Colombia had made “significant advancement in efforts” to eliminate the worst forms of child labor but continues to fail to adequate follow up on child labor complaints, the US Labor Department said in a report published on Thursday.
According to a 2013 Colombian government report, of the 11.3 million minors in Colombia, 1.1 million was working illegally. The figures showed a 3.2% drop in child labor compared to late 2011 when the government estimated the number of children working at 1.4 million.
However, The US said that 514,092 children between 5 and 14 were working last year. The Labor Department based this claim on statistics provided by the United Nations.
Efforts made by the Colombian government to reduce the “worst forms” of child labor spurred Washington to praise the “significant efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.”
Nevertheless, “children continue to be forcibly recruited by non-state armed groups and engage in child labor in agriculture and street work,” the Labor Department said.
Additionally, the report also criticized the Colombian government as “limited interagency coordination and inadequate resources hinder efforts to combat child labor, including child trafficking.”
- 2013 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor (US Labor Department)