(July 8, 2014) On June 26, 2014, the Bolivian Congress approved an amendment to the Code of the Child and Adolescent (Código del Nino, Nina y Adolescente (Oct. 27, 1999), UNICEF website) that will include an exception to the general minimum age of 14 to be able to work, allowing children ten years old and older to work “on their own” or independently. (Bolivia Aprueba el Código que Permite a los Ninos Trabajar “Por Cuenta Propia” a Partir de los Diez Anos [Bolivia Approves the Code that Allows Children Starting at Ten Years Old to Work on Their Own], ENTN24 NUESTRA TELENOTICIAS (June 26, 2014).)
The new text sets up two regimes: One for salaried employees starting at age 14, with a minimum wage that cannot be less than the national minimum and a work day of eight hours that cannot go later than 10 p.m., with two hours allowed for studying independently. (Bolivia Permitirá que los ninos menores de Diez Anos Trabajen por Cuenta Propia [Bolivia Will Allow Children Ten Years Old to Work on Their Own] EL PAIS (June 25, 2014).) The second regime is applicable to those who work “on their own” and would allow for the younger starting age of between ten and fourteen years old, with prior authorization of the Defensoría de la Ninez y Adolescencia, the authority in charge of protecting children and adolescents, who will keep a registry of such authorizations. (Id.)
Minor’s work “on their own” is typically shoe shinning on the streets. Still the law prohibits minors from working in sugar cane plantations, chestnut fields, mining, brick factories, sale of alcoholic beverages, and trash collection, which may affect their health.