LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia’s Congress has passed legislation to allow children as young age 10 to work as long as it does not interfere with their education and is done independently to help the child’s family make ends meet.
The legislation otherwise lowers the legal working age to 12 — again, as long the job does not interfere with the child’s education.
A regional official with the U.N. International Labor Organization, Carmen Moreno, says the legislation passed Wednesday night would make Bolivia the first country to make work by 10-year-olds legal.
Moreno called the legislation worrisome considering that Bolivia is a signatory a U.N. convention that sets 14 as the minimum age for child labor.
The Bolivian legislation is expected to be signed into law shortly by President Evo Morales.