Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Madagascar

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 27 August 2008
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Madagascar, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa47d2d.html [accessed 20 December 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 Labor2071
Working children, 6-14 years (%), 2001:24.3
Working boys, 6-14 years (%), 2001:24.8
Working girls, 6-14 years (%), 2001:23.7
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:15
Compulsory education age:14
Free public education:Yes
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:139
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:93
School attendance, children 6-14 years (%), 2001:65.6
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2004:43
ILO-IPEC participating country:Yes

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In rural areas of Madagascar, children work in agriculture on family subsistence farms and sisal plantations. Children also perform tasks such as fruit tree picking and cattle herding.2072 In urban areas, particularly the South East and Upper Center zones, it is common for children to work in domestic service.2073 Children also work in bars and restaurants; petty trading; welding and mechanical work; transporting goods by rickshaw; and begging.2074 Young boys in Diego Suarez, Majunga and Manakara work for traveling vendors by loading and selling merchandise.2075 In coastal areas, children work in fishing, deep sea diving, and in the shrimp industry.2076

Children are involved in mining precious and semi-precious stones and in informal-sector work in and around the mines, particularly in the town of Ilakaka; most of this work is performed alongside their families. Children also engage in salt mining and production in Tulear; work in granite mines near Antananarivo; and in stone quarries, performing tasks such as breaking and carrying baskets full of stones.2077

Girls are engaged in commercial sexual exploitation, mostly in urban areas, including the capital city of Antananarivo. Child sex tourism is a growing problem in Antananarvio and small coastal towns and villages, especially in Tamatave, Nosy Be, Tulear, and Diego Suarez.2078

Madagascar is a source country for internal trafficking of children for sexual exploitation and forced labor. It is suspected that Malagasy children are trafficked from rural to urban areas for forced labor in mines, product vending, prostitution, and domestic service.2079 Children are reportedly trafficked by a number of different people, including 'friends,' taxi drivers, relatives, workers in the tourist industry, and organized criminals.2080

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for admission to work is 15 years.2081 The law prohibits children under 18 years to be employed in work that is immoral, hazardous, or forced; and bars them from work in bars, discos, casinos, in mines, and as domestic laborers. The law also prohibits children under 18 years from performing work at night or in excess of 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.2082 Before children are hired, a medical examination is required.2083 According to the 2007 Child Labor Decree, children between 15 and 17 years can perform light work if the work does not exceed their strength; is not hazardous; and does not interfere with the child's health, or physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development. In addition, children between 14 and 15 years can perform light work under exceptional circumstances, including where the child has finished school; and only with authorization from a labor inspector.2084 The law stipulates the weight a child can carry by age and by sector, and bars children from working in the proximity of toxic materials and pesticides.2085 Violation of the minimum age laws results in a fine and 1 to 3 years of imprisonment.2086

The law prohibits the production and dissemination of pornographic materials.2087 The use of children in pornography is punishable by 2 to 5 years of imprisonment and a fine; with increased penalties of 3 to 10 years of imprisonment and a higher fine if children under 15 years are involved.2088 In addition, forced labor, commercial sexual exploitation, and trafficking of children are forbidden by law.2089 Commercial sexual exploitation of children under 15 years, including sex tourism and child trafficking, is punishable by forced labor for life. The law also allows for extradition of Malagasy nationals and persons charged with trafficking in other countries.2090 The minimum age for voluntary and compulsory military service under Malagasy law is 18 years.2091

The Ministry of Civil Services and Labor is charged with enforcing child labor laws and conducting workplace inspections.2092 In total the Government has 77 labor inspectors, with 5 child labor inspectors at the national level.2093 The law requires State Prosecutors to submit cases of child labor violations directly to court judges.2094 In 2007, the Government prosecuted several foreigners for the commercial sexual exploitation of girls, including one for the production of pornographic materials.2095 According to USDOS, the Government's lack of enforcement of child labor laws in the informal sector is a problem.2096 Police officers have continued to enforce laws barring minors from nightclubs, and have closed nightclubs in Nosy Be and Fort Dauphin for such infractions.2097

