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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Improvement of rural work conditions is urgently needed
Latinamerica Press
10/24/2016
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More than 50 million people perform agricultural labor under vulnerable conditions.

“In Latin America and the Caribbean, one-in-five workers live in rural areas; they have a lead role in a rural labor market characterized by more vulnerable employment, lower paid employment, and an incidence of poverty that is twice the one in urban areas,” states the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in the report entitled  “Trabajar en el campo en el siglo XXI” (Working in Rural Areas in the 21th Century), published on Oct. 13.

This is the first time a report offers an up to date labor overview about the reality and perspective of rural employment in the region that over the last three decades has experienced accelerated urbanization, fewer young people and more older adults, a reduction of farm labor  and an increase in non-agricultural work.

According to José Manuel Salazar, ILO Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, “there are 52 million of rural workers, out of which at least 27 million are in a situation of vulnerable employment.”

“Despite advances made, there remain large gaps. The rural sector represents the hard core of poverty, exclusion and informality in the region,” Salazar said, adding that to prevent greater setbacks, “public policies must multiply their efforts to ensure the productive and labor inclusion of rural workers or those who has small businesses in the rural sector.”

Among the progress made, the report states that between 2005 and 2014 there was an increase in health insurance coverage. However, only 37 percent of rural workers have health insurance compared to 62 percent of urban workers.

Also, the rural poverty rate, which reaches 46.2 percent, affects 60 million people, almost twice the urban poverty rate which stands at 23.8 percent.

In the case of rural women, only 35 percent receive a salary for their work, compared to 70 percent in urban areas.

The recommendations made by the ILO to the regional governments include promote productive development, investment and vocational training policies, among which stands out the improvement in land tenure, investment in physical infrastructure, diversification and productive development with a territorial approach, and actions to connect the small producers with global supply chains. —Latinamerica Press. 


LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Rural employment rate 2014
 

Country
Percentage
Bolivia
79.9
Peru
79.5
Nicaragua
76.5*
Ecuador
66.2
Panama
61.1
Brazil
60.9
Uruguay
60.7
Guatemala
59.0
Paraguay
58.8
Chile
56.0
Colombia
54.9
El Salvador
55.0
Honduras
54.9
Mexico
54.2
Costa Rica
52.8
Dominican Republic
47.9
Latin America/ The Caribbean (average)
59.6
*2012
Source: ILO

 


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