BOLIVIA: Child Labour on Sugar Cane Plantations in Bolivia: A Worst Form of Child Labour

Summary: This research questioned to what extent child labour in the sugar cane sector in Bolivia can be categorised as a worst form of child labour, and explored various existing interventions that have taken place to eradicate children’s work from the sector. Fieldwork was carried out in the sugar cane regions of Santa Cruz and Bermejo during October and November 2008.

According to its global report The End of Child Labour: Within Reach, the ILO estimates that 218 million children in the world work, of which 126 million in hazardous working conditions. SIMPOC/ILO estimates that 69% percent of all working children work in agriculture. In Latin-America 5.7 million children are involved in child labour, and again, the majority work in rural areas (70%). Although rural child labour in many Latin-American countries has been the subject of research and policy measures, the Andean region, which is one of the poorest regions of Latin-America, has been mostly overlooked.

IREWOC therefore conducted a research project in two Andean counties, Bolivia and Peru, in 2008. In each country, child labour on small family farms was compared with child labour on commercial plantations. The main research population included the children engaged in rural forms of child labour, their parents and (N)GO staff working with this target group. The research has produced knowledge on rural child labour informed by ground reality that looks beyond quantitative numbers, and which identifies the (context) specific needs of the children and their caretakers. The research explored the different forms of rural child labour and documented the opinions of the children, caretakers and development workers on the possible solutions to the problems.

This project was financed by the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and PLAN Netherlands.

Owner: Laura Baaspdf: CL_Bolivia Zafra_Laura_final.pdf


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