Crude reality for children: child labor increased in Mexico

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Guerrero is the entity where child labor was most recorded

Child labor unfortunately continues to be a persistent reality in many parts of the world and Mexico is no exception.

The National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) revealed the data from its National Child Labor Survey (ENTI) 2022, where the results are not encouraging despite the efforts and campaigns to eradicate it, the figures reveal a worrying situation.

According to data from the study carried out jointly with the International Labor Organization and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS), in 2022, 3.7 million girls, boys and adolescents were involved in some form of child labor in Mexico.

It is alarming to observe how these figures fluctuate over the years, indicating upward trends in child labor, despite efforts to reduce it. In 2015, the rate was 12.3%, showing a slight improvement in 2017 with 11%, but unfortunately it increased again to 13.1% in 2022. This suggests structural and systemic challenges that continue to challenge efforts to eradicate this problem.

The gender disparity in child labor is also alarming. While the child labor rate for boys was 15.5%, for girls it was 10.7%. This difference may be due to various cultural, social and economic factors that perpetuate gender inequalities and predefined roles.

It is essential to highlight that a large proportion of these boys and girls are involved in illegal occupations, even in dangerous activities that put their health, development and general well-being at risk. Of the 2.1 million people involved in unauthorized occupations, alarmingly 92.5% were carrying out activities considered dangerous. This indicates a serious risk to the physical and emotional integrity of these young people, who deserve a safe environment and opportunities for their growth and education.

Domestic chores in inadequate conditions also represent a significant concern, since 1.9 million boys and girls were involved in these activities. Despite being tasks that on the surface may seem like part of everyday life, these activities can be harmful to the health and well-being of minors, affecting their physical, emotional and educational development.

It is evident that urgent and coordinated actions are needed by the government, civil society and the community at large to address this problem comprehensively. It is necessary to implement more effective policies, educational and awareness programs, as well as greater supervision and application of labor laws to protect children and guarantee them a safe and conducive environment for their development.

In the study, the state with a high rate of child labor is Guerrero, while the state with the lowest amount was Mexico City.

The first three places with the highest rate:

Guerrero, with 24.5%

Chiapas, with 20.8%

Nayarit, with 19.1%

The first three places with the lowest rate:

Mexico City, with 4%

Coahuila de Zaragoza, with 6.4%

Baja California, with 6.5%

The fight against child labor is not only a matter of policy and legislation, but also a call for collective conscience and individual responsibility. It is necessary to foster a cultural change that values and protects the rights of children, providing them with educational opportunities and safe environments that allow them to reach their full potential without being forced to sacrifice their childhood due to economic necessity or social tradition.

Child labor persists as a significant challenge in Mexico, and it is imperative that effective and sustainable measures be taken to address this problem and ensure a better future for future generations.

Source: Infobae