Thousands of people have rallied in the Peruvian capital against a new labour law that discriminates against young people.

At least 5,000 people marched against 'The Youth Employment Law' in Lima on Tuesday, new legislation that allows employers to reduce employment benefits for those aged between 18 and 24.

Under the new provision, bonuses, social security and life insurance will be affected, and holiday entitlement will be cut from 30 to 15 days.

Despite opposition by various student groups and labour unions, the government claims the new law will reduce youth unemployment and help the poorest people with little experience.

Protester Leonardo Rojas said: "We cannot allow the government, through their inaction and the few measures they have taken to reactivate our economy, to claim it has an effect on us young people with this package [law], with these abusive measures that violate the labour rights of the young."

Marco Aguirre, another protester, said: "Unfortunately the fundamental rights of young people are being assaulted, many young people, this law is affecting all the young people in the country."

According to official figures the unemployment rate for those aged between 18 and 24 is four times higher than those aged 30 to 65.

Source: Agencies