economy and politics

This is the most current x-ray of child labor in Colombia

Poverty in Colombia

The National Administrative Department of Statistics (Dane) delivered this week the most recent data on the labor market, in the child labor module, according to which, although this problem has been decreasing for several months, it is still It affects a large number of girls, boys and adolescents throughout the national territory.

To understand this reality a little better, it must be said that of the 51.2 million Colombians currently counted in the Dane accounts, 10.6 million are minors between the ages of 5 and 17, a figure that corresponds to 20.8% of the national total. If this data is compared with the 10.7 million from the same period a year ago, a drop is observed in population reports.

Poverty in Colombia

Juan Carlos Escobar / EL TIEMPO

Now, of the 10.6 million people who are currently in the range of 5 to 17 years, the vast majority (76.6%), which is more than 8.1 million, are between 5 and 14 years of age. age, while the remaining 2.5 million (23.4%) are between 15 and 17 years old. However, this last population range is the most affected by child labor.

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With this in mind, according to DaneIn the October – December 2023 quarter, in the national total the population aged 5 to 17 that worked was 310 thousand people, presenting a decrease of 59 thousand people compared to the same period of the previous year.

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“The populated and dispersed rural centers represented 57.3%, registering 178 thousand children and adolescents. For their part, the capitals concentrated 42.7% of this population with 133 thousand people,” the report highlights.

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This means that 2.9% of minors who are in this age range currently work, with those between 5 and 17 being the most affected by this scourge. This percentage marks a decrease of five percentage points, if you have Keep in mind that for the period October – December 2022, it was 3.4%.

child labor

child labor


“In populated centers and dispersed rural areas, this rate was 0.8 pp lower, standing at 6.3%, while in the October – December 2022 quarter it was 7.1%. Regarding the capitals, in the reference period the child labor rate was 1.7%, which meant a reduction of 0.4 pp compared to the October – December 2022 quarter (2.1%)”, explained the Dane in the report.

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This Dane report also indicated that in the October quarter – December 2023, for the national total, the child labor rate for men was 4.1% and the rate for women was 1.7%, presenting a difference between men and women of 2.4 percentage points.

child labor

child labor

Guillermo González / EL TIEMPO

In populated centers and dispersed rural areas, for the October – December 2023 quarter, a child labor rate of 9.3% was recorded for men and 3.1% for women, which meant a difference of 6.2 pp. For its part, in the capitals the difference between men and women was 1.0 pp, with a child labor rate of 2.2% for men and 1.2% for women,” the report maintains.

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On the other hand, when asked about the reasons why minors work, Dane reported that “They like to work to have their own money (37.5%), They must participate in the family's economic activity (28). .7%) and Must help with household expenses, help pay for school (22.8%). For the same quarter of the previous year The percentage distributions for these ratios were 37.1%, 33.3%, and 15.7%, respectively.”

child labor

Child labor in Colombia.


Although as far as child labor is concerned, the situation is not so serious, this reality is a little more complicated when talking about expanded child labor, which includes all unpaid domestic work tasks, for periods of 15 hours. or more, where the population range rises from 310,000 to 1.06 million.

In the capitals, 626 thousand people were registered for this population and in populated and dispersed rural centers 442 thousand people, while in the October – December 2022 quarter there were 714 thousand and 467 thousand boys, girls and adolescents, respectively.

child labor Archive

By sex, for the period of analysis, 61.6% of people between 5 and 17 years old who worked in the broad sense of unpaid domestic work were women and 38.4% were men.

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