According to the National Plan, this indicator had a goal of reducing from 4.9% to 2.7% in 2021. But the opposite happened, it closed at 8.3% in 2019
In December 2019, before the pandemic hit the country, child labor reached 8.3% of all children and adolescents between 5 and 14 years old.
According to an analysis published by the Economic Research Institute of the Central University of Ecuador (UCE) this is the highest percentage in 12 years.
In August 2019, President Moreno, in an intervention that warranted his subsequent apology, said:
“We are a country of entrepreneurs. So you see a «little monkey,» or a 5-year-old boy, selling soda in a corner. «
According to the study, it is a setback to the decrease in this percentage that had been working in previous years, even in the economic crisis of 2015-2016 due to the fall in the price of oil.
Jonathan Báez Valencia believes that «the increase in child labor is the result of the economic policies of the Government of Moreno and Martínez, pro-elite and inequality, which has enriched the few and placed in vulnerability the majority, including the child population.»
Objective 1.6 of the National Development Plan (PND) 2017-2021 was to eradicate child labor from 5 to 14 years, reducing from 4.9% to 2.7% by 2021.
As of December 2019, this indicator stands at 8.3%; that is, it increased by 3.4%.
The report also reveals that 10 out of 14 PND labor indicators, as well as in other dimensions with the other objectives, there is a setback and failure to meet the goals set.
He criticized statements of several analysts to attribute the increase in child labor to the health emergency. He points out that it is the responsibility of the Government and the policies that it implemented or not to reduce this indicator.