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More than 1 Million Children Between 5 and 9 Years Old Work in Brazil

Brazil’s National Residential Sample Survey (Pnad 2003/IBGE) found that the biggest decrease in the number of working children and adolescents occurred between 1995 and 2003.

This was the period during which the National Program for the Erradication of Child Labor (Peti) began to function. The Peti was formulated in 1995 and officially inaugurated in 1996.


Between 1995 and 2001, the number of working children in the 5-9 age bracket declined from 3.2% of the economically active population to 1.3%.


In the 10-14 age bracket, the share fell from 18.7% to 11.6%, and in the 15-17 age bracket, the decrease was from 44% to 31.5%.


In the most recent study, done in 2003, the number of working children in the 5-9 age bracket continued to represent 1.3% of the economically active population (over 1.1 million kids); in the 10-14 group, 10.4%; and in the 15-17 group, 30.3%.


In a more detailed analysis, the study found that the largest number of working children came from the 14-15 bracket (19.6%).


The economically active population is composed of individuals between the ages of 10 and 64 who are working or seeking work. This category currently corresponds to around 88 million people .


Brazilian law prohibits boys and girls under the age of 14 from working. Between 14 and 15, they can only work as apprentices, provided the jobs are not dangerous, unhealthy, strenuous, or at night.


Between 16 and 17, they can work as apprentices or regularly listed employees assured of all labor and social security rights.


Agência Brasil

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