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

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Swaziland

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 - Swaziland, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d74955c.html [accessed 22 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 Labor
Percent of children 5-14 estimated as working:9.6%3943
Minimum age for admission to work:No3944
Age to which education is compulsory:123945
Free public education:No3946
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2002:98%3947
Net primary enrollment rate in 2002:75%3948
Percent of children 5-14 attending school:74.3%3949
As of 2002, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:77%3950
Ratified Convention 138:10/23/20023951
Ratified Convention 182:10/23/20023952
ILO-IPEC participating country:No3953

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children in Swaziland work in agriculture (particularly in the eastern region), and as domestic workers and herders.3954 Children are also found working on the streets as traders, hawkers, bus and taxi conductors, load bearers, and car washers.3955 There are reports that Swazi and Mozambican girls are engaged in commercial sexual exploitation in Swaziland and are trafficked to South Africa for domestic labor and forced prostitution.3956

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law provides children with the right to be protected from work that jeopardizes their health, education, or development.3957 The law distinguishes between a "child" (under 15 years) and a "young person" (between 15 and 17), but does not establish a blanket minimum age of employment.3958 Children under 15 are only allowed to work in firms where family members are employed or in technical schools under supervision.3959 The law prohibits children and young persons under 18 years from working in mines, quarries or underground, in premises that sell alcohol for consumption on site, or in any sector that is dangerous to their safety, health, or moral development.3960 The law also prohibits children from working during school hours and for more than 4 hours continuously.3961 Children may not work between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m., except for an apprenticeship or vocational training approved by the Minister of Labor.3962 Children are limited to 6 hours of work per day and 33 hours per week.3963 The Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing child labor laws, but its effectiveness is limited by shortages of personnel to conduct regular inspections, according to the U.S. Department of State.3964

Children are protected by law from commercial sexual exploitation3965 and child pornography.3966 Forced and bonded labor, including by children, is also prohibited.3967 There is no law prohibiting trafficking in persons.3968 Children under the age 18 are prohibited from enlisting in the military.3969

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

The Government of Swaziland is working with ILO-IPEC to implement a USDOL-funded regional child labor project in Southern Africa. This USD 5 million project aims to expand the knowledge base on exploitive child labor in Swaziland and facilitate the development of a national child labor action plan.3970 The American Institutes for Research, with the support of the Government of Swaziland and Save the Children Swaziland, is implementing another regional, USDOL-funded project. This USD 9 million project is designed to improve the quality of and access to basic and vocational education for children working or at-risk of working in the worst forms of child labor.3971 Over its lifetime, this project aims to prevent 10,000 children in five countries, including Swaziland, from engaging in exploitive labor.3972


3943 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, October 7, 2005.

3944 U.S. Department of State, "Swaziland," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006 Washington, DC, March 6, 2007, Section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78760.htm.

3945 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Ending Age of Compulsory Education, accessed February 9, 2007; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx.

3946 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Swaziland," Section 5.

3947 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

3948 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

3949 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Survival Rate to Grade 5. Total accessed December 18, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

3950 Ibid.

3951 ILO, Ratifications by Country, [cited September 25, 2006]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/docs/declAFpr.htm.

3952 Ibid.

3953 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.

3954 U.S. Department of State, "Swaziland," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005 Washington, DC, March 8, 2006, Section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61595.htm.

3955 ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Programme to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour in South Africa's Child Labour Action Programme and Laying the Basis for Concerted Action Against Worst Forms of Child Labour in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, project document, Geneva, September 30, 2003, Annex II, 22-23.

3956 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Swaziland," Section 5. See also The Protection Project, "Swaziland," in Human Rights Report on the Trafficking of Persons, Especially Women and Children: A Country-by-Country Report on a Contemporary Form of Slavery, 2005; available from http://www.protectionproject.org.

3957 U.S. Embassy – Mbabane, reporting, December 18, 2006, para A.

3958 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Swaziland," Section 6d.

3959 Ibid. See also Dawie Bosch Nomthetho Simelane, and Debbie Budlender, Scoping Report on Child Labour in Swaziland, Geneva, August, 2003, 9.

3960 Nomthetho Simelane, Scoping Report Swaziland, 9. See also ILO-IPEC., Supporting the Timebound Programme to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour in South Africa's Child Labour Action Programme and Laying the Basis for Concerted Action Against Worst Forms of Child Labour in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, project document, Geneva, September 30, 2003, Annex 2, 21. See also Government of Swaziland, King and Parliament of Swaziland; The Employment Act, 1980; available from http://www.doingbusiness.org/Documents/LawLibrary/Swaziland-Employment-Act-1980-(Excerpts).pdf.

3961 ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Programme Annex II, 21.

3962 Government of Swaziland, Employment Act 1980, Para 98 (1).

3963 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Swaziland," Section 6d.

3964 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2005: Swaziland," Section 6d.

3965 Nomthetho Simelane, Scoping Report Swaziland, 11.

3966 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Swaziland," Section 5.

3967 Ibid., Section 6c.

3968 Ibid.

3969 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Solidiers Global Report 2004, London, March 2004, 102; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=966.

3970 ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Programme 10. See also ILO-IPEC, Annexure to TECL Project Document: Strategy for Swaziland project document country annex, Geneva, May 2005.

3971 American Institutes for Research, Reducing Exploitive Child Labor Southern Africa (RECLISA), project document, Washington September 8, 2005, 2.

3972 Ibid., 22.

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