Thursday, July 31, 2014
As all followers of this blog are well aware, child labor laws expressly prohibit the use of young employees in the workforce. With very limited exceptions, corporations are not permitted to employ younger workers. The law in this area includes not only civil remedies, but criminal sanctions as well. Most industrialized countries have all developed some prohibitions against child labor. In going against this trend, Bolivia passed a law permitting children as young as 10 years of age to enter the workforce. This development has attracted substantial attention, including a piece at Forbes.com. From an article in the Huffington Post:
"A regional official with the U.N. International Labor Organization, Carmen Moreno, says the legislation . . . would make Bolivia the first country to make work by 10-year-olds legal. . . . Moreno called the legislation worrisome considering that Bolivia is a signatory [of] a U.N. convention that sets 14 as the minimum age for child labor."
It will be interesting to see whether the controversy over this law causes Bolivia to change course on the issue. Child labor is certainly an area of both national and international concern.
-- Joe Seiner