2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Bhutan
|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 - Bhutan, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d7492350.html [accessed 1 February 2015]|
|Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor|
|Percent of children 10-14 estimated as working in 2003:||19.6%472|
|Minimum age for admission to work:||18473|
|Age to which education is compulsory:||17474|
|Free public education:||Yes475|
|Gross primary enrollment rate:||Unavailable|
|Net primary enrollment rate:||Unavailable|
|Percent of children 5-14 attending school in 2003:||69%476|
|As of 2000, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:||91%477|
|Ratified Convention 138:||Non-ILO member478|
|Ratified Convention 182:||Non-ILO member479|
|ILO-IPEC participating country:||No480|
Incidence and Nature of Child Labor
In 2003, approximately 16.1 percent of boys and 22.7 percent of girls ages 10 to 14 were working in Bhutan. The majority of working children were found in the agricultural sector (92.2 percent), followed by services (1.9 percent), manufacturing (0.1 percent), and other sectors (5.9 percent).481 Children working in agriculture do so primarily on family farms.482 Migrant workers including child workers as young as 11 are found in road construction.483 Children also work as doma sellers and as street vendors;484 according to UNICEF, they are also involved in commercial sexual exploitation.485
Child Labor Laws and Enforcement
Bhutanese law prohibits the employment of children and states that candidates seeking employment shall have attained the age of majority, 18 years, to be eligible for appointment to any post in a business establishment.486 The Ministry of Labor reportedly conducts 10 to 15 inspections per week, most of which are in the construction sector, where most foreign child workers are found.487 Forced labor is prohibited by Bhutanese law.488 Bhutanese law also criminalizes sex crimes and offenses against children.489 According to the law of Bhutan, child trafficking has a minimum penalty of 3 years.490 Prostitution is a felony with penalties varying according to the age of the child.491 Children are permitted to enlist in the armed forces at 15 years.492
Current Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor
Research has not identified any policies or programs by the Government of Bhutan to address exploitive child labor.
472 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, March 1, 2007.
473 Government of Bhutan, Rules and Regulations on Employment of Bhutanese Nationals in the Private Sector, (1997).
474 U.S. Department of State, "Bhutan," 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/2006/78870.htm.
476 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Attendance Statistics, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.
477 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Survival Rate to Grade 5. Total, accessed December 18, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.
478 ILO, Alphabetical list of ILO member countries, [online] 2006 [cited December 21, 2006]; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/relm/country.htm.
480 ILO, IPEC Actions Against Child Labour – Highlights 2006, Geneva, October 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20070228_Implementationreport_en_Web.pdf.
481 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates.
482 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Bhutan," Section 6d.
483 U.S. Embassy – New Delhi, reporting September 17, 2004.
484 UNICEF, Report on Assessment of Protection Factors of Children in Bhutan, Ministry of Health, Thimphu, 2004.
486 United Nations, Initial Reports of State Parties due in 1992: Bhutan, October 14, 1999, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of State Parties due in 1992: Bhutan, CRC/C/3/Add.60, prepared by Government of Bhutan, pursuant to Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, October 1999. See also Government of Bhutan, Rules and Regulations on Employment.
487 U.S. Embassy – New Delhi, reporting September 17, 2004.
488 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Bhutan," Section 6c.
489 U.S. Embassy – New Delhi, reporting September 17, 2004.
490 Government of Bhutan, Penal Code of Bhutan, para 3(a).
491 Ibid., para. 380.
492 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Summary Record of the 715th Meeting: Bhutan, United Nations, Geneva, June 2001.