On the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour, held today, the United Nations Children’s Fundation (UNICEF) warned that in Ecuador there are about 370,000 working children, which represents 13% of the population between 5 and 17 years.
UNICEF protection specialist in the country, Berenice Cordero, said the majority of children are employed in the agricultural sector, helping their family, but also in other hazardous activities where the law prohibits children to work, as in slaughterhouses, mining or construction.
In cities such as Quito and Guayaquil, there are children selling candy, newspapers, and fruits, or shining shoes on the streets.
In most of the cases parents force their children to work to bring money home, according to advocacy organizations for children.
In Ecuador, the minimum age for work is 15, but the teenagers cannot work during school hours. They cannot work more than six hours a day and they must be insured.
Source: Daily Expreso / EFE