MEXICO CITY, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Nearly half of all child laborers in Mexico, or 45.9 percent, receive no pay for their work, the daily El Universal reported Thursday.
"Five out of 10 girls, boys and adolescents working receive no income, that is 1.165 million children get no type of salary for their work," the daily said, citing a study from Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
Another 719,000 child laborers receive the minimum wage of 2,200 pesos a month (some 120 U.S. dollars) or less.
In total, more than 2.5 million children in Mexico between the ages of five and 17 work either to contribute to the household income, or to pay for their schooling or their own expenses, according to the daily.
A total of 30.5 percent of child laborers work in the agricultural sector, to be followed by the trade and services industry.
The Inegi study, released on Wednesday in the lead up to World Day Against Child Labor on June 12, said childhood is a "valuable" stage of life when "boys and girls should live without fear, safe from violence, protected from bad treatment and exploitation. As such, childhood means much more than just the time that transpires between birth and adulthood."
A related article published Wednesday in regional news website Bajo Palabra, which reports out of Mexico's violence-torn southern state of Guerrero, linked Mexico's high rate of disappearances and kidnappings, especially among five- to 17-year-olds, to forced labor in agricultural fields dedicated to drug crops.
"In some parts of the state, they are kidnapped by organized crime rings to be exploited in the cultivation of drugs," the website said, citing a report from the International Labor Organization (ILO). Enditem