Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 14:57 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Madagascar

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 - Madagascar, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d74941c.html [accessed 27 August 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 6-14 estimated as working in 2001:24.3%2547
Minimum age of work:152548
Age to which education is compulsory:142549
Free public education:Yes2550
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2004:134%2551
Net primary enrollment rate in 2004:89%2552
Percent of children 6-14 attending school in 2001:65.6%2553
As of 2003, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:57%2554
Ratified Convention 138:5/31/20002555
Ratified Convention 182:10/4/20012556
ILO-IPEC participating country:Yes2557

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 2001, approximately 24.8 percent of boys and 23.7 percent of girls ages 6 to 14 were working in Madagascar.2558 In urban areas, it is common for children to work in domestic service.2559 They also work in bars and restaurants; in petty trading; welding and mechanical work; and transporting goods by rickshaw. Children also engage in salt production near the city of Toliara. In coastal areas, children work in fishing, deep sea diving, and in the shrimp industry. In rural areas, children work in agriculture on family subsistence farms, sisal and other plantations; fruit tree picking; and cattle herding – which is particularly dangerous because of the high incidence of armed cattle theft.2560

Malagasy children work in mining and quarrying, often alongside their families. Throughout the country and at Ilakaka (one major site in the south), children are involved in mining precious and semi-precious stones, as well as in informal-sector work in and around the mines. Children also work in stone quarries, performing tasks such as breaking and carrying baskets full of stones. Children as young as 5 years are found working at mining sites, and children as young as 3 years work at stone quarries.2561 The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a problem in most of Madagascar's urban areas, including the capital city of Antananarivo; also, child sex tourism is common in small coastal towns and villages,2562 especially in Tamatave, Nosy Be, and Diego Suarez.2563 Children exploited in prostitution are known to solicit customers on the streets or in nightclubs.2564

Children in Madagascar are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation and forced labor.2565 Malagasy children are trafficked for forced labor in gemstone mining, salt production, and loading produce onto trucks. They are trafficked from rural to urban areas for domestic work and prostitution.2566 There are reports that an active network is trafficking young girls to Antananarivo for prostitution; in some cases, this was facilitated by family members, friends, and taxi and rickshaw drivers. Some of the children engaged in prostitution in coastal cities were forced into it after being recruited in Antananarivo under false pretenses of employment as domestic workers and waitresses.2567 In Madagascar, the children at the highest risk of being trafficked include young boys and girls for labor, young girls for commercial sexual exploitation, and babies for international adoption.2568

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment is 15 years.2569 The law also prohibits children from engaging in work that is harmful to their health and normal development.2570 Children under 18 years are prohibited from performing work at night, on Sundays, in places that endanger children's health, safety, or morals, or in excess of 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.2571 Parents must give their permission for children to work, and before children are hired, a medical examination is required to ensure that the work to be performed does not exceed their capacity.2572 In 2006, the government modified its child labor laws and increased the penalties for violations. Violations can now result in a fine and 1 to 3 years of imprisonment.2573

Forced or compulsory labor by children is prohibited under the law.2574 The law prohibits engaging in sexual activities of any kind with children under 14, as well as the production and dissemination of pornographic materials showing children.2575 Engaging in sexual activity with children under 14 is punishable by 5 to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine. 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.2576 The law also prohibits children under 18 years from entering bars, discotheques, and nightclubs.2577 According to the U.S. Department of State, laws against the commercial sexual exploitation of children are inconsistent with respect to age.2578 There is no law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons; however, traffickers can be prosecuted under laws prohibiting sex tourism, pedophilia,2579 and labor exploitation.2580 Malagasy law sets the age of conscription for military service at 18 years, but contains no provisions regarding the minimum age for enlistment.2581

The Ministry of Civil Services and Labor is responsible for conducting labor inspections and enforcing laws related to child labor. However, labor inspectors are not responsible for enforcement in rural areas or the informal sector, where most children work,2582 and, according to the U.S. Department of State, the government's enforcement of child labor laws in the informal sector was problematic.2583 As of the end of 2006, the government employed 77 labor inspectors.2584 Provincial Child Labor Monitoring Units based in Antananarivo, Tulear, and Diego Suarez are responsible for tracking children engaged in the worst forms of child labor and are reporting this information to the National Committee to Combat Child Labor, which is comprised of government, NGOs, and civil society representatives.2585 In 2006, the government prosecuted at least three foreign nationals for child sex tourism.2586

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for enforcing laws related to trafficking,2587 and the President's Inter-Ministerial Anti-Trafficking Committee is responsible for monitoring the government's efforts to fight trafficking.2588

Police officers in the capital continued to enforce the law banning children from nightclubs; however, a lack of vehicles prevented police in other areas from enforcing this law.2589

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

In 2006, the Government of Madagascar engaged in numerous activities to combat child labor including opening new reintegration centers in Tamatave and Tulear for children engaged in prostitution and forced labor, as well as continuing to operate another reintegration center in Antananarivo.2590 In 2006, a number of ministries conducted awareness raising and other activities, which aimed to prevent child prostitution, child sex tourism, child trafficking, and child labor in the country.2591 The government and UNICEF also provided technical assistance to child protection networks consisting of government and civil society representatives that provided rehabilitation, psychosocial services, and vocational and skills training to children engaged in forced labor and prostitution.2592

