Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography, similar to our Census Bureau, published results on the country’s child labor practices through 2009. Despite a decrease of 17%, the report shows nearly 3.0Million children between the ages of 5 through 17 are in the workforce. The decrease occurred from 2007 - 2009 when there were 3.6M children working in ‘07. In total 10.6 per cent of the Mexico’s children are incorporated in the workforce mainly due to economic hardship.
Despite the decrease the most startling element of the report are the conditions in which these underage children work and the poor to non-existent compensation they receive. Almost half of the children working do not receive any compensation and the rest are paid at minimal levels. The working conditions in most cases come with high risks and deemed dangerous. The majority of these children aged 5 -17 work in the commerce and service industries in restaurants and shops.
Not surprisingly the harsh economic conditions of these children’s families are the motivation for them to go into the work force at such an early age instead of attending school. Many children are forced to cover their own living expense and continue to perpetuate the cycle of poverty that comes from the lack of an education.