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Undermined

Bolivia’s child workers: Breadwinners or exploited kids

While most countries have been trying to eradicate child labour, Bolivia ended up becoming the first nation in the world to legalise it. In 2013, the country’s government announced its intention to set the minimum working age at 14, protect the rights and safety of working children, and phase out child labour completely by 2019. However, during the parliamentary debate, child workers took to the streets of La Paz and clashed with police to protect their ability to support their families. In the end, the new labour code passed in 2014 made it legal for kids as young as 10 to work. Bolivia’s children’s unions are pushing for the legal working age to be decreased even further. RTD went to Bolivia to see how this law is being enforced and if the child workers are happy with the rights they’ve struggled for.

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