The Government of Madagascar continues to implement its 15-year National Action Plan on Child Labor, which seeks to address child labor by building organizational and technical capacity, strengthening the regulatory and legal frameworks, developing a national education and training program for children involved in the worst forms of child labor, and conducting direct action programs.2593 As part of these efforts, the government is collaborating with ILOIPEC on the implementation of a 4-year, USD 4.75 million Timebound Program funded by USDOL to combat the worst forms of child labor.2594 The Timebound Program aims to withdraw 6,500 children and prevent 3,500 children from exploitive labor through the provision of educational alternatives, including children working in prostitution, domestic work, stone quarrying, mining, and children working under hazardous and unhealthy conditions in the informal sector, including fishing and sisal plantation work.2595 In 2006, the government and the ILO conducted a red card campaign to raise public awareness on child labor, child trafficking, and child protection.2596 The government also collaborates with ILOIPEC on two francophone Africa regional child labor projects with activities in Madagascar, funded by France for USD 3.6 million and USD 4.9 million.2597

The President's Inter-Ministerial Anti-Trafficking Committee continued to implement its National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons. During 2006, various government ministries collaborated with NGOs to provide several trainings to magistrates, government officials, and police officers on trafficking.2598

In 2006, USAID awarded a USD 400,000 grant to Catholic Relief Services to implement the Fight Against Trafficking and Abuse program in Madagascar in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and NGOs over 2 years. The project will target the high-risk areas of Nosy Be, Toamasina, and Toliary; its activities will include raising awareness about human trafficking; building the capacity of local organizations to offer prevention, protection and reintegration services to trafficking victims; and facilitating legal actions to fight trafficking.2599


2547 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, March 1, 2007.

2548 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed October 8, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm. See also U.S. Department of State, "Madagascar," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78743.htm.

2549 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 5.

2550 Government of Madagascar, Constitution of Madagascar, (August 19, 1992); available from http://www.oefre.unibe.ch/law/icl/ma00000_.html.

2551 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

2552 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrolment Rate. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

2553 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates.

2554 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Survival Rate to Grade 5. Total, accessed December 18, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

2555 ILO, Ratifications by Country.

2556 Ibid.

2557 ILO-IPEC, IPEC Action Against Child Labour: Highlights 2006, Geneva, October, 2006, 30; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20070228_Implementationreport_en_Web.pdf.

2558 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates.

2559 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, 7.

2560 Ibid., 5-8. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d.

2561 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, project document, 5-6. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d.

2562 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, project document, 6. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Madagascar, accessed October 7, 2006; available from http://www.ecpat.net.

2563 U.S. Department of State, "Madagascar (Tier 2)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006, Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65989.htm. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar."

2564 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, project document, 6.

2565 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Madagascar."

2566 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2567 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Madagascar." See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2568 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2569 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 17, 2006.

2570 Government of Madagascar, Madagascar Labor Code, Loi no. 94-029 (August 25, 1995), Title V. Conditions of Work, Chapter III. Work of Women and Children, Article 100; available from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/41776/64975/F95MDG01.htm. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d.

2571 Government of Madagascar, Madagascar Labor Code, Chapter III, Articles 95 and 101. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d.

2572 Labor Code, (August 25, 1995), Title V. Conditions of Work, Chapter III. Work of Women and Children, Article 101; available from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/41776/64975/F95MDG01.htm. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d.

2573 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 17, 2006. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, August 23, 2005.

2574 Government of Madagascar, Madagascar Labor Code, Title I. General Dispositions, Article 3. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6c.

2575 Government of Madagascar, Droits de L'enfant, (December 28, 2001), 421-423.

2576 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2577 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Madagascar." See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2578 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Madagascar."

2579 Ibid. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2580 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2581 ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request, Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Madagascar (ratification: 2001), [online] 2006 [cited October 8, 2006]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newcountryframeE.htm. See also Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Madagascar," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/resources/global-reports.

2582 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, project document, 10. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d.

2583 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d.

2584 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, Worst Forms of Child Labor Update: Madagascar and Comoros, submitted in response to U.S. Department of Labor Federal Register Notice (December 5, 2006) "Request for Information on Efforts to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor", December 18, 2006.

2585 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 17, 2006. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, December 19, 2006.

2586 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2587 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 5.

2588 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2589 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Madagascar."

2590 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, Worst Forms of Child Labor Update: Madagascar, December 18, 2006.

2591 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 17, 2006. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Madagascar." See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2592 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Madagascar." See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, Worst Forms of Child Labor Update: Madagascar, December 18, 2006. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 17, 2006.

2593 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, project document, 11. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d.

2594 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Madagascar, project document, i.

2595 Ibid., 43.

2596 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Madagascar," Section 6d.

2597 ILO-IPEC Geneva official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, November 16, 2006.

2598 U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, March 6, 2007.

2599 U.S. Mission to Madagascar and the Comoros, U.S. Ambassador Launches Anti-Trafficking Program, press release, September 26, 2006; available from http://www.usmission.mg/prtraffickeng.htm. See also U.S. Embassy – Antananarivo, reporting, August 23, 2005.

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