Date: Fri, 26 Jun 98 17:32:37 CDT
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Costa Rican Law Prohibits Child Labor
Centr-Am News, Issue XIV, part 2, week of 14-20 June 1998
Costa Rica's Labor Ministry has determined that employers must register child workers, with the aim of eventually eliminating child labor, allowing children to attend school instead.
The new law requires employers to register all workers younger than 15 within the next three months, after which the government will follow up with each business. Labor Minister Victor Morales explained that a law prohibiting child labor in Costa Rica went into effect in February.
Under the law children between 15 and 18 years of age may work, but must also be permitted to attend school.
Samuel Yankelewitz, president of the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Enterprise (Uccaep), said it is good that child labor be regulated, but that "there must be prudence" because there are children who have to work. Labor lawyer Juan Jose Delgado Zuniga said the decision "orders and allows an effective control with the aim of protecting a sector of society that, because of their age, need special care by the State."
According to the International Program for the Eradication of Child Labor, there are 120,000 children and adolescents working in Costa Rica. (Agencia Informativa Amarc Pulsar, 6/19/98; La Nacion, Costa Rica, 6/19/98)