"Stop Child Labor in Agriculture:" Contribution to the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labor in Mexico in the Agricultural Sector, with Special Focus on Migrant Indigenous Children

Project Duration:
September 2009
February 2014
Funding and Year:

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The Problem

In Mexico, approximately one-third of the 3.64 million child laborers work in agriculture and its sub sectors. A significant proportion of these children are indigenous boys and girls. In many instances, entire families, particularly those of indigenous descent, migrate to work in agriculture, often to locations with either poor access to or quality of education. As a result, migrant children often drop out of school to help their families plant and harvest, facing hazards such as exposure to dangerous substances, vulnerability to abuse, and physical requirements beyond their capacity.

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Our Strategy


A total of 6,500 children from Veracruz, Michoacán, Oaxaca, and Sinaloa will be targeted for withdrawal (including through removal and protection in workplaces) and prevention from child labor through the provision of educational and non-educational services. Of this total, 2,250 will be removed from work, 500 protected in the workplace and 3,250 prevented from entering into child labor.

Development Goal: 

To contribute to the prevention and elimination of child labor, in particular the worst forms in the agricultural sector in Mexico, with a special focus on indigenous children and child labor as a result of internal migration.

Project Objectives:

  • Strengthen the legal, institutional, and policy frameworks to prevent and eliminate child labor, particularly the worst forms in the agricultural sector;
  • Build the capacity of social partners to implement actions to eliminate child labor in agriculture;
  • Increase the knowledge base to inform efforts of key actors to combat child labor in agriculture; and
  • Implement and document pilot direct action interventions for withdrawal and prevention of children from exploitive labor in agriculture.

Summary of Activities

  • Provide quality and relevant education and social services to prevent or withdraw 6,500 children from exploitive child labor in the agriculture sector;
  • Support government efforts to harmonize national laws and regulations with international labor standards;
  • Strengthen the capacity of labor inspectors and other relevant actors to enforce child labor and occupational safety laws;
  • Promote the adoption of policies and action plans to combat child labor on the state and national levels;
  • Increase technical capacity of workers’, employers’, and farm workers’ organizations to address child labor; and  Create a knowledge and information toolkit on child labor in agriculture to promote awareness among key social, media, and government partners 
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As of September 30, 2013, 3,288 children engaged in or at high-risk of entering child labor have been provided education or vocational services and 1,662 households were provided with livelihood services as a result of this project.

Grantee: International Labor Organization's International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO-IPEC)
Contact Information:
(202) 693-4843
Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)