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2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Comoros

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 7 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Comoros, 7 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8c9c33c.html [accessed 26 July 2014]
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.

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

The government and UNICEF have worked together to evaluate the extent of child labor.[583] Awareness-raising meetings and information campaigns on child labor have been organized among families and children.[584]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 1999, the ILO estimated that 37.9 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 14 in Comoros were working.[585] Children work in the informal sector, in agriculture, and in family enterprises, particularly in subsistence farming and fishing.[586] Children also work as domestic servants, some as young as seven years.[587] Migration from rural areas has led to a growing number of children working and living on the streets.[588] Two armed separatist groups in Anjouan, an island in Comoros, have reportedly been recruiting boy soldiers between the ages of 13 and 16.[589]

Primary education is compulsory until the age of 10.[590] In 1993, the gross primary enrollment rate was 74.6 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 52 percent.[591] There are gender disparities in school attendance and dropout rates.[592] In 1993, the gross primary enrollment rate was 84.3 percent for boys and 69.2 percent for girls; the net primary enrollment rate was 57.3 percent for boys and 46.6 percent for girls.[593] Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for Comoros. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.[594] There is a general lack of facilities, equipment, qualified teachers, and textbooks and other resources.[595] Salaries for teachers are low and often so far in arrears that many teachers refuse to work.[596]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Labor Code sets the minimum age for work at 15 years. There are no laws prohibiting forced and bonded labor or trafficking in persons.[597] There is lax enforcement of labor laws,[598] in part because of a lack of labor inspectors and general lack of resources.[599] Comoros has not ratified ILO Convention 138 or ILO Convention 182.[600]


[583] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Summary Record of the 666th Meeting: Comoros, CDC/C/SR.666 (Geneva, October 4, 2000) [hereinafter Record of 666th Meeting], para. 39.

[584] Ibid. at para 46.

[585] World Development Indicators 2001 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2001) [hereinafter World Development Indicators 2001] [CD-ROM].

[586] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention: Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Comoros, CRC/C/15/Add.141 (Geneva, October 16, 2000) [hereinafter Concluding Observations], para. 48. See also Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Comoros (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, February 2001) [hereinafter Country Reports 2000], Section 6d, at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/af/index.cfm?docid=838.

[587] Concluding Observations at para. 29. See also Record of 666th Meeting at para. 3 and Country Reports 2000 at Section 5.

[588] Concluding Observations at para. 39. See also Record of the 666th meeting at para. 3.

[589] Record of 666th Meeting at para 41. See also Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Africa Report: Comoros (London, March 1999).

[590] Country Reports 2000 at Section 5.

[591] World Development Indicators 2001.

[592] Concluding Observations at para. 43.

[593] World Development Indicators 2001.

[594] For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see Introduction to this report.

[595] Concluding Observations at para. 43.

[596] Record of 666th Meeting at para. 23.

[597] Country Reports 2000 at Sections 6d, 6f.

[598] Concluding Observations at para. 48.

[599] Country Reports 2000 at Sections 5, 6d.

[600] In February 2000, the Council of Ministers in Comoros approved ILO Convention 182 for ratification. See Record of 666th Meeting at para. 39. See also ILO-IPEC, Ratification Campaign: Ratification Map, on 11/20/01.

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