El Salvador's Ministry of the Economy released the results of its 2009 study of child labor in Salvadoran households. You can download the complete study at this link. The study is an attempt to measure the level of child labor in El Salvador and the attitudes and circumstances which which contribute to it.
The study defines child laborers as children who had worked for at least one hour in the previous week, paid or unpaid, whether for wages or payment in kind, including working in a family enterprise such as a farm or a food stand. The study surveyed 20,000 households in the country.
The 2009 report found that roughly 10% of children between the ages of 5 and 17 were working, totalling roughly 189,000 children in El Salvador. The percentages ranged from 1% of children between the ages of 5-9, 10% of children between ages 10-14, and 24% of children between the ages of 15-17.
The report notes the following characteristics of child labor in El Salvador:
- 60% of child workers live in rural parts of the country.
- 73% of child workers are boys.
- 40% of the children who work do not attend school.
- About half of the child workers are found in agricultural work.
- The great majority (64%) of child workers are unpaid help working for their families.
- Children who work are generally a year behind their age peers in school.
- A lack of financial resources was the main reason parents cited for their children not finishing school.
- In 69% of the households where there is a child working, the head of the household had not finished primary school.
- In 68% of the households where there is a child working, the head of the household is a single mother.