Last Updated: Friday, 28 November 2014, 15:42 GMT

2002 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Chad

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 18 April 2003
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2002 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Chad, 18 April 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d74885c.html [accessed 28 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.

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

UNICEF and the Government of Chad are collaborating on a campaign against the worst forms of child labor in Chad.751 In 2001, the government and UNICEF sponsored a number of workshops, seminars, and radio broadcasts to raise awareness of child labor issues.752 In an effort to combat child trafficking, the government has also sponsored media campaigns designed to advise parents on how to instruct children about the danger of trusting strangers.753 In 1997, a mediation body was created by the office of the Prime Minister to prevent the use of child soldiers by the national government and opposition forces.754 The government has undertaken measures to demobilize child soldiers and reintegrate them in civilian life.755

The World Bank, African Development Bank, and European Development Fund have provided financial support to build schools in Chad.756 UNICEF has launched a set of programs intended to increase access to education, especially for girls. Measures taken to improve girls' attendance rates include providing grants that reduce the domestic workloads for girls, and providing grants that offset schooling costs for families.757

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 2000, UNICEF estimated that 65.5 percent of children ages 5 to 14 years in Chad were working.758 Child labor is rare in the formal sector, but it is common in the informal sector, particularly in agriculture and herding.759 In southern Chad, children are contracted to nomadic herders to tend animals. These children are often abused and provided little monetary compensation for their work.760 Children also work for little compensation as domestic servants in the households of relatives.761 Some families arrange marriages for daughters who are as young as 11 or 12 years. Once married, many of these girls are obligated to work long hours in the fields or in the home for their husbands.762 There are allegations that, in isolated instances, local authorities force children to work in the rural sector.763

Despite periodic demobilizations of underage soldiers, there are reports that children continue to work in military installations in the north.764 Children as young as 13 from the Zagava ethnic group have been forcibly recruited into the army. Their responsibilities include detecting landmines on the frontlines.765 In 2001, families in conflict zones reported that they were forced to either provide one of their children to the armed forces as a recruit, or give money or crops as a substitute.766 The Ministry of Justice has also reported that the opposition recruits child soldiers by force.767

Articles 35-38 of the Constitution of March 31,1996 declare that all citizens are entitled to free non-religious education and training.768 However, parents still make considerable contributions toward school costs.769 In 1998, the gross primary enrollment rate was 67.2 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 54.8 percent.770 Educational opportunities for girls are limited, mainly because of tradition, and girls tend not to attend as many years of school as boys.771 In 1996-1997, the gross primary school attendance rate was 54.9 percent, and the net primary attendance rate was 30.2 percent.772

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment in Chad is 14 years, but children may enter into certain nonhazardous forms of labor from the age of 12.773 According to a government decree of 1969, individuals must be 18 or older to perform hazardous work. The government aims to protect children from all forms of exploitation that may impair their moral and physical integrity.774 Articles 271-273 and 276-279 of the Penal Code protect children from sexual exploitation775 while Articles 279-282 protect children from procurement for prostitution.776 The trafficking and prostitution of children can result in a fine and imprisonment from 2 to 5 years.777 The voluntary recruitment age for children is 18 years, however younger children may be recruited with parental consent. The conscription age into the military is 20 years without consent of the child's guardian.778 Forced and compulsory labor are prohibited by the Constitution and the Labor Code.779

The Labor Inspectorate of the Ministry of Labor and Public Affairs is responsible for enforcing labor laws. Due to a lack of resources, from December 1998 to November 1999, no inspections could be made outside of the capital city of N'Djamena.780

The Government of Chad ratified ILO Convention 182 on November 6, 2000, but has not ratified ILO Convention 138.781


751 As part of this project, a base case study was conducted, and various materials, including pamphlets, were produced to raise awareness of the problem of child herders. U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, unclassified telegram no. 1795, November 2001.

752 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2001: Chad, Washington, D.C., March 4, 2002, 133-35, Section 6d [cited December 16, 2002]; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2001/af/ 8307.htm.

