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New Bolivia law would allow 10-year-olds to work

Friday - 7/4/2014, 8:34pm  ET

In this Jan. 29, 2014 photo, a 12-year-old boy who did not want to give his name rests as he works as a porter at the El Abasto market in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Bolivia's Congress has passed legislation to allow children as young as age 10 to work legally as long as the work does not interfere with their education and is performed for a family enterprise. The legislation, passed late July 2, 2014, would make Bolivia the first country to make work by 10-year-olds legal, and is expected to be signed into law shortly by President Evo Morales. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -- Bolivia's Congress has passed legislation to allow children as young age 10 to work as long as it does not interfere with their education and is done independently to help the child's family make ends meet.

The legislation otherwise lowers the legal working age to 12 -- again, as long the job does not interfere with the child's education.

A regional official with the U.N. International Labor Organization, Carmen Moreno, says the legislation passed Wednesday night would make Bolivia the first country to make work by 10-year-olds legal.

Moreno called the legislation worrisome considering that Bolivia is a signatory a U.N. convention that sets 14 as the minimum age for child labor.

The Bolivian legislation is expected to be signed into law shortly by President Evo Morales.


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