[Excerpt] This report examines the labor rights situation in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. For each country the labor rights taken into consideration include those rights defined as “core labor standards” by section 2113 of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 3813(6)):
- the right of association;
- the right to organize and bargain collectively;
- a prohibition on the use of any form of forced or compulsory labor;
- a minimum age for the employment of children; and
- acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.
Because of the emphasis in the Trade Act on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor, we have broadened the discussion to include not only the minimum age for employment of children but also the effective elimination of the worst forms of child labor. Finally, because of the interest of some members of Congress and others on gender issues in U.S. trading partner countries, this report was also broadened to include a section on women and work for each country.