2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Comoros
|Publisher||United States Department of Labor|
|Author||Bureau of International Labor Affairs|
|Publication Date||10 September 2009|
|Cite as||United States Department of Labor, 2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Comoros, 10 September 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4aba3ee741.html [accessed 23 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This 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|
|Population, children, 5-14 years, 2000:||159,810|
|Working children, 5-14 years (%), 2000:||35.6|
|Working boys, 5-14 years (%), 2000:||35.0|
|Working girls, 5-14 years (%), 2000:||36.2|
|Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):|
|Minimum age for work:||15|
|Compulsory education age:||12|
|Free public education:||No|
|Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:||85.4|
|Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2000:||55.1|
|School attendance, children 5-14 years (%), 2000:||44.2|
|Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2004:||80.3|
|ILO Convention 138:||3/17/2004|
|ILO Convention 182:||3/17/2004|
|ILO-IPEC participating country:||No|
Incidence and Nature of Child Labor
The majority of working children in Comoros are engaged in agriculture and other activities in the informal sector. The greatest proportion of children work in rural areas and on the Island of Ndzuwani. Children work in subsistence farming, such as cultivating cloves, vanilla, and ylang ylang (a flower); animal husbandry; and fishing. Children also sell goods (such as peanuts, fish, and vegetables) along roadsides and extract and sell marine sand. In urban areas, some children work as domestic servants in exchange for food, shelter, or educational opportunities; these children often carry heavy loads for long distances, are not paid for their work, and are subject to abuse.
Some children work under forced labor conditions, including in agriculture and domestic service. The practice of sending boys to Koranic teachers to receive education, which may include a vocational or apprenticeship component, is a tradition in various countries, including Comoros. While some boys receive lessons, many are engaged in forced labor, including carrying produce, selling items in markets, and performing various domestic activities.
Child Labor Laws and Enforcement
The minimum age for admission to work and apprenticeship in Comoros is 15 years. Children in apprenticeships must be paid and the duration cannot be longer than 3 years. Children must be at least 17 years of age to enter into a formal professional school. Enterprises, such as stores and banks, are required to maintain a list of children they employ who are under 18 years. The law requires that children work no more than 40 hours per week and receive a break of a minimum of 12 consecutive hours per day. A labor inspector can require a medical examination of a child to confirm that the work does not exceeded his or her strength. The punishment for a third-time offense of employing a child under the age of 15 is imprisonment.
The law prohibits pornography and sexual exploitation of children under the age of 18 years. Punishment for involvement with the prostitution of a minor ranges from 2 to 5 years of imprisonment, and penalties are doubled in cases of reoccurrence of the offense within 10 years. These penalties also apply if the crime is committed in a different country.
The law prohibits forced and bonded labor, except in instances of obligatory military service; work that is considered a civic duty to the community; and work that is required in times of accidents, fires, and calamities. The punishment for exacting forced labor is 3 months to 3 years of imprisonment and a fine. The minimum age for voluntary military recruitment is 18 years.
The Tribunal for Minors at the national level includes several judges who are responsible for protecting children before a court. The Government has three labor inspectors, one for each main island. One inspector reports averaging 10 labor inspections per year. According to USDOS, the Government has not enforced laws to protect children.
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 Comoros to address exploitive child labor.