Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August 2014, 14:37 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - São Tomé and Príncipe

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 - São Tomé and Príncipe, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa48cc.html [accessed 20 August 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 Labor3000
Working children, 5-14 years (%), 2000:15.4
Working boys, 5-14 years (%), 2000:17.2
Working girls, 5-14 years (%), 2000:13.5
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:14
Compulsory education age:13
Free public education:Yes*
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:128
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:96
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%), 2000:68.8
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2004:76
ILO-IPEC participating country:No
* Must pay for miscellaneous school expenses

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children in São Tomé and Príncipe work on plantations and in subsistence agriculture, informal commerce, and domestic service.3001 Children also work in auto mechanic shops.3002

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for work in São Tomé and Príncipe is 14 years, and the law calls for the imposition of fines on persons employing underage workers.3003 The law prohibits children under the age of 18 years from working in unhealthy or dangerous conditions, as well as from working underground.3004 Children under 18 years may not work more than 7 hours a day and 35 hours per week.3005 The law prohibits forced or compulsory labor.3006 Military service is compulsory at 18 years; 17-year-olds may volunteer with parental consent.3007 The law also prohibits trafficking in persons.3008 Despite the Government's increasing inspections at work sites, during the reporting period no cases of child labor law violations were prosecuted.3009

São Tomé and Príncipe was one of 24 countries to adopt the Multilateral Cooperative Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Joint Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in West and Central African Regions.3010 As part of the Multilateral Cooperative Agreement, the governments agreed to use the child trafficking monitoring system developed by the USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC LUTRENA project; to assist each other in the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of trafficking offenders; and to protect, rehabilitate, and reintegrate trafficking victims.3011

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 São Tomé and Príncipe to address exploitive child labor.


3000 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 São Tomé and Príncipe, Regime Jurídico das Condições Individuais de Trabalho, (June 11, 1992), article 128; available from http://www.juristep.com/legis/contrato_individual_trabalho.pdf. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention, Initial Reports of States Parties due in 1993: Sao Tome and Principe, CRC/C/8/Add.49, December 1, 2003, section 81; available from http://tb.ohchr.org/default.aspx?country=st. See also São Tomé and Príncipe Embassy official, Interview with USDOL official, June 7, 2007. See also Government of São Tomé and Príncipe, Programa do XI Governo Constitucional, May 2006, 32; available from http://www.gov.st/content.php?intMenuID=52. See also U.S. Department of State, "Sao Tome and Principe," 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/2007/100500.htm.

3001 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Sao Tome and Principe," section 6d. See also Ambrósio Quaresma, UNICEF quer conhecer a realidade de mão de obra infantil em S. Tomé e Príncipe, [online] [cited December 7, 2007]; available from http://www.unicef.org/saotome/trabalho.htm. See also U.S. Embassy – Libreville, reporting, October 4, 2007, para 4b.

3002 Ambrósio Quaresma, Unicef quer conhecer a realidade de mão de obra infantil.

3003 Government of São Tomé and Príncipe, Regime Jurídico das Condições, articles 128 and 147. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Sao Tome and Principe," section 6d.

3004 Government of São Tomé and Príncipe, Regime Jurídico das Condições, article 129. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports: Initial Reports Sao Tome and Principe, section 84.

3005 Government of São Tomé and Príncipe, Regime Jurídico das Condições, article 136. See also U.S. Embassy – Libreville, reporting, October 4, 2007, para 4a.

3006 U.S. Embassy – Libreville, reporting, October 4, 2007, para 4a. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Sao Tome and Principe," section 6c.

3007 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=792. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports: Initial Reports Sao Tome and Principe, sections 97-98.

3008 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Sao Tome and Principe," section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Libreville, reporting, October 4, 2007, para 4a.

3009 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Sao Tome and Principe," section 6d.

3010 ECOWAS and ECCAS, Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in West and Central Africa, Abuja, July 7, 2006. See also ILO-IPEC Geneva official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, November 16, 2006.

3011 ECOWAS and ECCAS, Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons in West and Central Africa. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA), technical progress report, Washington, DC, September 1, 2007. See also Emmanuel Goujon, "African States Sign up to Fight Human Trafficking," Agence France-Presse, July 7, 2006.

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