753 Ibid., 133-35, Section 6f.

754 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Chad," in Global Report 2001, London, 2001, [cited December 16, 2002]; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/report2001/countries/chad.html. The Committee on the Rights of the Child found that the government has demonstrated awareness and political will regarding the problems of children in armed conflict. However, the committee reported that the government lacks the resources to support the rehabilitation and social reintegration of children withdrawn from labor and from armed conflict. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Chad, CRC/C/15/Add.107, United Nations, Geneva, August 1999, para. 8-10 and 35 [cited December 26, 2002]; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/ doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CRC.C.15.Add.107.En?OpenDocument.

755 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Chad," 2.

756 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of State Parties due in 1992: Chad, CRC/C/3/Add.50, prepared by Government of the Republic of Chad, pursuant to Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, July 1997, para. 158 [cited December 26, 2002]; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/ CRC.C.3.Add.50.En?OpenDocument.

757 UNICEF, Girls' Education in Chad, [online] [cited July 26, 2002]; available from http://www.unicef.org/ programme/girlseducation/action/cases/chad.htm.

758 Children who are working in some capacity include children who have performed any paid or unpaid work for someone who is not a member of the household, who have performed more than four hours of housekeeping chores in the household, or who have performed other family work. See Government of the Republic of Chad, Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS) Report: Chad, UNICEF, Ouagadougou, 2001, 6 and 66 [cited December 16, 2002]; available from http://www.childinfo.org/MICS2/natlMICSrepz/Chad/Chad_MICS_Report.pdf. In 2000, the ILO estimated that approximately 37 percent of children ages 10 to 14 in Chad were working. World Bank, World Development Indicators 2002 [CD-ROM], Washington, D.C., 2002.

759 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Chad, 132-33, Section 6d. See also U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, unclassified telegram no. 1795.

760 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Chad, 132-33, Section 6d.

761 Ibid. See also U.S. Embassy – N'Djamena, unclassified telegram no. 1982, May 1997.

762 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Chad, 132-33, Section 6c. See also U.S. Embassy – N'Djamena, unclassified telegram no. 1982.

763 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Chad, 132-33, Section 6c.

764 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Chad."

765 Ibid. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Chad, 132-33, Section 6c.

766 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Chad."

767 Ibid.

768 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of States Parties: Chad, para. 42, 155.

769 In 1995, it was estimated that parents associations gave approximately 800 million CFA (USD 1,274,048) to schools. Ibid., para 42. For currency conversion, see FX Converter, [online] [cited November 14, 2002]; available from http://www.carosta.de/frames/convert.htm.

770 World Bank, World Development Indicators 2002.

771 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Chad, 132-33, Section 5.

772 In 1996-1997, the gross primary school attendance rate remained much higher for boys than for girls_79.5 percent for boys and 38.1 percent for girls. The net attendance rate was 55.4 percent for boys and 43.4 percent for girls. Measure DHS+, Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), [online] [cited September 11, 2002]; available from http://www.measuredhs.com/.

773 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of States Parties: Chad, para. 197. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Chad, 133-35, Section 6d.

774 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of States Parties: Chad, para. 201.

775 Ibid., para. 200. Ordinance No. 27/PR/68 prohibits sexual exploitation of children in films and videos. Protection Project, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children: A Human Rights Report, Washington, D.C., January 2001, [cited December 26, 2002]; available from http://www.protectionproject.org/vt/2.htm.

776 Protection Project, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Women. See also ECPAT International, Chad, in ECPAT International, [database online] 2002 [cited July 31, 2002]; available from http://www.ecpat.net/eng/Ecpat_inter/ projects/monitoring/online_database/index.asp.

777 Criminal Code, Article 279-80 (Procuring) [cited December 16, 2002]; available from http://www.protectionproject.org/vt/2.htm.

778 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Chad."

779 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Chad, 133-35, Section 6c.

780 ILO-Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, Individual Observation Concerning Convention No. 81, Labour Inspection,1947 Chad (Ratification: 1965), Geneva, 2002, [cited August 22, 2002]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newcountryframeE.htm.

781 ILO, Ratifications by Country, in ILOLEX, [database online] [cited August 29, 2002]; available from http://ilolex.ch:1567/english/newratframeE.htm.

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