In Peru, more than 30% of the population lives in poverty. It particularly affects rural zones, where it touches 54,2% of the population.
One of the consequences of this poverty is that children have to work, and the work they do is often dangerous for their physical and mental health.
These children are often obliged to do domestic work (washing, cooking, cleaning and babysitting). This type of work is often ‘invisible’, as children live at their employers’ place. Because of this, the work is hidden and remains in the private sphere.
Around 3 million children, the majority of whom are young girls of less than 18 years old, are employed as housemaids in Peru. In general, they work seven days a week, they are underpaid, victims of psychological, physical and sometimes sexual abuse.
GeTM and its Peruvian partner CESIP set up different activities to find solutions for these victims.
Teenagers who lived in extreme violence (mistreatment, isolation, sexual and psychological abuse, etc..) were took in by host families, by their own families or by hostels of the government. GeTM and CESIP provided host families with funds in order to help them cover their costs (food clothes and transport) spent on these young girls.
Peruvian legislation authorizes child work at the age of 14 under the condition that children are neither mistreated nor exploited, and children are not to work if they are under 14 years old. Courses are provided at school in order to raise awareness among girls about their rights (the right to go to school, to have hobbies, to be protected against exploitation). These courses are taught together with authorities of the Ministry of Child Protection.
Information and awareness let teenage girls realize what situation they live in. Now they have the means to defend their rights. They can forward what they know to other young girls who experience the same situation so that they can denounce their problems too.
These activities started in 2012, they will stop in 2015 and more than 340 people will have benefited from them.