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2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Papua New Guinea

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 27 August 2008
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Papua New Guinea, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa487c.html [accessed 24 July 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 Labor2733
Working children, 5-14 years (%):
Working boys, 5-14 years (%):
Working girls, 5-14 years (%):
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:16
Compulsory education age:Not compulsory
Free public education:No
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2003:77
Net primary enrollment rate (%):
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2002:68
ILO-IPEC participating country:No

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In rural areas, children work in subsistence and commercial agriculture, including tea and coffee farms, fisheries, and in grocery stores near isolated mine and logging camps.2734 In urban areas, children sell food items on the streets and public places.2735 A large number of children are engaged in domestic service. Some of these children are exploited, working long hours without rest or access to education. Additionally, children are held in indentured servitude as domestic servants to pay off familial debts.2736 Children are involved in commercial sexual exploitation in Papua New Guinea, typically working in bars or nightclubs.2737 Children are trafficked into Papua New Guinea for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation, and are also trafficked internally for domestic service and commercial sexual exploitation.2738

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age for employment at 16 years, and the minimum age for hazardous work at 18 years.2739 Children 11 to 18 years, however, may work in family businesses by obtaining medical clearance, parental permission, and a work permit from the labor office.2740 Work performed by children 11 to 16 years must not interfere with school attendance.2741 Work by children under 11 years is prohibited.2742 Children may not work between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless they are 16 to 17 years old and a family member is also employed there. Penalties for child labor violations range from a fine to 2 years of imprisonment.2743

The law prohibits forced labor.2744 The law also prohibits indecent treatment of boys younger than 14 years, indecent treatment and defilement of girls younger than 16 years, and the abduction, kidnapping, or procurement of girls below 18 years for sexual exploitation. Under the law, children below 18 years cannot be charged with prostitution.2745 There is no compulsory military service in Papua New Guinea; the minimum age for voluntary military service is 18, or 16 years with parental approval.2746

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and the Department of Police are responsible for implementing and enforcing child labor laws. However, USDOS reports that enforcement by those departments has been poor and that inspectors do not have the resources to address child labor.2747

Current Government Efforts to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government of Papua New Guinea is working with NGOs such as the Papua New Guinea Children's Foundation and People Against Child Exploitation to implement the National Action Plan against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children 2006-2011.2748

UNICEF, with the support of the Government, is also implementing a child protection program that includes advocacy for the elimination of the worst forms of child labor.2749


2733 For statistical data not cited here, see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILO-IPEC membership, see the Executive Summary. For minimum age for admission to work, age to which education is compulsory, and free public education, see Government of Papua New Guinea, Report to ILO Committee of Experts on Convention 182, September 2005. See also U.S. Embassy – Port Moresby, reporting, December 7, 2007. See also The Law Library of Congress, Child Labor Papua New Guinea, February 2008. See also U.S. Department of State, "Papua New Guinea," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2007 Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/. See also

2734 Department of Community Development official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 20, 2006. See also Department of Labor and Industrial Relations officials, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 26 2006. See also U.S. Embassy – Port Moresby, reporting, December 7, 2007. See also Child Labor Information Bank, Child Labor by Industry or Occupation: Papua New Guinea, accessed November 21, 2007; available from http://www.endchildlabor.org/db_infoBank.cfm.

2735 Department of Community Development official, Interview, June 20, 2006.

2736 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted By States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention, Concluding Observations: Papua New Guinea, CRC/C/15/Add.229, February 26, 2004, para. 57. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2007: Papua New Guinea," Washington, DC, 2008, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/. See also U.S. Embassy – Port Moresby, reporting, December 7, 2007. See also U.S. Department of State, "Papua New Guinea (Tier 2 Watch List)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/82806.htm.

2737 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations, February 26, 2004, para. 59. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Papua New Guinea," section 5 and 6d. See also Child Labor Information Bank, Child Labor by Industry or Occupation: Papua New Guinea. See also U.S. Embassy – Port Moresby, reporting, December 7, 2007. See also ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request, Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Papua New Guinea (ratification: 2000), [online] 2006]; available from www.ilo.org/ilolex/.

2738 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Papua New Guinea."

2739 Government of Papua New Guinea, Report to ILO Committee of Experts, September 2005, Article 3(d). article 3(d). See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Papua New Guinea," section 6d. See also The Law Library of Congress, Child Labor Papua New Guinea.

2740 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Papua New Guinea," section 6d. See also The Law Library of Congress, Child Labor Papua New Guinea.

2741 U. S. Embassy – Port Moresby, reporting, September 14, 2005. See also The Law Library of Congress, Child Labor Papua New Guinea.

2742 Department of Labor and Industrial Relations officials, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 26, 2006.

2743 U.S. Embassy – Port Moresby, reporting, December 7, 2007.

2744 Government of Papua New Guinea, Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, (1975), 43. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Papua New Guinea," section 6c."

2745 The Protection Project, Papua New Guinea; available from http://www.protectionproject.org/papua.doc. See also CEACR, Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 2006.

2746 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Papua New Guinea," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/library/global-reports. See also The Law Library of Congress, Child Labor Papua New Guinea, 3.

2747 U.S. Embassy – Port Moresby, reporting, December 7, 2007.

2748 PNG Children's Foundation Inc., PACE, and UNICEF, The National Action Plan Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Papua New Guinea (July 2006-June 2011), 2006, 5.

2749 UNICEF, Master Plan of Operations: Programme of Cooperation between Government of Papua New Guinea and UNICEF 2003-2007, Attachment A, 1-2. See also UNICEF, At a glance: Papua New Guinea, [online] [cited December 12, 2007]; available from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/papuang.html?q=printme.

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