Last Updated: Friday, 21 November 2014, 13:47 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Liberia

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 - Liberia, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d749408.html [accessed 23 November 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 5-14 estimated as working in 2000:Unavailable
Minimum age for admission to work:162484
Age to which education is compulsory:162485
Free public education:Yes2486*
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2000:99%2487
Net primary enrollment rate in 2000:66%2488
Percent of children 5-14 attending school in 2000:Unavailable
Percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:Unavailable
Ratified Convention 138:No2489
Ratified Convention 182:6/2/20032490
ILO-IPEC participating country:No2491
* Must pay for school supplies and related items.

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In rural areas, Liberian children work on family subsistence farms2492 and rubber plantations.2493 In urban areas, children work as market vendors or street hawkers.2494 Children are also engaged in mining,2495 rock crushing,2496 fishing,2497 and transporting loads of sand.2498 Many children are employed in domestic service2499 and some are forced by adults to engage in begging and theft.2500

Child prostitution is an ongoing problem.2501 There are some reports that girls are involved in prostitution to pay school fees and support their families.2502 Liberia is a country of origin, and may be a transit or destination country for regionally trafficked children. Of the few recorded instances of trafficking, all but one occurred within Liberia's borders.2503 Trafficked children are typically subjected to forced labor in the form of domestic service, agricultural labor, and street vending.2504

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law prohibits the employment of children under 16 during school hours.2505 Children under 16, however, may work for wages if the employer can demonstrate that they are attending school regularly and have a basic education.2506 The law states however that labor recruiters may hire children between 16 and 18 for occupations approved by the Ministry of Labor.2507

The law prohibits forced and bonded labor and slavery in Liberia.2508 The law criminalizes human trafficking and establishes sentences for traffickers ranging from 1 year to life in prison.2509 Liberian law also prohibits any person under 16 from enlisting in the armed forces.2510

The Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Justice have a mandate to monitor compliance with Liberia's labor laws, including child labor.2511 According to the U.S. Department of State, the government lacks the resources to enforce existing labor laws.2512

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

In partnership with the Government of Liberia and with funding from USDOL, the International Rescue Committee is implementing a USD 6 million Child Labor Education Initiative project in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The project aims to withdraw a total of 8,243 children and prevent a total of 21,647 children from exploitive child labor by improving access to and quality of education.2513


2484 Government of Liberia, Labour Practices Law (Title 18 and 18A), (1956), Section 74. See also U.S. Department of State, "Liberia," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006 Washington, D.C., March 6, 2007, Section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78742.htm.

2485 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Liberia," Section 5. See also UNESCO, Liberia – Education system, 2003; available from http://www.unesco.org/iau/onlinedatabases/systems_data/lr.rtf.

2486 U.S. Embassy – Monrovia, reporting, December 15, 2006, para 1. See also Women's Commission for refugee women and children, Help us Help Ourselves: Education in the Conflict to Post-Conflict Transition in Liberia, New York, March 2006, 7; available from http://www.womenscommission.org/pdf/lr_ed.pdf.

2487 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

2488 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

2489 ILO, Ratifications by Country; accessed September 25, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/docs/declAFpr.htm.

2490 Ibid.

2491 ILO-IPEC, IPEC action against child labour-highlights 2006, Geneva, October, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20061019_Implementationreport_eng_Web.pdf.

2492 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Liberia," Section 6d.

2493 U.S. Embassy – Monrovia, reporting, December 15, 2006, para 2(e). See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "Liberia: Rubber plantation workers strike over conditions, pay, child labour", IRINnews.org, [online], October 20, 2006; available from http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID=51654.

2494 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Liberia," Section 6d.

2495 Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization for Administration official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 26, 2006.

2496 Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 26, 2006.

2497 International Rescue Committee official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 26, 2006.

2498 National Child Rights Observatory Group official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 26, 2006.

2499 Ministry of Labor official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 26, 2006. See also U.S. Embassy – Monrovia, reporting, December 15, 2006, para 2(e).

2500 International Rescue Committee, Countering Youth and Child Labour Through Education (CYCLE), draft project document, New York, May 2006, 10.

2501 Ibid.

2502 U.S. Embassy – Monrovia, reporting, December 15, 2006, para 2(e).

2503 U.S. Embassy – Monrovia, E-mail communication to USDOL official, August 1, 2007.

2504 U.S. Department of State, "Liberia (Special Case)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006, Washington, D.C., June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65991.htm.

2505 Government of Liberia, Labour Practices Law (Title 18 and 18A), Section 74.

2506 Ibid. See also International Rescue Committee, Child Labor and Education in Liberia: Needs Assessment in Targeted Communities, New York, June, 2006, 30.

2507 Government of Liberia, Labour Practices Law (Title 18 and 18A), Section 1506, para 11.

2508 Government of Liberia, Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, (1847), Article 12; available from http://www.embassyofliberia.org/theconstitution.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Liberia," Section 6c.

2509 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Liberia," Section 5.

2510 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Solidiers Global Report 2004, London, March 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=966.

2511 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Liberia," section 6d. See also Jerolinmek M. Piah, Interview, June 26, 2006.

2512 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Liberia," Sections 5, 6d, and 6e.

2513 International Rescue Committee, Countering Youth and Child Labour Through Education (CYCLE), 29.

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