This article shows the presence of child labor in Chilean mining from the time of the Conquest to the present day. It starts with a general attempt to place the role of child labor in the context of the history of childhood. It then refers to the various forms of mining exploitation, the conditions which led to the employment of children and the changes which took place over time. This is followed by a description of the reaction of the State and society by means of a regulatory framework, the public debate on the subject and its echo in the "social literature". The final chapter identifies the subjective elements which accompanied the working life of the child miners and the variables which influenced their relations with adults.
Instituto de Historia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile