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2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tanzania

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 29 April 2004
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tanzania, 29 April 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8ca37c.html [accessed 18 September 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

The Government of Tanzania became a member of ILO-IPEC in 1994.[4185] Since 1995, ILO-IPEC has implemented 40 action programs in Tanzania to address child labor.[4186] ILO-IPEC has worked with the Ministry of Labor, Youth Development and Sports in providing training on child labor issues for labor inspectors to support them in reporting on the incidence of hazardous forms of child labor.[4187] The Ministry of Community Development, Women Affairs and Children, with support from ILO-IPEC, has provided training to community development workers to enhance their capacity to include child labor in district-level community development plans.[4188] The Ministry of Community Development, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and various municipal authorities have also collaborated in an ILO-IPEC supported project run by the Kiota Women Health and Development Organization that focuses on prevention, withdrawal and rehabilitation of girls engaged in prostitution.[4189] A number of government ministries have established child labor units, including the Ministry of Labor, Youth Development and Sports; the Bureau of Statistics; and the Department of Information Services.[4190]

In 2000, Tanzania joined four other countries participating in an ILO-IPEC program, funded by USDOL, to remove children from exploitative work in commercial agriculture.[4191] In June 2001, the Government of Tanzania announced that it would initiate an ILO-IPEC Time-Bound Program, a comprehensive, national level project to eliminate the worst forms of child labor by 2010, in line with Tanzania's National Development Provision 2025 and the country's poverty eradication strategy. The first phase of this project, with funding from USDOL, aims to combat child labor in abusive forms of domestic work and in the commercial sex, commercial agriculture and mining sectors in 11 districts.[4192] In September 2002, the Tanzanian Ministry of Labor, Youth Development and Sports and the Ministry of Education and Culture signed a letter of agreement with USDOL expressing support for the Time-Bound Program, noting the U.S. Government's funding of grants to ILO-IPEC and the Education Development Center in Tanzania in support of this initiative.[4193]

The Government of Tanzania has included elimination of child labor as an objective of its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and has included preparation of a child labor action plan in its workplan.[4194] The strategy paper established the Poverty Monitoring Master Plan (PMMP), which includes children in the labor force as a poverty monitoring indicator.[4195] From April 2000 to March 2001, the government conducted a child labor survey with technical assistance from ILO-IPEC's SIMPOC.[4196] In May 2003 the Tanzanian Ministry of Labor and the National Bureau of Statistics released the Integrated Labor Force Survey for 2000/1, which updates the 1990/91 national labor survey. The ILFS includes data regarding children in the labor force.[4197]

Tanzania's Basic Education Master Plan aims to achieve universal access to basic education for children over the age of 7, and ensure that at least 80 percent of children complete primary education and are able to read and write by the age of 15.[4198] Under the plan, the government abolished school fees to promote children's enrollment in primary school.[4199] With support from UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and Culture has launched a 3-year program, Complementary Basic Education in the United Republic of Tanzania, to help children who have dropped out of school reintegrate into the system.[4200] The Ministry of Education and Culture has launched a Community Education Fund with World Bank support to improve the school infrastructure.[4201] Through the Primary Education Development Program, the World Bank is supporting Government of Tanzania efforts to improve education quality, enhance access to schooling and increase school retention at the primary level.[4202] In January 2002, the government introduced a grant to support the building and improvement of classrooms that amounts to the provision of USD 400 per school per year on average.[4203] In June 2002, the Government of Tanzania was selected to receive funding from the World Bank and other donors under the Education for All Fast Track Initiative, which aims to provide all children with a primary school education by the year 2015.[4204] In 1997, Tanzania joined ILO-IPEC's Action Against Child Labor through the Education and Training Project, which has mobilized teachers, educators and their organizations, and the general public to launch campaigns against child labor at the local and national levels.[4205]

With funding from USAID, the Government of Tanzania in 1998 launched the Social Action Trust Fund (SATF), which provides grants to community groups and NGOs that work with victims of HIV/AIDS and their families. SATF grants have provided assistance to 13,525 AIDS orphans in 14 regions, supporting primary and secondary education for children who were unable to pay school fees and uniform and book costs because of the loss of their parents to AIDS.[4206] HIV/AIDS has led to many children being orphaned and left vulnerable to child labor because of the need to provide for themselves.[4207]

Under its strategy paper, Tanzania established an Education Fund to support children from poor families.[4208] Tanzania has also identified education as a strategy for combating poverty under its Development Vision 2025 and its Poverty Eradication Strategy 2015. The country's poverty eradication agenda includes ensuring all children the right to basic quality education.[4209]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In the 2000/2001 labor force survey, ILO-IPEC and the National Bureau of Statistics of Tanzania , reported that 39.6 percent of children ages 5 to 17 were economically active, while 47.8 percent were engaged in housekeeping activities.[4210] Participation in economic activities was highest in rural areas, while urban areas claimed the higher proportion of engagement in activities within the household.[4211] Of economically active children, 97 percent are unpaid and working for family members.[4212]

Children work on commercial tea,[4213] coffee,[4214] sugar cane,[4215] sisal,[4216] cloves,[4217] and tobacco farms,[4218] and in the production of corn, green algae (seaweed), pyrethrum, rubber, and wheat.[4219] Children also work in underground mines.[4220] Children ages 7 to 13 years work in mine pits an average of 4 to 5 hours perday, while children ages 14 to 18 years work on average 7 hours per day. Children working in bars and restaurants near the mines work even longer hours, with children ages 10 to 13 years working an average of 14 hours per day.[4221] In the informal sector, children are engaged in scavenging, fishing, fish processing, informal quarrying, and work in informal garages.[4222] Children also work in domestic service.[4223] In 2000, the survey indicated that children younger than 17 years comprise 80 percent of domestic workers.[4224] Other children work as barmaids, street vendors, car washers, shoe shiners, carpenters, and auto repair mechanics.[4225] Girls as young as 7 years old, and increasingly boys, are reportedly subject to commercial sexual exploitation.[4226] Children from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have also been identified engaging in prostitution in Tanzania.[4227]

According to reports, children have been trafficked to work in the fishing industry, mines, commercial agriculture, and domestic service.[4228] Children are trafficked from rural areas for use in the commercial sex sector. Such children are often lured with false promises of work in urban areas as house girls, barmaids, and in hair salons.[4229] It is reported that female children are trafficked from Tanzania to South Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the United States for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.[4230] Children in the country's large refugee population have been particularly vulnerable to being trafficked to work on commercial farms.[4231] Some have also been taken from refugee camps to be trained as child soldiers in neighboring countries.[4232]

Education in Tanzania is compulsory for 7 years, until children reach the age of 15, but families must pay for enrollment fees, books and uniforms.[4233] In 2000, the gross primary enrollment rate was 63.0 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 46.7 percent.[4234] In 2001, 56.9 percent of children aged 5 to 17 attended school.[4235] In 1999, 81.8 percent of children enrolled in primary school reached grade 5.[4236]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Employment Ordinance of 1956 sets the minimum age for employment at 15 years, and prohibits children from working near machinery orengaging in underground work. The law does not restrict children from working in agriculture.[4237] Under the Employment Ordinance, employers are obliged to maintain registers listing the age of workers, working conditions, the nature of employment, and commencement and termination dates.[4238] Tanzania's Constitution prohibits forced or compulsory labor.[4239] Tanzanian law considers sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 18 as rape,[4240] which is punishable with life imprisonment.[4241] The Tanzanian Penal Code was amended in 2001 to include aprovision criminalizing trafficking within or outside Tanzania.[4242]

Several government agencies have jurisdiction over areas related to child labor, but primary responsibility for enforcing the country's child labor laws rests with the Ministry of Labor, Youth Development and Sports. A Child Labor Unit within the Ministry of Labor, as the secretariat for the National Child Labour Elimination Steering Committee, serves as aliaison between the various government ministries and stakeholders. It is responsible for administering child labor-related projects, conducting the child labor component of the labor inspector training, and gathering and disseminating data on child labor.[4243] At the community level, child labor monitoring committees have been established in areas with a high frequency of child labor.[4244]

The Government of Tanzania ratified ILO Convention 138 on December 16, 1998, and ratified ILO Convention 182 on September 12, 2001.[4245]


[4185] ILO-IPEC, All About IPEC: Programme Countries; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/about/countries/t_country.htm.

[4186] ILO-IPEC, Tanzania: Focusing on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, Dar es Salaam, 2001, 14.

[4187] Ibid.

[4188] Ibid.

[4189] Kiwohede, Annual Activity Report for the Year 1999-2000, Kiota Women Health and Development Organisation, Dar es Salaam, 2000, 8-9. See also Bill Rau for ILO-IPEC, Combating Child Labour and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, no. 1, Geneva, July 2002, 49.

[4190] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2002: Tanzania, Washington, D.C., March 31, 2003, Section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18230.htm.

[4191] ILO-IPEC, Prevention, Withdrawal and Rehabilitation of Children Engaged in Hazardous Work in the Commercial Agricultural Sector in Africa, program document, November 1, 2000.

[4192] ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Time-Bound Program on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Tanzania, project document, Geneva, 2001, vii and 27. See President of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Mr. Benjamin Mkapa, Address at the Special High-level Session on the Launch of the Time Bound Programme on the Worst Forms of Child Labour in the Republic of El Salvador, the Kingdom of Nepal and the United Republic of Tanzania, June 12, 2001; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/relm/ilc/ilc89/a-mkapa.htm.

[4193] U.S. Embassy-Dar es Salaam, U.S. Labour Department Funds Education Program to Combat Child Labor in Tanzania, September 10, 2002. See U.S. Embassy-Dar es Salaam, unclassified telegram no. 2966, October 23, 2002.

[4194] United Republic of Tanzania, Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper: Progress Report 2000/2001, August 14, 2001, 4, 43.

[4195] Government of Tanzania, The United Republic of Tanzania Poverty Monitoring Master Plan – Tanzania, ILO, [online] 2001 [cited August 15, 2003]; available from http://www.logos-net.net/ilo/150_base/en/init/tan_2.htm.

[4196] Christine Minja-Trupin and Michael Trupin, Time Bound Programme on the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Tanzania: Summary Report of the National Round Table – Prepared for the International Labour Organisation/International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour, Local Perspective Ltd., Dar es Salaam, May 2001, 6. See also United Republic of Tanzania, letter to USDOL official, October 4, 2002.

[4197] U.S. Embassy-Dar es Salaam, unclassified telegram no. 1948, August 18, 2003.

[4198] UNESCO, Education for All 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Tanzania, prepared by Ministry of Education and Culture, pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution 52/84, 1999, 2.2 available from http://www2.unesco.org/wef/countryreports/tanzania/contents.html.

[4199] United Republic of Tanzania, letter, October 4, 2002.

[4200] Minja-Trupin and Trupin, Time Bound Programme on the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Tanzania: Summary Report, 16. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating Child Labour and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, 45.

[4201] Minja-Trupin and Trupin, Time Bound Programme on the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Tanzania: Summary Report, 16.

[4202] World Bank, Tanzania: Primary Education Development Program, PID10068, August 13, 2001, 2.

[4203] United Republic of Tanzania, letter, October 4, 2002.

[4204] World Bank, World Bank Announces First Group Of Countries For 'Education For All' Fast Track, press release, Washington, D.C., June 12, 2002; available from http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,, contentMDK:20049839~menuPK:34463~pagePK:34370~ piPK:34424,00.html.

[4205] ILO-IPEC, Action Against the Worst Forms of Child Labour through Education and Training, outline paper, Geneva, January 1999, 6-7. See also ILO-IPEC, Tanzania: Focusing on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, 19.

[4206] USAID, Social Action Trust Fund Provides Credit for Entrepreneurs and Education for Orphans; available from http://www.usaid.gov/regions/afr/success_stories/tanzania.html.

[4207] ILO-IPEC, Tanzania: Focusing on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, 12.

[4208] United Republic of Tanzania, Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, 4, 44.

[4209] UNESCO, EFA Country Report: Tanzania.

[4210] According to the survey, economically active children are defined as working children and housekeeping activities include cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, taking care of young children or the elderly, and shopping. National Bureau of Statistics, Child Labor in Tanzania, Country Report: 2000/2001 Integrated Labour Force and Child Labour Survey, no date, xii, 30.

[4211] Ibid., 30.

[4212] Ibid., 41.

[4213] M. J. Gonza and P. Moshi, Tanzania Children Working in Commercial Agriculture – Tea : A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, January 2002.

[4214] George S. Nchahaga, Children Working in Commercial Agriculture – Coffee: A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, 2002, 29-32.

[4215] ILO-IPEC, Investigating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Tanzania: Rapid Assessments in the Informal Sector, Mining, Child Prostitution and Commercial Agriculture (Draft Report), Dar es Salaam, 2000, 4.

