LIMA – About 110,000 children and teens are employed in Peru as domestic workers, according to figures from the International Labor Organization released Wednesday by the Dutch foundation Terre des Hommes.
Among Latin American countries, Peru trails only Brazil in the incidence of minors working as domestics.
The ILO data shows that 79 percent of children working in Peruvian households are female, while 74 percent are between the ages of 12 and 17.
Most young domestic workers come from Peru’s Andean highlands and are employed in coastal cities.
Youth migration from highlands to the coast is mostly concentrated on Lima, where 40.9 percent of minors working as domestics come from the desperately poor region of Huancavelica.
Hiring minors for domestic work is expanding in Peru amid the growing relative prosperity of middle-class and even working-class families, according to a study carried out by Peru’s Catholic Pontifical University for Terre des Hommes and the ILO.
On the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by every Western Hemisphere country except the United States, the Dutch foundation and the ILO have launched a campaign to make Peruvians aware of the consequences of child labor.
The campaign, called “The Broom’s Rebellion,” has enrolled public figures such as volleyball stars Rafaella Camet and Vivian Baella, taekwondo champion Humberto Wong, and actors Pold Gastello, Kukuli Morante and Mayra Couto, among others.