Poverty in Bolivia Child Labor and education

Bolivia's Problems

As one of the poorest countries in Latin America, Bolivia must confront a number of problems such as child labor and limited access to education in rural areas. Children affected by violence or poverty at home run away to live on the streets. Street children are an extremely vulnerable group, exposed to risks like exploitation in the workplace, the consumption of drugs and alcohol, crime, human trafficking, and sexual and other types of violence. As a result, Bolivia faces a difficult situation requiring further improvement to the lives of young Bolivians.

Child Labor

Bolivia is the first country to legalize child labor at such a young age. According to the moat recent statistics, at least 40% of children and adolescents aged between 5 and 17 years work at least 8 hours a week. 35% of children aged 14 and under carry out work that is very dangerous.

Most common child labor jobs

A large percentage of child laborers, about 70.9% of children are employed in the agricultural sector, working in activities such as planting and harvesting chestnuts and sugarcane. Children who work in subsistence agriculture are exposed to harmful chemicals and are obligated to work for long hours, which reduces their ability to receive an education. Work on plantations is more difficult than work on small-scale farms, and children are exposed to more pesticides and hazardous working conditions which may result in infections and physical injuries from use of farm equipment. When these children get injured or very sick, they need treatment but that is very expensive for their families so most of the time, these kids do not get the treatment they need because their families can not afford it.


Many adults use their children so they can bring money back to the family, so they send them off to work. Parents do this because poverty is huge in Bolivia and they do everything they can to get money. When children are forced to go to work at such a young age, they think that is all they are good for. They get the mentality that work is the most important thing in life at that age. This causes them to not have much care for an education and they just want to work and work and work.

More than 50% of children under the age of 16 are already working because they are too poor to go to school instead. When you are told to start going to school at that age, you don’t really feel like going. Since you went that long without school, it seems like an education is not that important. These children are not well informed of all the great stuff an education can do for them.


Lack of access to an education is a major cause and consequence of child labor. Study shows that girls are 51% more likely to not be enrolled in school and to be working instead. Access to high quality education can be very limited. Unfortunately, Bolivia is a very, very poor country and can not build schools. The schools that are already built are either too far away for most children to get to , or do not have the supplies that are necessary for these children to get the education they deserve.

Here is an informational video on education in Bolivia

How you can help

By donating a few dollars and donating used or new school supplies, you can make a huge impact on a child who is suffering in Bolivia. Here are some websites where you could donate to help out. Be the change.

Created By
Stefany Morales


Created with images by cloudbird - "child labour souvenir sale brothers and sisters" • akshayapatra - "school india children"

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