Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2014, 13:11 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Djibouti

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 - Djibouti, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d7492ec.html [accessed 20 April 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.

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor
Percent of children ages 5-14 estimated as working:Unavailable
Minimum age of work:161274
Age to which education is compulsory:161275
Free public education:Yes1276*
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2004:39%1277
Net primary enrollment rate in 2004:32%1278
Percent of children 12-14 attending school in 1996:66.8%1279
As of 2001, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:80%1280
Ratified Convention 138:6/14/20051281
Ratified Convention 182:2/28/20051282
ILO-IPEC participating country:No1283
* Must pay for school supplies and related items.

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In urban areas of Djibouti, children work in a variety of activities in the informal sector.1284 Children work day and night in family-owned businesses such as restaurants and small shops.1285 Children perform jobs such as shining shoes, guarding and washing cars,1286 cleaning storefronts, sorting merchandise, selling various items, and changing money.1287 Some children work as domestic servants and others are involved in begging.1288 Children are also involved in the sale of drugs.1289 Many working children are displaced from neighboring countries such as Ethiopia, and some live on the streets.1290 In rural areas, children work in agriculture and with livestock.1291

Child prostitution occurs in Djibouti.1292 Many victims are from Ethiopia; HIV/AIDS orphans are especially vulnerable.1293 Djiboutian girls who engage in prostitution may be victims of trafficking.1294 Some children involved in prostitution in Djibouti are reported to be trafficked from neighboring countries, including Ethiopia.1295

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment and apprenticeships in Djibouti is 16 years.1296 Young persons 16 to 18 may not be employed as domestic servants or in hotels and bars.1297 The law calls for the Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Health to develop additional categories of work that are prohibited to young persons, but these have not yet been established.1298 Young persons must receive the same payment as adults for similar work. The Labor Inspector can require a medical exam to verify if the work is beyond the capabilities of the young person.1299 Penalties for non-compliance with the provisions regarding equal pay and medical exams are punishable by fines.1300 The law also prohibits night work for young persons, with penalties for non-compliance that include fines and, on the second infraction, 15 days of imprisonment.1301

The law prohibits forced and bonded labor.1302 The law also prohibits the procurement of prostitution, with punishments including a fine and up to 10 years of imprisonment when a minor is involved. Increased penalties also apply if coercion is used or in cases involving the trafficking of persons outside or into the country.1303 The law also provides for penalties against the use of children in pornography and trafficking of drugs.1304 Djibouti does not have compulsory military service. The Government of Djibouti stated in a 1998 report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that "as is the case for all civilian and military jobs, young people under 18 may not be accepted into the army." The government has a voluntary national services program for persons ages 16 to 25 that includes 3 months of military training.1305

The authority to enforce child labor laws and regulations rests with the Police Vice Squad (Brigade des Moeurs) and the local police department (Gendarmerie.)1306 The Brigade des Moeurs has reportedly closed bars where child prostitution may be occurring.1307 The Labor Inspection Office has the authority to sanction businesses that employ children.1308 As of April 2006, the labor inspection office had one inspector and six controllers.1309 According to the U.S. Department of State, this shortage of inspectors limits the government's ability to enforce labor laws.1310

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

Research has not identified any policies or programs by the Government of Djibouti to address exploitive child labor.


1274 Government of Djibouti, Loi n° 96/AN/00/4èmeL portant Orientation du Système Educatif Djiboutien, (July 10, 2000), Article 5.

1275 Ibid., Article 14.

1276 Ibid., Article 16. See also U.S. Department of State, "Djibouti," 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/2006/78731.htm.

1277 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

1278 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrolment Rate. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

1279 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank Surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, October 7, 2005.

1280 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Survival Rate to Grade 5. Total, accessed December 18, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

1281 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed October 18, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.

1282 Ibid.

1283 ILO, IPEC Action Against Child Labour: Highlights 2006, Geneva, October 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20070228_Implementationreport_en_Web.pdf.

1284 U.S. Embassy – Djibouti, reporting, August 17, 2005.

1285 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Djibouti," Section 6d.

1286 U.S. Embassy – Djibouti, reporting, August 17, 2005.

1287 Ministry of Employment and National Solidarity official, Interview with USDOL consultant, July 11, 2006, Ministry of Labor official, Interview with USDOL consultant, July 11, 2006.

1288 U.S. Embassy – Djibouti, reporting, August 17, 2005.

1289 Directorate of Promotion of Women and Social Affairs official, Interview with USDOL consultant, July 16, 2006. See also Open Door Association official, Interview with USDOL consultant, August 9, 2006.

1290 Ministry of Employment and National Solidarity official, interview, July 11, 2006.

1291 U.S. Embassy – Djibouti, reporting, August 17, 2005.

1292 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Djibouti," Section 5.

1293 ECPAT International CSEC Database, Djibouti, accessed October 12, 2006; available from http://www.ecpat.net. See also Delegate Ministry to the Prime Minister Charged with the Promotion of the Woman, Family Well-Being, and Social Affairs, Analyse de la situation des orphelins et enfants vulnérables (OEV) à Djibouti, Djibouti, February 2006, 5.

1294 U.S. Department of State, "Djibouti," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006, Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65988.htm.

1295 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Djibouti," Section 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Djibouti."

1296 Government of Djibouti, Loi n° 133/AN/05/5ème L portant Code du Travail, (January 28, 2006), Articles 5 and 71.

1297 Ibid., Articles 110-111.

1298 U.S. Embassy – Djibouti official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, January 23, 2007.

1299 Djibouti, Loi n° 133/AN/05/5ème L Articles 109, 112.

1300 Ibid., Article 288.

1301 Ibid., Articles 94, 289.

1302 Ibid., Article 2.

1303 The Protection Project, 2005 Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, 2005; available from http://www.protectionproject.org.

1304 U.S. Embassy – Djibouti, reporting, August 24, 2004.

1305 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Djibouti," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004, 296; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=966.

1306 U.S. Embassy – Djibouti, reporting, August 24, 2004.

1307 U.S. Department of State, "Djibouti," in Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment, Washington, DC, January 19, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/rpt/78948.htm.

1308 U.S. Embassy – Djibouti, reporting, August 24, 2004.

1309 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Djibouti."

1310 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Djibouti," Section 6d.

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