Last Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2016, 13:45 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Chad

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 31 August 2007
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Chad, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d7492953.html [accessed 29 September 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor
Percent of children 5-14 estimated as working in 2004:53%916
Minimum age for admission to work:14917
Age to which education is compulsory:12918
Free public education:Yes919*
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2004:82%920
Net primary enrollment rate in 2003:57%921
Percent of children 5-14 attending school in 2004:39.6%922
As of 2002, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:35%923
Ratified Convention 138:3/21/2005924
Ratified Convention 182:11/6/2000925
ILO-IPEC Participating Country:No926
* In certain instances, parents have been required to pay teachers' salaries.

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 2004, approximately 56.1 percent of boys and 49.7 percent of girls ages 5 to 14 were working in Chad.927 Children work in agriculture and herding throughout the country, and as street vendors, manual laborers, helpers in small shops, and domestic servants in the capital.928

There have been reports of children being contracted out by their parents to nomadic herders to tend their animals; some such children are subjected to forced labor.929 There have also been reports of child soldiering. It was reported by U.N. officials that more than 4,700 men and boys were forcibly taken away from their families in Chad by Sudanese fighters to work as porters and gun cleaners for the Sudanese fighting forces.930 A 2003 study by ECPAT estimated that more than 11,000 Chadian children live and work on the streets and often fall victim to violence, including sexual exploitation.931

Chad is a country of origin, transit, and destination for children trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. The majority of children are trafficked within Chad for work in domestic service, begging, and herding.932 Children are trafficked from the Central African Republic and Cameroon for commercial sexual exploitation to Chad's oil-producing regions, and Chadian children are trafficked to the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Cameroon, and possibly Saudi Arabia.933 There are reports that mahadjir children, who attend Islamic schools, are forced by their teachers to beg for food and money.934

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age for employment in Chad at 14 years, except for apprenticeships (13 years) or for certain tasks that require the permission of the legal representative of the child, as well as permission from the Minister of Public Health and the Minister of Labor and Social Security.935 Night work by children under age 18 is prohibited.936 Children under age 18 are also prohibited from doing work likely to harm their health, safety, or morals.937

The judicial system is loosely linked to child labor prosecutions because of the absence of child labor provisions in the penal code.938 The labor code prohibits forced and bonded labor.939 Children must be at least 18 to volunteer for the armed forces and 20 to be conscripted.940

According to the U.S. State Department, child labor laws are not enforced for lack of resources.941

Current Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

In July 2006, Chad was 1 of 24 countries to adopt the Multilateral Cooperative Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, in West and Central Africa and the Joint Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children in the West and Central African Regions. As part of the Multilateral Cooperative Agreement, the governments agreed to put into place the child trafficking monitoring system developed by the USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC LUTRENA project; to ensure that birth certificates and travel identity documents cannot easily be falsified or altered; to provide assistance to each other in the investigation, arrest and prosecution of trafficking offenders; to protect, rehabilitate, and reintegrate trafficking victims; and to improve educational systems, vocational training and apprenticeships.942 The government focused its efforts on preventing trafficking through raising awareness. The government also took measures to train police, customs, and other government officials on trafficking, and it continued to revise the legal code. The government sponsored educational media campaigns to inform parents and children about the dangers of trafficking.943

The Ministries of Labor and Justice conducted awareness campaigns and training seminars on the worst forms of child labor for religious leaders, traditional chiefs, and parliamentarians. Some children involved in exploitive child labor were rescued by military, police, and NGOs.944 In March 2006 the government supported workshops to establish a system of rescuing and reintegrating child herders. According to UNICEF, 360 child herders were identified, rescued, and reintegrated into their communities in 2006.945

The problem of child soldiers is being addressed by the government along with UNICEF, who are both supporting a comprehensive survey on child soldiers to be conducted in 2007.946


916 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, March 1, 2007.

917 Government of Chad, Code du travail tchadien, Loi No. 038/PR/96, (December 11, 1996); available from http://www.cefod.org/Fichiers%20web/Code%20du%20travail%20tchadien.htm.

918 U.S. Department of State, "Chad," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78726.htm.

919 Ibid. See also U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 26.

920 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrolment Rate. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

921 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

922 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Survival Rate to Grade 5. Total, accessed December 18, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

923 Ibid.

924 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed October 13, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.

925 Ibid.

926 ILO-IPEC, IPEC Action Against Child Labor – Highlights 2006, Geneva, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20070228_Implementationreport_en_Web.pdf.

927 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates.

928 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Chad," Section 6d.

929 Ibid. See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "Chad: Children sold into slavery for the price of a calf", IRINnews.org, [online], December 21, 2004 [cited October 11, 2006]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=44768.

930 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Chad," Sections 1g, 5, and 6d. Human Rights Watch, Early to War: Child Soldiers in the Chad Conflict, Vol. 19, No. 9 (A), New York, July, 2007; available from http://hrw.org/reports/2007/chad0707/. See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "Some 80,000 Children at Risk in Lawless East", IRINnews.org, [online], May 17, 2006 [cited June 5, 2006]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=59052.

931 ECPAT International CSEC Database, Chad, accessed October 13, 2006; available from http://www.ecpat.net.

932 U.S. Department of State, "Chad (Tier 2)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006, Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65988.htm.

933 Ibid.

934 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Chad."

935 Government of Chad, Code du travail tchadien, Article 18 and 52. See also, U.S. Department of State, "Chad," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Washington, DC, March 8, 2006, Section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61561.htm.

936 Government of Chad, Code du travail tchadien, Article 206.

937 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Chad," Section 6d. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of State Parties due in 1992: Chad, CRC/C/3/Add.50, prepared by Government of the Republic of Chad, pursuant to Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, July 1997, para. 197; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CRC.C.3.Add.50.En?OpenDocument.

938 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007.

939 Government of Chad, Code du travail tchadien, Article 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Chad."

940 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Chad," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=765.

941 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Chad," Section 6d.

942 ECOWAS and ECASS, Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in West and Central Africa, Abuja, July 7, 2006. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA), technical progress report, Washington, DC, September 1, 2006.

943 U.S. Department of State, "Chad," in Trafficking in Persons Report-Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65988.htm.

944 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007. U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Chad."

945 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 20.

946 Ibid., para 9.

Search Refworld

Countries