[4216] A plant that yields a stiff fiber used for cordage and rope. See ILO-IPEC, Tanzania: Focusing on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, 15.

[4217] Ibid.

[4218] A. Masudi, A. Ishumi, F. Mbeo, and W. Sambo, Tanzania Child Labour in Commercial Agriculture – Tobacco: A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, November 2001.

[4219] U.S. Department of Labor, By the Sweat and Toil of Children: Efforts to Eliminate Child Labor (Volume 5), Washington, D.C., 1998, 165.

[4220] J. A. Mwami, A.J. Sanga, and J. Nyoni, Tanzania Children Labour in Mining: A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, January 2002, 37-39. See also Situation Analysis Report on Hazardous Child Labor in the Three Sectors: Plantations and Agriculture, Domestic and Allied Workers Union, and Tanzania Mining and Construction Workers Union, Federation of Free Trade Unions, Dar es Salaam, 1997, xi.

[4221] Mwami, Sanga, and Nyoni, Tanzania Children Labour in Mining, 37-39.

[4222] C. Kadonya, M. Madihi, and S. Mtwana, Tanzania Child Labour in the Informal Sector: A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, January 2002, 33-48. See also Sachiko Nishioka, ILO-IPEC Street Children Intervention and Preventive Strategies Against the Worst Forms of Child Labour: A Case Study of United Republic of Tanzania, ILO, Dar es Salaam, 1999, 7. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Tanzania, Section 6d.

[4223] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Tanzania, Section 6d.

[4224] ILO-IPEC, Combating Child Labour and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, 41.

[4225] U.S. Department of Labor, By the Sweat and Toil of Children, 165.

[4226] U.S. Embassy-Dar es Salaam, unclassified telegram no. 1948. See also The Protection Project, "Tanzania," in Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children: A Country-by-Country Report on a Contemporary Form of Slavery, March 2002; available from http://209.190.246.239/ver2/cr/Tanzania.pdf.

[4227] E. Kamala, E. Lusinde, J. Millinga, J. Mwaitula, M.J. Gonza, M.G. Juma, and H.A. Khamis, Tanzania Children in Prostitution: A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, November 2001, 20.

[4228] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Tanzania, Section 6f. See also U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report – 2003: Tanzania, Washington, D.C., June 11, 2003; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2003/21273.htm.

[4229] Kamala, Lusinde, Millinga, Mwaitula, Gonza, Juma, and Khamis, Tanzania Children in Prostitution, 20. See also U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report: Tanzania.

[4230] U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report: Tanzania.

[4231] Ibid.

[4232] Ibid.

[4233] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Tanzania, Section 5.

[4234] World Bank, World Development Indicators 2003 [CD-ROM], Washington, D.C., 2003.

[4235] School attendance peaked in the 10 to 14 age group, or the age of completion of primary school. See National Bureau of Statistics, 2000/2001 Integrated Labour Force Survey, 24-25.

[4236] World Bank, World Development Indicators 2003.

[4237] The Employment Ordinance states that any employer found to be in violation of child labor laws is subject to a fine of 2,000 to 4,000 shillings (USD 1.95 to 3.90) and/or 3 to 6 months of imprisonment. See Law Reform Commission of Tanzania, Report of the Commission on the Law Relating to Children in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, 1997, 131-32. See also United Republic of Tanzania, letter, October 4, 2002. See also FXConverter, [cited September 23, 2003]; available from http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic.

[4238] Law Reform Commission of Tanzania, Report of the Commission, 131.

[4239] Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977, Chapter 1, Section 25(2); available from http://www.tanzania.go.tz/images/theconstitutionof theunitedrepublicoftanzania1.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Tanzania, Section 6c.

[4240] Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act, 1998 (Act No. 4 of 1998), (July 1, 1998), Section 5(2)(e). See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Tanzania, Section 5.

[4241] Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act, Section 6(2).

[4242] U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report: Tanzania.

[4243] National Roundtable Discussion on the Time-Bound Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, Time-Bound Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Tanzania: Summary of the Institutional and Policy Study, April, 2001, 15-16.

[4244] ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Time-Bound Program, 17-18. See also U.S. Embassy-Dar es Salaam, unclassified telegram no. 1948.

[4245] ILO, Ratifications by Country, in ILOLEX, [database online]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.

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