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Colombia: a cross-institutional pact to fight child labor, especially in the context of the health crisis
Planet Labor, 22 April 2021, n°12488 -

The agreement, entitled “Compromiso Nacional por la Prevención y Erradicación del Trabajo Infantil y la Protección Integral al Adolescente Trabajador” (National Commitment for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor and the Integral Protection of Adolescent Workers) and signed on 19 April by several Colombian institutions (Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Education, and the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare) and the Federation of Colombian Municipalities and Departments, aims to eradicate the exploitation of minors in Colombia by 2030. The agreement seeks in particular to encourage every local government to develop a ‘road map’ for the prevention of child labor, to strengthen the work of the ‘Inter-institutional Committees for the Eradication of Child Labor’ at the departmental and municipal levels, and to develop a protocol for the systematic detection of child labor within the framework of the Labor Inspectorate. Finally, the agreement stresses the need to develop a specific protocol to detect the exploitation of minors in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to steer the combat against school dropout rates, at a time when the current health crisis has caused tens of thousands of young Colombians to stop attending remote classes. “Information exchange between the different ministries must be facilitated in order to identify as many children as possible who are experiencing exploitation,” explained the Minister of Education María Victoria Ángulo. The government estimates that in Q4 2020, more than 500,000 children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 17 were working across Colombia.