Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 12:25 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Mozambique

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 - Mozambique, 31 August 2007, available at: [accessed 31 May 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:Unavailable
Minimum age for admission to work:152917
Age to which education is compulsory:122918
Free public education:Yes*2919
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2004:95%2920
Net primary enrollment rate in 2004:71%2921
Percent of children 7-14 attending school in 1996:51.7%2922
As of 2001, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:49%2923
Ratified Convention 138:6/16/20032924
Ratified Convention 182:6/16/20032925
ILO-IPEC Participating Country:Yes, associated2926
* Must pay fees and for school supplies and related items.

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In Mozambique, some children are forced to work in commercial agriculture, in prostitution and as domestics.2927 In rural areas, children work on family or commercial farms, often picking cotton or tea.2928 Children also work in the urban informal sector guarding cars, collecting scrap metal, and selling food and trinkets in the streets.2929

Children are trafficked internally and to South Africa, often with the complicity of family members, for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Women and girls are trafficked both in country and to South Africa for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Also, young men and boys are trafficked in country and to South Africa for farm work and domestic service.2930

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment of minors is 15 years. In exceptional cases, the law allows children between 12 and 15 to work with the joint approval of the Ministries of Labor, Health, and Education. The law restricts the conditions under which minors between 15 and 18 may work, and commits employers to provide for their education and professional training.

Children between 15 and 18 are prohibited from working more than 38 hours per week and more than 7 hours per day.

Minors under 18 are not permitted to work in unhealthy or dangerous or physically taxing occupations, must undergo a medical examination, and must be paid at least minimum wage or 2/3 of the adult salary, whichever is more.2931 Violators of child labor laws are subject to fines, the Ministry of Labor has the authority to enforce and regulate child labor laws in both the formal and informal sectors. Labor inspectors may obtain court orders and use the police to enforce compliance with child labor legislation. According to the U.S. Department of State, however, both the Labor Inspectorate and police lack adequate staff, funds, and training to investigate child labor cases, especially outside the capital. The U.S. Department of State claims that the law is enforced in the formal sector but enforcement is inadequate in the informal sector.2932

The law prohibits the practice of prostitution of any form, including that of children. Procuring a minor is punishable by imprisonment for 6 months to 2 years.2933 Although the law contains provisions that can be applied to the trafficking of children, it does not contain a provision specific to that crime.2934 However, enforcement initiatives dramatically improved.2935 The first trafficking case was tried in March 2006, when two men were convicted of selling a minor. In February 2006, six men were arrested by police for intent to traffic 43 people across the South African border. Several trafficking schemes were broken in 2006, resulting in more than a dozen arrests and the liberation of more than 90 victims.2936 The age for conscription and voluntary recruitment into the military is 18 years. In times of war, however, the minimum age for military conscription may be lowered.2937

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

The government disseminated information and provided education about the dangers of child labor. The public outreach effort includes the provision of training for the police on child prostitution and abuse (including pornography).2938

The Government of Mozambique is participating in a USD 3 million USDOL-funded 4-year program implemented by the American Institutes for Research. The project aims to reduce the number of child laborers in agriculture, domestic work, street work, and commercial sexual exploitation. Through this program, 2,600 children will be withdrawn or prevented from engaging in such activities.2939

In March 2006, the Civic Education Forum, a civil society organization, opened the first shelter for victims of trafficking. The shelter was built on land donated by the Moamba District Government to house and grow food for the residents.2940

2917 U.S. Department of State, "Mozambique," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007, Section 6d; available from

2918 Ibid., Section 5.

2919 Ibid.

2920 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from

2921 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrolment Rate. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from

2922 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, March 1, 2007.

2923 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Survival Rate to Grade 5. Total, accessed December 18, 2006; available from

2924 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed December 29, 2006; available from

2925 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed December 29, 2006; available from

2926 ILO-IPEC, IPEC Action Against Child Labour – Highlights 2006, Geneva, October, 2006; available from

2927 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Mozambique," Section 6d.

2928 Ibid., Section 6d.

2929 Ibid., Section 6d., See also Ministry of Labor Government of Mozambique, and UNICEF, Child Labor Rapid Assessment: Mozambique (Part 1), Geneva, 1999/2000.

2930 U.S. Department of State, "Mozambique (Tier 2)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006, Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Mozambique," Section 5.

2931 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Mozambique," Section 6d.

2932 Ibid.

2933 The Protection Project, Mozambique, [online] 2006 [cited August 27, 2006]; available from

2934 ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request, Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182), Mozambique (ratification: 2003), [online] 2006 [cited September 1, 2006]; available from

2935 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Mozambique."

2936 Ibid.

2937 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Mozambique," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from

2938 U.S. Department of State official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, February 1, 2007.

2939 American Institutes for Research, RECLAIM: Reducing Exploitive Child Labor in Mozambique, technical progress report, September 2006.

2940 U.S. Embassy – Maputo, reporting, February 27, 2007.

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