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Bureau of International Labor Affairs
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Peru: Children Working in Informal Sector Marketplaces in Lima, Peru

The objective of this study was to collect and systematize quantitative and qualitative data on child work at marketplaces in the informal sector in Lima, Peru. Data collection covered children aged 5 to 17 years old and included information concerning the characteristics, nature, and incidence of child work in the target sector. The study also included information on the basic characteristics of children and their families, their educational status, entry routes into work, and information on existing services for child workers in marketplaces in Lima.

The study provides statistically valid information at a city level (in metropolitan Lima) on issues concerning child work, child labor, and the general characteristics of children working in marketplaces (such as gender, age, occupation, school attendance, amount of workdays per week, and work shifts of children in this sector). The study combined the use of quantitative and qualitative techniques and consisted of three phases of data collection: a) 20 interviews with key institutional informants; b) a three-week observation period of market dynamics, children's activities, and a mark-recapture exercise to estimate the total number of children working in the informal sector in marketplaces; and c) 200 interviews with child and adolescent workers from several of Lima's markets. The study estimated the total number of children working in the informal sector in marketplaces of metropolitan Lima to be 14,104 individuals.

For more information on ILAB's work in Peru, please visit