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

In 2007, the Government adopted the Madagascar Action Plan, MAP (2007-2012), and the National Action Plan to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor, NAP (2004-2019) falls within the larger policy framework of the MAP.2098 The National Committee for the Fight against Child Labor is responsible for country-wide activities to combat child labor and following up on the NAP.2099 In 2007, three Regional Committees to Combat Child Labor were established, in the north, southwest and east coast.2100 In July 2007, the Government Council adopted a child labor decree that regulates working conditions; and defines child labor, including forced and hazardous child labor.2101 In December 2007, the Government adopted a comprehensive law that defines and strengthens penalties for trafficking in persons, sex tourism, sexual exploitation and other crimes, including for children.2102

In 2007, the Ministry of Youth and Sports developed an action plan to combat trafficking in youth between the ages of 14 and 35. The action plan objectives include: a reduction of trafficking victims by 50 percent across 22 regions; provision of services to 50 victims; and sensitization of 500,000 youth each year, over a 3-year period.2103 In 2007 with assistance from UNICEF and USAID, the Government continued its assistance to victims of child labor and trafficking through rehabilitation, monitoring, and counseling centers, including children in Tulear engaged in mining; in Nosey Be involved in sex tourism; in Tamatave engaged in sex tourism and domestic service; and in Diego Suarez for children involved in sex tourism, domestic service, and product vending.2104

During 2007 a total of 11 regions had 'Morals and Minors' police brigades established by the State Secretary of Public Security, which conducted prevention activities.2105 The Government undertook a series of campaigns, and a number of ministries conducted awareness raising and other activities aimed at preventing child labor and its worst forms, including child prostitution, sex tourism, and trafficking in the country.2106 In addition, the Government, with assistance from UNICEF, is providing training to Government officials on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking.2107

The Government is collaborating with ILO-IPEC on the implementation of a 4-year USD 4.75 million Timebound Program, funded by USDOL to combat the worst forms of child labor. The Timebound Program aims to withdraw 3,500 children and prevent an additional 6,500 children from exploitive labor through the provision of educational alternatives to children working in prostitution, domestic work, stone quarrying and mining, and children working under hazardous and unhealthy conditions in the informal sector, such as in fishing and sisal plantation work.2108 In May 2007, the Government in collaboration with IPEC started a national survey on child labor. The survey contains a child trafficking and sexual exploitation component that was included by UNICEF.2109 In 2007, the Government and the ILO continued a red card campaign to raise public awareness on child labor, child trafficking, and child protection, involving football leagues in 22 regions.2110

The Government of Madagascar also participated in a Phase I of an ILO-IPEC USD 3.64 million regional project that ended in March 2007, and continues to participate in a Phase II ILO-IPEC USD 488 million regional project that ends December 2009. Both of these projects are funded by France and combat the worst forms of child labor in Francophone Africa.2111 Since August of 2006, the Government has also been participating in a USAID-funded USD 400,000 trafficking project.2112


2071 For statistical data not cited here, see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILO-IPEC membership, see the Executive Summary. For minimum age for admission to work, age to which education is compulsory, and free public education, see Government of Madagascar, Labor Code, Loi no. 2003-044, (June 10, 2004), article 100; available from http://www.droit-afrique.com/images/textes/Madagascar/Mada%20%20Code%20du%20travail.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, "Madagascar," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2007, Washington, DC, 2008, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/c25283.htm. See also Government of Madagascar, Constitution, (August 19, 1992), articles 23 and 24; available from http://www.oefre.unibe.ch/law/icl/ma00000_.html.

2072 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar – IPEC's Contribution to the National Action Plan to Eliminate Child Labour, Project Document, Geneva, August 13, 2004, 5-8. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, December 3, 2007, para 2e.

2073 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, Project Document, 7. See also OHCHR, Mise en oeurve du Pacte relatif aux Droits Civils et Politiques, La Situation des Droits de l'Homme a Madagascar, Geneva, March 2007, 31-32; available from http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/omct_madagascar.pdf.

2074 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, December 3, 2007, para 2e. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, Project Document, 8.

2075 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.7.A-D.

2076 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, Project Document, 7. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, December 3, 2007, para 2e.

2077 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, Project Document, 6. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, December 3, 2007, para 2e. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, 3.27.A-D. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, July 22, 2008.

2078 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, Project Document, 6. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Madagascar," section 5. See also ILO-IPEC, Enquetes sur les Pires Formes de Travail des Enfants N 25 Madagascar – Les Enfants Victimes de l'Exploitation Sexuelle a Antsiranana, Toliary, et Antananarivo: Une Evaluation Rapide Geneva, June 2002, 37 and 53; available from http://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/lang – en/index.htm. See also U.S. Department of State, "Madagascar (Tier 2)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/82902.pdf. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.27.A-D. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo official, E-mail communication, July 22, 2008.

