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Promoting state protection of the rights of the child

Publicada en mayo del 2001

In spite of the serious economic crisis that is afflicting the region, the main problems that inform and explain the practice of child labor have proven to be much more of a political and cultural nature than of an economic nature. Experience shows that economic growth is obviously important but it is also necessary to develop serious and sustainable strategies for the eradication of child labor. Notwithstanding atypical exceptions in some situations of absolute poverty, the economic crisis in Latin America is not the result of some natural catastrophe, but the result of political catastrophes, of which the phenomenon of wide-spread corruption is its most evident manifestation, even if it is not its ultimate cause.

With respect to child labor, many believe that the principal problem is that this practice is not seen as a problem, but rather as a solution;1 be it a "progressive" or a "conservative" solution, i.e., a survival strategy or an efficient form of social control of poor children.