Mining, Drug Trafficking, Inequality, and Poverty Elimination Agreement Between the Government of Colombia and the Government of Peru†

Outlines 11 agreements between the 2 nations, including several that focus on child and adolescent labor protection issues, such as identifying and assisting children and adolescents who work in mining activities and are in vulnerable situations.(73) In addition, establishes a roadmap to apply concepts from the Cooperation Agreement on the Exchange of Experiences and Good Practices regarding labor and labor relations, including child labor.(73)

† Policy was launched during the reporting period.

As a part of the agreement with the Government of Colombia, the Government of Peru met with officials from Colombia and developed a workshop for an information and coordination exchange on the development of a Binational Peru-Colombia Child Labor Registration System. The Government also met with civil society partners and officials from Colombia and Brazil to coordinate efforts to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors in border areas.(74) In addition, the Governments of Peru and Ecuador participated in a workshop to develop a bilateral protocol on the eradication of child labor.(75, 76)

Although the Second National Plan to Combat Forced Labor for 2013 — 2017 has been approved, the Government has not allocated funding to implement many components of the Plan.(3, 7) Regional Commissions for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor are mandated to create action plans to combat child labor, but not all regional commissions have action plans in place and some regions have not provided funding to their commissions to carry out the action plans.(51, 77)

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In 2014, the Government of Peru 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



Seed Project (Proyecto Semilla) (2011–2015)

$13 million USDOL-funded, 4-year project implemented by the NGO Desarrollo y Autogestión to combat rural child labor. Supports the national and regional governments in developing child labor policies, carries out awareness-raising campaigns, and aims to provide 6,000 children and 3,500 families with education and livelihood services to reduce the incidence of child labor.(15, 78) As of October 2014, had assisted 4,422 children and 2,707 families.(79) In 2014, the Ministry of Education hired 23 teachers for the project's high school tutoring program in Junín and Huancavelica, funded 3 workshops for the project, and hired 2 staff members to conduct a study on expanding the project to additional schools in 2015.(79, 80)

Global Research on Child Labor Measurement and Policy Development (2013–2017)

USDOL-funded research project implemented by the ILO in 10 countries, including Peru, to increase the knowledge base around child labor by collecting new data, analyzing existing data, and building the capacity of the Government to conduct research in this area.(81)

Project to Consolidate Efforts to Combat Forced Labor in Brazil and Peru (2012–2016)

$6 million USDOL-funded, 4-year project implemented by the ILO to combat forced labor, including forced child labor, in Brazil and Peru, and to share Brazil's good practices with the Government of Peru and Peruvian stakeholders. In 2014, the project began to develop a monitoring tool to track the implementation of the National Plan to Combat Forced Labor, and supported activities to promote the exchange of good practices to Combat Forced Labor.(82-84) It also carried out an exchange activity between the Brazilian and Peruvian Commissions to Combat Forced Labor to share good practices and develop an agenda for further information-sharing activities.(83, 84)

Carabayllo Project (2012–2014)‡

2- year pilot project implemented by the Government that provides scholarships, education assistance, psychological help, and other services to 1,000 families and 1,500 children, with the aim of reducing urban child labor, especially in garbage dumps.(1, 8, 50)

Huánuco Project (2012–2014)‡

2-year pilot project implemented by the Government that seeks to improve school retention and attendance rates among child laborers in rural areas. In conjunction with the Together Program, assists approximately 4,000 children and 3,200 families by providing them with cash transfers, education, and livelihood services.(1, 8, 50)

Together Program (Juntos)*‡

Ministry of Social Development program to provide cash transfers to approximately 650,000 low-income households in 14 of the country's 25 departments.(85, 86)

Peru Works (Trabaja Perú)‡

MTPE program that offers temporary work and technical training to low-income households. Requires beneficiaries to ensure their children attend school and do not engage in child labor.(48, 52)

Youth to Work (Jóvenes a la Obra)*‡

MTPE program to provide youth ages 16 to 24 with free job training, including on-the-job training in companies.(3)

Go Peru (Vamos Perú)*‡

MTPE program to provide job training and assistance to entrepreneurs, and job placement services to the unemployed, including youth.(3)

Street Educators (Educadores de Calle)‡

MIMP program to provide counseling and training to children engaged in begging and street work in 20 cities throughout Peru.(87) Connects working children and their families to educational and social services with the goal of withdrawing them from exploitative work and improving family welfare.(51, 87) In October 2014, 122 Street Educators members attended a national meeting to exchange experiences and strengthen intervention efforts.(88) Coordinated with the MTPE to provide workshops on the prevention of trafficking in persons to more than 1,000 children in 2014.(61)

Regional Action Group for the Americas (Grupo de Acción Regional para las Américas)

Regional initiative that conducts prevention and awareness-raising campaigns to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Latin America. Members include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.(89, 90)

Education and Monitoring Program for the Eradication of Child Labor (2012–2014)

$1.3 million Government of Spain-funded, 2-year project implemented by ILO-IPEC that aimed to strengthen public policies and government capacity to combat child labor in 19 countries in the Americas, including Peru. Included the objective of developing information systems on the worst forms of child labor.(91)

Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking (2014)†‡

Government of Peru and UNODC campaign that aims to raise awareness of combatting human trafficking.(92) Funded by the Government of Peru.(14)

* 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 Peru.