2079 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Madagascar." See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo official, E-mail communication, July 22, 2008.

2080 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Madagascar," section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo official, E-mail communication, July 22, 2008.

2081 Government of Madagascar, Labor Code, article 100.

2082 Ibid., article 101. See also Government of Madagascar, Decret N 2007 -563, (July 3, 2007), articles 10, 12.

2083 Government of Madagascar, Decret N 2007 -563, article 9.

2084 Ibid., articles 2-3.

2085 Ibid., articles 8, 12.

2086 Government of Madagascar, Labor Code, article 261.

2087 Government of Madagascar, Decret N 2007 -563, article 13 and 15. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.30.H.

2088 Government of Madagascar, Code Penal, (June 17, 1972), article 346-347; available from http://droit.francophonie.org/df-web/publication.do?publicationId=2486&sidebar=true.

2089 Government of Madagascar, Decret N 2007 -563, article 13 and 15. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.30.H.

2090 Government of Madagascar, Modifying and Completing Some Provisions of the Penal Code on the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Sexual Tourism, Law No.2007-038, (January 14, 2008), chapter II, articles 6 and 8. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.28.I.

2091 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo official, E-mail communication, July 22, 2008. See also Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Field Listing – Military Service Age and Obligation, [online] March 20, 2008 [cited April 8, 2008]; available from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2024.html.

2092 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, December 3, 2007, para 2.

2093 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Madagascar," section 6d. See also Government of Madagascar, Informations Generales sur la lutte Contre les Pires Formes de Travail des Enfants a Madagascar, submitted in response to U.S. Department of Labor Federal Register Notice (November 8, 2007) "Request for Information on Efforts by Certain Countries to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor", Antananarivo, December 6, 2007.

2094 ILO Committee of Experts, Individual Observation, Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129) Madagascar (ratification: 1971), [online] 2007 [cited December 6, 2007], para 4; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newcountryframeE.htm.

2095 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Madagascar," section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, 2.28.F. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo official, E-mail communication, July 22, 2008.

2096 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Madagascar," section 6d.

2097 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.28.F.

2098 Government of Madagascar, Action Plan 2007-2012, Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, Antananarivo, February 2007; available from http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2007/cr0759.pdf. See also Sandy Wark, Independent Mid-term Evaluation: Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Madagascar (WFCL) – IPEC's contribution to the National Plan of Action to Eliminate Child Labor, Draft Mid-term Evaluation Report, November, 2007, 6-8.

2099 Government of Madagascar, Reply to FRN, December 6, 2007.

2100 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Madagascar," section 6d.

2101 Ibid.

2102 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.28.A-B. See also Government of Madagascar, Trafficking in Persons and Sexual Tourism Law, chapter II, article 6.

2103 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, paras 3.28.A and B, 3.28.I, 3.30.B, and 3.30.H. See also Ministry of Youth and Sports, Programme Intitulé "Contribution a Lutte Contre l'Esclavage Humain et le Trafic de Personnes Chez les Jeunes", Action Plan, Antananarivo, March 2008.

2104 USAID, Anti-trafficking in Persons Programs in Africa: A Review, Washington, DC, April, 2007, 61; available from http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PDACJ521.pdf. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo official, Interview with USDOL official, November 15, 2007. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.29.B and 3.29.K. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, December 3, 2007, para 2c. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo official, E-mail communication, July 22, 2008.

2105 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.30.B.

2106 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Madagascar," section 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Madagascar." See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.30.B.

2107 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 3.29.I. See also USAID, Anti-trafficking in Persons Programs in Africa: A Review, 61.

2108 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, Project Document, i, 43, and 45.

2109 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo official, Interview, November 15, 2007. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar – IPEC's Contribution to the National Action Plan to Eliminate Child Labour, Technical Progress Report, Geneva, September 2007, 3 and 6.

2110 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Madagascar," section 6d. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, Technical Progress Report, 4, and 7.

2111 ILO-IPEC Geneva official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, December 12, 2007.

2112 USAID, Anti-trafficking in Persons Programs in Africa: A Review, 61.

Search Refworld

Countries