Nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean successfully implemented child labor risk models

Thursday, April 01, 2021

The experience carried out in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico and Peru has been systematized in a document that describes its construction, learnings, challenges, good practices and the results of the process in each country.

After periods of analysis on the strategies and effectiveness of the results achieved in the prevention and eradication of child labor, the Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labor Regional Initiative, in conjunction with the ILO and ECLAC, developed the Model of Child Labor Risk Identification (MIRTI) , a tool that allows, based on existing statistical information in the countries, to identify the territories most vulnerable to child labor, and to determine in which geographic areas and population groups efforts should be concentrated. Subsequently, the Vulnerability Index to Child Labor (IVTI) was developed, a complementary tool that synthesizes a set of variables, from administrative records, related to the risk of child labor.

The document that systematizes the experience analyzes in an integrated way the implementation of both models, MIRTI and IVTI, highlighting the diversity of political-institutional contexts and the characteristics of child labor in each country and in each territory. This has led to different routes being taken in the implementation process, and has provided a wide range of relevant experiences and learnings with strategies adaptable to other countries in the future.

In practice, each country has national files according to its administrative division. They include maps that identify low, medium and high risk levels of child labor by municipality and that show factors linked to the trajectory of hazardous child and adolescent labor.

Good practices identified

Among the good practices promoted by the models, the participation of broad sectors of the State stands out, the transfer of the methodology to key actors of the national statistical system, and the design of a technical guide on risk models in Spanish and English for use by technical teams. Another innovative and positive strategy was to involve local governments during the process of preparing the model to be implemented, taking into account their municipal plans for the prevention and eradication of child labor.

Appropriation and territorialization of target 8.7 of the SDGs

As part of the results of the implementation in nine countries, there is an installed capacity to convert the models into tools for periodic application, based on state measurement instruments. In addition, to date, three of the countries have institutionalized the tools, that is, they are formally incorporated into the policy strategies for the prevention and eradication of child labor: Argentina [1] and Colombia [2] included the MIRTI in their public policy for the prevention and eradication of child labor, as well as Costa Rica, which defines it as a priority action in the Decent Work Program 2019-2023 (Priority 1-Result 1.2) [3] .

Another of the results to be highlighted is the use of models at the local level as a means to bring child labor prevention policies to the territory and develop local responses to child labor. In Mexico , the municipalities of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, in the State of Chiapas, and Villa Victoria, in the State of Mexico, have designed local solutions to confront child labor as a result of the application of the MIRTI. In Costa Rica , the canton of Limón, in the Valle La Estrella district, and the canton of Talamanca, in the province of Limón, are applying the IVTI tool locally. For its part, Chile has begun the application of the territorial phase of the model in the commune of Puerto Ibáñez, in the Aysén region.

Thus, in several countries of the region there is today a territorial approach to achieving goal 8.7, which provides more precise guidelines and allows local governments to renew and stimulate public policy on child labor, making it more efficient.  

The implementation of the risk models has also generated learning about the information gaps and possible improvements to the recording and measurement systems so that they are more useful in making decisions about the prevention and eradication of child labor and adolescent labor. dangerous.

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