Brazil and Mexico were leading Latin America in reducing child labor, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Monday's World Child Labor Day.
The amount of child labor in Latin America and the Caribbean has decreased by 5 percent to 11.1 percent, thanks to the hard work of governments and civil organizations, said Juan F. Hunt, regional director of ILO.
The number of laborers between the ages of five and 14 has declined by 66.5 percent over four years, from 17 million in 2000 to 5.7 million in 2004, he said.
According to the ILO, some 400,000 children between five and 17 work in quarries extracting gold, silver, tin, coal, emeralds and clay, mainly in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Child mineworkers were exposed to dangers like explosives, toxic substances and overwork, the Geneva-based ILO said.
The number of child laborers across the world declined from 250 million in 2000 to 218 million in 2004, Hunt said.