1 Million Kids as Young as 5 Working in Brazil

Over a million children in Brazil between the ages of 5 and 13 work, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistic’s (IBGE) Synthesis of Social Indicators, 2004, published yesterday.

Of this total, approximately 700 thousand children (53.8%) live in the Northeast region. When the age group is extended to include youth up to the age of 17, the study shows that 5.1 million children and adolescents work in Brazil.


The Federal Constitution prohibits children under 14 from performing any type of work. Between the ages of 14 and 16 they are allowed to work only as apprentices.


The IBGE study correlates child labor with education. According to the study, among children and youth between the ages of 5 and 17 who don’t work, 92.1% attend school. Among those who work, the school attendance rate is 81%, around 11% less.


Nevertheless, the survey indicates that the educational situation of youth has improved in recent years.


Between 2002 and 2003, the percentage of children and adolescents who just work and don’t study decreased from 3.9% to 3.4%.


During the same period the percentage of those who work and study also declined, from 15.3% to 13.9%. The percentage of young people who only study increased 2%.


Translation: David Silberstein
Agência Brasil

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