Although Peru has programs that reach children who work in agriculture in rural areas, the scope of these programs is still insufficient to fully address the large numbers of children engaged in hazardous occupations in agriculture. Peru also lacks targeted programs to assist children who are subjected to forced labor, commercial sexual exploitation, and child soldiering, as well as children who work in mining, logging, and domestic work.

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

Table 9. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms


Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Ensure that only children age 16 and older are authorized to work between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.


Ensure that minors engaged in fishing and mining receive adequate, specific instruction or training in these activities, and that their health, safety, and morals are fully protected.



Increase the level of funding allocated to the MTPE, SUNAFIL, and Regional Labor Inspectorates to help ensure effective enforcement of child labor laws, particularly in the informal sector and regions with high rates of child labor.


Increase the amount of information that is publicly available about child labor law enforcement efforts, particularly at the regional level, including the number of child laborers identified and assisted as a result of inspections, the number of fines imposed and collected for child labor violations, and the number of criminal cases involving the worst forms of child labor that were investigated, prosecuted, or convicted.



Strengthen coordination and information-sharing mechanisms among government agencies dealing with child labor issues.


Government Policies

Allocate sufficient funding to fully implement the Second National Plan to Combat Forced Labor.


Ensure that regional CPETI commissions develop action plans to combat child labor, and allocate sufficient funding to implement these plans.


Social Programs

Improve access to education for girls in rural and indigenous communities.


Assess the impact that existing social programs, such as the Juntos conditional cash transfer program, may have on addressing child labor.


Expand social programs to reach a greater number of children working in hazardous occupations in agriculture, and initiate social programs to address forced child labor, child commercial sexual exploitation, child soldiering, child labor in mining, child labor in logging, and child domestic work.



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1.Government of Peru. Written Communication. Submitted in response to USDOL Request for Information about Child and Forced Labor. Lima; January 28, 2013.

2.U.S. Department of State. "Peru," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2014. Washington, DC; 2014;

3.U.S. Embassy- Lima. reporting, January 10, 2014.

4.UN Human Rights Council. Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, Gulnara Shahinian. New York; August 15, 2011.

5.U.S. Department of State. "Peru," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2013. Washington, DC; 2014;

6.Verite. Risk Analysis of Indicators of Forced Labor and Human Trafficking in Illegal Gold Mining in Peru. Amherst; 2013.

7.U.S. Embassy- Lima. reporting, January 13, 2015.

8.Government of Peru. Estrategia Nacional para la Prevención y Erradicación del Trabajo Infantíl 2012-2021. Lima; 2012.

9.UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed January 16, 2015]; . 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.

10.UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from ENAHO, 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.

11.Proyecto Semilla. Documento de Linea de Base. Project Document. Lima, Desarrollo y Autogestion, DESCO, World Learning; December, 2012.

12.El Comercio. "Investigan denuncias de trabajo infantil en tres regiones." El Comercio, Lima, August 21, 2014.

13.Government of Peru. Ministerio de Trabajo continúa con acciones para erradicar explotación laboral infantil en el norte del país, Ministerio de Trabajo, [online] [cited March 27, 2015]; [source on file]

14.U.S. Embassy- Lima official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. April 16, 2015.

15.Centro de Desarrollo y Autogestión. Combating Exploitative Rural Child Labor in Perú. Project Document. Lima; November 2011.

16.UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant: Peru. Geneva; May 30, 2012. Report No. E/C.12/PER/CO/2-4.

17.Villavicencio, E. "La Libertad: Mineros informales depredan cerro Ragash de Salpo." El Comercio, Trujillo, September 23, 2013.

18.El Comercio. "Mayoría de niños trabajadores del Cercado son de Huancavelica." El Comercio, Lima, October 1, 2014.

19.U.S. Embassy- Lima official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. June 3, 2013.

20.Governorship of Amazonas official Interview with USDOL official (June 1. 2015.

21.Ministry of Labor official Interview with USDOL official (June 3. 2015.

22.Colombian District Attorney's Office official Interview with USDOL official (June 2. 2015.

23.Colombian Institute for Family Well-Being (ICBF) official Interview with USDOL official (June 2. 2015.

24.Government of Peru. II Plan Nacional para la Lucha contra el Trabajo Forzoso 2013 — 2017. Lima; 2013.

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