Mexico is home to some 30 million children under the age of 14, of whom more than 3 million work in paid and unpaid jobs, Labor Secretary Alfonso Navarrete said.
More than 900,000 children between the ages of 5 and 17 are employed as farmworkers, "accounting for one-third of the children who work in the country," the labor secretary said.
The government is working to end child labor "because it has been proven that making children work does not solve the problems of poverty and family need," Navarrete said.
"When we allow 10 percent of our children and teenagers to work in Mexico, what we are really doing is cutting short their future and the future of our society," the labor secretary told a special congress of the National Peasants Confederation.
The labor reforms approved last year are aimed at providing legal guarantees to the 25 million people who live in Mexico's rural areas, of whom 65 percent are poor, Navarrete said.
Some 6.7 million people work in agriculture, accounting for 13.5 percent of the labor force, with nearly 3 million farmworkers moving to either other parts of Mexico or abroad each year, the labor secretary said. EFE