Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Angola

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 - Angola, 10 September 2009, available at: [accessed 29 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
Population, children, 5-14 years, 2001:2,415,041
Working children, 5-14 years (%), 2001:25.7
Working boys, 5-14 years (%), 2001:25.6
Working girls, 5-14 years (%), 2001:25.9
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:14
Compulsory education age:14
Free public education:Yes*
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2006:193.8
Net primary enrollment rate (%):
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%), 2001:65.4
Survival rate to grade 5 (%):
ILO Convention 138:6/13/2001
ILO Convention 182:6/13/2001
ILO-IPEC participating country:Yes

* In practice, must pay for various school expenses

** Accession

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In Angola, most working children are found in the informal sector. Children in rural areas are more likely to work than those in urban areas. Children living in provinces most affected by the country's decades-long civil war (1975-2002) are more likely to work than those in less-affected provinces. Children work in agriculture on family farms and commercial farms, including pineapple and banana plantations. Children working in agriculture in Benguela are known to apply chemicals, use machinery and dangerous tools, and carry heavy loads. In Benguela and Kwanza Sul, children are often employed in agriculture by members of the community outside their families. Some children in rural areas work in artesian diamond mining. Children also work in markets, charcoal production, animal grazing, and manual labor. In border areas and ports, children unload and transport goods. Children are also engaged in the sale and transport of illegal drugs. An increasing number of Angolan children are being used as couriers in the country's cross-border trade with Namibia, in an attempt to avoid import fees.

The capital city of Luanda continues to be affected by the large population that migrated there during Angola's civil war. Children work on the streets in Luanda, as well as in the provinces of Benguela, Huambo, and Kwanza Sul. Some street children are among the estimated 43,000 children still separated from their families as a result of the civil war. Working children in Luanda primarily engage in selling goods, such as food, electronics, and clothing. They also wash cars, work as mechanics, shine shoes, and collect fares. These children face health and injury risks such as exposure to the sun and heat; poor air quality; heavy vehicular traffic; and exposure to crime and gang activity. Children in Luanda also engage in domestic service, fishing, and tasks such as fetching water and firewood.

Children are trafficked internally for agriculture, domestic service, and sexual exploitation. Congolese children are trafficked into Angola. Some children may be trafficked to Angola for work in the diamond mines. Angolan children are also trafficked to South Africa, Namibia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo for forced labor.

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment and apprenticeship in Angola is 14 years. Children between 14 and 18 years are not permitted to work at night, under dangerous conditions, or in activities requiring great physical effort. Children under 16 years are restricted from working in factories. Violations of child labor laws can be punished by fines.

Angolan laws prohibit forced or bonded child labor and slavery. The minimum age for voluntary recruitment into military service is 18 years for men and 20 years for women, while the minimum age for conscription is 20 years. Trafficking in persons is not specifically prohibited in Angola, but it can be prosecuted under laws prohibiting forced labor or bonded servitude, kidnapping, prostitution, rape, illegal entry into the country, and pornography. Having sexual relations with children under 12 years is categorized as rape and carries a minimum sentence of 8 years of imprisonment. Sexual relations with children ages 12 to 15 years can be categorized as sexual abuse and can result in up to 8 years of imprisonment.

As part of the regional Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, the Government of Angola agreed to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders, rehabilitate and reintegrate trafficking victims, and assist fellow signatory countries to implement these measures under the Agreement.

While the Ministry of Family and Women's Affairs investigates child labor complaints, the Ministry of Public Administration, Employment, and Social Security's Inspector General has the authority to enforce the labor laws. According to USDOS, the Government does not have the capacity to regulate the informal sector, where the majority of children work and where most labor law violations occur.

During the reporting period, the Government's National Institute for the Child (INAC) continued to conduct spot checks of vehicles along suspected child trafficking routes through the use of six mobile teams working in the provinces. The Immigration Services continued to operate checkpoints and verify the travel documentation of minors at many transit locations, including border posts, the international airport, and select areas where trafficking is known to occur, such as Santa Clara in the Cunene Province. According to USDOS, the Government lacked resources for effectively controlling its borders.

Current Government Efforts to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government of Angola is participating in a project to combat exploitive child labor through the provision of educational services, implemented by ChildFund International and World Learning for Educational Development. Funded in 2007 by USDOL at USD 3.48 million, and by Christian Children's Fund at USD 1.25 million, the project targets 2,653 children for withdrawal and 4,347 children for prevention from exploitive child labor in the capital city of Luanda and the province of Benguela.

The Government of Angola is also participating in a 4-year USD 23,840,500 project funded by the EU and implemented by ILO-IPEC to combat child labor through education in 11 countries. The Government continues to implement a project funded by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to prevent child labor among street children in Benguela and Lobito.

The Government's Ministry of the Interior collaborated with IOM to provide training to officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Social Assistance and Reintegration on human trafficking issues, with USG funding. INAC also continues to work with UNICEF to develop Child Protection Networks at the provincial and municipal levels in all 18 provinces, which bring together government and civil society actors to coordinate efforts to assist children. These networks help child trafficking victims access services from a number of Government ministries and, in 2008, reported cases of children they had identified and withdrawn from exploitive labor.

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