Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Senegal

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 - Senegal, 7 June 2002, available at: [accessed 26 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.

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

The Government of Senegal has been a member of ILO-IPEC since 1997. The ILO-IPEC program in Senegal is designed to enhance the country's ability to design and implement policies aimed at preventing child labor and eliminating the worst forms of child labor. Working primarily with child domestic workers, apprentices, independent workers, and rural working children, the program has implemented activities designed to remove these children from the work force and place them into schools or training programs that will enable them to attain better paying jobs upon graduation.[2253] ILO-IPEC is also working with the Government of Senegal to revise the child labor laws so that they are compatible with international standards and to provide education about child labor to employers, teachers, and students.[2254] The Government of Senegal is planning to conduct a national child labor survey in 2004 with technical assistance from ILO-IPEC's SIMPOC.[2255]

Senegal's Ten Year Education and Training Program (PDEF) 1999-2008, supported by the World Bank, is designed to achieve universal enrollment in primary education, reform technical and vocational training, and work more closely with the private sector.[2256] The PDEF plan calls for Senegal to achieve a primary enrollment rate of 70 percent by 2000 and 75 percent in 2001 and to attain universal enrollment by 2008.[2257] It also seeks to increase enrollment rates of girls and to improve the quality of teaching.[2258] USAID is also helping Senegal develop programs that increase the access of girls and young women to education, improve retention rates of girls in primary schools, and improve non-formal and vocational education for girls and women.[2259]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 1999, the ILO estimated that 28.11 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 14 in Senegal were working.[2260] They work mainly on family farms, as domestic servants, as street vendors, and in small businesses.[2261] Some children are also involved in prostitution.[2262]

Education is compulsory up to the age of 12.[2263] In 1997, the gross primary enrollment rate was 71.3 percent and the net primary enrollment rate was 60.4 percent.[2264] Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for Senegal. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.[2265] The majority of girls leave school before third grade and a large majority of women are illiterate.[2266] Dropout rates are high, facilities are poor, and the number of learning hours per pupil has declined by 12 percent in recent years.[2267] Senegal does not have an adequate number of school facilities, as 36 percent of children attend schools offering less than five grades.[2268] Other problems are a high student-teacher ratio and large disparities in enrollment between urban and rural areas.[2269]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment as an apprentice is 16 years of age and 18 for all other types of work.[2270] The Ministry of Labor has responsibility for the enforcement of child labor laws and monitors and enforces the restrictions in the formal sector.[2271] However, the law is not enforced in the informal sector, where all of Senegal's working children are frequently employed.[2272] Senegal's constitution prohibits forced and bonded labor.[2273] Senegal ratified ILO Convention 138 on December 15, 1999 and Convention 182 on June 1, 2000.[2274]

[2253] U.S. Embassy-Dakar, unclassified telegram no. 3552, August 2000 [hereinafter unclassified telegram no. 3552].

[2254] Ibid.

[2255] SIMPOC Countries, electronic correspondence from ILO-IPEC to USDOL official, January 18, 2001 [document on file]. See also ILO-IPEC, Child Labor Statistics: SIMPOC Countries, at on 1/29/02.

[2256] Government of Senegal, Senegal: Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Economic and Financial Policy Framework Paper: 1999-2001, prepared in consultation with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, June 4, 1999.

[2257] Ibid.

[2258] Ibid.

[2259] USAID, USAID Assistance to Senegal, fact sheet, Washington, D.C., at on 10/16/01.

[2260] World Development Indicators 2001 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2001) [hereinafter World Development Indicators 2001] [CD-ROM].

[2261] Many girls, some as young as 8, work as domestic servants and work 7 days per week, 12 hours per day. See unclassified telegram 3552. See also Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Senegal (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2001) [hereinafter Country Reports 2000], Section 6d, at, and Child Labor, "Italy Comes to the Rescue of Senegalese Children," newsletter archives, July-December 2000 [hereinafter "Italy Comes to the Rescue"], at on 10/15/01.

[2262] "Italy Comes to the Rescue."

[2263] Country Reports 2000 at Section 5.

[2264] World Development Indicators 2001.

[2265] For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see Introduction to this report.

[2266] USAID, Budget Justification for FY 2002, Senegal: Activity Data Sheet, at on 10/16/01.

[2267] World Bank, "Senegal: Quality Education for All," Project Information Document, Report No. PID8013, July 31, 1999 [hereinafter "Senegal: Quality Education for All"], at /pdf/multi_page.pdf on 12/13/01.

[2268] World Bank, Project Appraisal Document on a Proposed Credit in the Amount of SDR 36.7 Million to the Republic of Senegal for a Quality Education for All Program in Support of the First Phase of the Ten-Year Education and Training Program, March 20, 2000, 5.

[2269] "Senegal: Quality Education for All."

[2270] Country Reports 2000.

[2271] Ibid.

[2272] Country Reports 2000. See also unclassified telegram 3552.

[2273] Country Reports 2000.

[2274] Unclassified telegram 3552.

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