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21775/2 US-Mexico Border: Child Labor Persists

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    May 2, 2005
      US-Mexico Border News
      Project of US-Mexico Border Action Network
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      Child Labor Criticized on May Day
      May 2, 2005
      Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua News 
      Complied by:
      kihuac@... FNS News

      Thousands of workers paraded in both Ciudad Juarez and
      Chihuahua City in honor of the May Day holiday. While
      union members heard speeches commemorating their
      traditional day, many others, including children, were
      out on the streets working. In remarks to the El
      Diario newspaper, members of Ciudad Juarez
      non-governmental organizations criticized the
      persistence of child labor in different sectors of the
      border economy. According to the Center for the
      Attention of Border Minors (CAMEF) more than 2,000
      children work every day outside their homes in Ciudad
      Juarez. An estimated 400 children labor as street
      vendors, car washers, shoe-shiners, and professional
      panhandlers, according to CAMEF figures. Another 1,600
      work in public places like parks or are employed as
      baggers in commercial centers.

      Felix Perez, an organizer with the Labor Studies
      Center and Workshop (CETLAC) said official
      indifference prevails about the persistence of child
      labor in Ciudad Juarez. Perez added that if genuine
      interest existed, children would be in school instead
      of on the streets attempting to support themselves and
      their families. “There’s no real concern,” insisted

      Sergio Conde Varela, the director of New Country,
      another non-governmental organization, said Mexican
      law already prohibits children under the age of 16
      from working, but that legal restrictions need to be
      tightened up to curb child labor. 

      Sources: El Diario de Juarez, May 1, 2002. Article by
      Pedro Sanchez Briones. frontenet.com, May 1, 2005.
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