Following the creation of the Intersecretarial Commission for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor and the Protection of Adolescent Workers in the state of Yucatán, various government agencies, institutions, and organizations are joining forces to coordinate actions and implement measures to prevent and eradicate child labor in the region.
According to data revealed by the National Survey on Child Labor (ENTI) in 2019, Yucatán is ranked a concerning 14th place nationally in terms of child labor, with 11.9% of the working population being made up of children and adolescents.
While it is encouraging to see measures being taken to address this issue, it is important to remember that the commission was created in response to a joint operation in which twenty children and adolescents were rescued as alleged victims of child exploitation in Mérida.
The members of this commission have outlined four strategies, including promoting a culture of prevention and eradication of child labor, fostering social responsibility among employers, and developing training and vocational programs for adolescent workers. However, a multidimensional approach and greater allocation of resources are needed to achieve significant results.
While it is imperative to question the effectiveness and strength of the nascent commission, it remains uncertain whether these measures will be sufficient to prevent future cases of child labor and ensure the protection of the rights of adolescent workers.
It is worth noting that child labor not only affects the present of the involved children and adolescents but also has long-term repercussions on their physical, mental, and emotional development.
Therefore, the Intersecretarial Commission for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor and the Protection of Adolescent Workers in Yucatán will need to assess the effectiveness and strength of the implemented measures.