Child labor in Bogota down 37% since 2011

Posted on May 13 2014 - 10:03pm by Today News
(Photo: Bogota city government)

According to a data from the National Department of Statistics (DANE) and repeated by Bogota’s mayor, child labor in Colombia’s capital has been reduced by 37% or 43,000 minors between 2011 and 2013.

MORE: 1.5 million children in Colombia subject to child labor

The report gave statistics that indicated Bogota is responsible for 50% of the reduction of child labor out of Colombia’s 13 principal cities.

In 2011, 173,000 children were working in the capital city and the new report indicates that as of 2013 there are close to 130,000, which indicates an 37% decrease of 43,000 children.

Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro announced the success with his Secretary of Social Integration, Jorge Rojas. The city executives attributed the reduction primarily to the social inclusion and incorporation of the city’s recyclers who used to often take their children out to work with them.

Now, more children have access to education, according to Secretary Rojas. He said that 50% of child labor comes from the effects of extreme poverty which the city has been working to eliminate. This, along with the higher retention rate of students in high-risk areas has resulted in the reduction of child labor in the capital city.

Petro stated that the public takeover of the city’s garbage system formalized these workers and gave them better wages and access to services.  Petro said he did it at, “great personal cost” considering the inspector general ousted him from office for a bumpy transition which left the city without a garbage disposal service for several days.

MORE: From Mayor to Martyr: Gustavo Petro’s unexpected rise

Petro claims that his program of zero garabage for Bogota has helped reduce child labor in the city. The hectic transition from private to public control of the city’s garbage disposal service prompted Inspector General Alejando Ordoñez to strip him of his office and bar him from any public position for 15 years.

However, last month a court ordered President Juan Manuel Santos to reinstate Petro who is awaiting a pending impeachment referendum organized by political opponents.

MORE: Santos reinstates Bogota mayor, ending months of judicial chaos


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