GENEVA – Latin America registered the most progress of any region in the world in reducing the incidence of child labor during the 2000-2004 period, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported this week.
“Approximately 5% of children in Latin America and the Caribbean are child workers,” ILO executive director Kari Tapiola said, in his presentation of the U.N. agency’s second annual report on the topic.
Tapiola said the Latin American and Caribbean region, with its 5.7 million underage workers, has made the greatest advances in eliminating the evil of child labor, while the Asia-Pacific sector has the largest share of all the world’s workers between the ages of 5 and 14.
Overall, underage workers have declined by 11% worldwide since 2000, according to the report.
The U.N. agency said that agriculture and the services sector account for the vast majority of 5- to 15-year-old workers in Latin America.
The report said farm work can pose dangers to youngsters, as it often involves use of machinery, sharp-edged tools and harmful pesticides.