Last Updated: Monday, 22 September 2014, 08:10 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Swaziland

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 - Swaziland, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa49137.html [accessed 22 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.

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor3234
Working children, 5-14 years (%), 2000:9.6
Working boys, 5-14 years (%), 2000:9.6
Working girls, 5-14 years (%), 2000:9.6
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:15
Compulsory education age:12
Free public education:No
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:102
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:76
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%), 2000:74.3
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2002:77
ILO-IPEC participating country:No

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children in Swaziland work in agriculture, particularly in the eastern region, as well as in herding and domestic service.3235 Children are also found working on the streets as traders, hawkers, bus and taxi conductors, load bearers, and car washers.3236 There are reports that Swazi girls engage in commercial sexual exploitation within Swaziland and are trafficked to South Africa for domestic labor and commercial sexual exploitation.3237

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law provides children with the right to be protected from work that jeopardizes their health, education, or development.3238 The law distinguishes between a "child" (under 15 years) and a "young person" (between 15 and 18 years), but does not establish a standard minimum age of employment.3239 Children under 15 years are only allowed to work in industrial enterprises where family members are employed or in technical schools under supervision.3240 The law prohibits children and young persons under 18 years from working in mines, quarries, or underground, in premises that sell alcohol for consumption on site, or in any sector that is dangerous to their safety, health, or moral development.3241 The law prohibits children under 15 years from working during school hours and limits children's work to less than four continuous hours, and six hours per day or 33 hours per week. Children and young persons may not work between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m., unless a young person is engaged in an apprenticeship or vocational training activity approved by the Minister of Labor and the Labor Advisory Board. If such approval is obtained, the young person is entitled to 13 consecutive hours of rest between shifts.3242 The Department of Labor within the Ministry of Enterprise and Employment is responsible for enforcing child labor laws; however, according to USDOS its effectiveness is limited by shortages of personnel and resources.3243

Forced and bonded labor is prohibited.3244 Children are protected by law from commercial sexual exploitation including child pornography.3245 Although there is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons, trafficking violations can be prosecuted under existing laws prohibiting kidnapping, prostitution, and forced labor.3246 Children under 18 years are prohibited from enlisting in the military.3247

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

The Government of Swaziland is working with ILO-IPEC to implement a USDOL-funded regional child labor project in Southern Africa. This USD 5 million project aims to expand the knowledge base on exploitive child labor in Swaziland and facilitate the development of a national child labor action plan.3248 The Government of Swaziland is also participating in a USDOL-funded regional project implemented by the American Institutes for Research, with the support of Save the Children Swaziland. This USD 9 million project is designed to improve the quality of and access to basic and vocational education for children working or at risk of working in the worst forms of child labor. Over its lifetime, this project aims to prevent 10,000 children in five countries, including Swaziland, from engaging in exploitive labor.3249 The Programme Advisory Committee on Child Labour, comprised of Government Ministries, unions, NGOs, and businesses, continued to coordinate child labor efforts and advise the two USDOL-funded projects working in the country.3250


3234 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 U.S. Embassy – Mbabane, reporting, December 7, 2007, para A, C. See also UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Ending Age of Compulsory Education, section, 94(2), 98 (3); available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx.

3235 U.S. Department of State, "Swaziland," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2007 Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78760.htm.

3236 Ibid. See also Debbie Budlender Dawie Bosch, and Nomthetho Simelane, , Scoping Report on Child Labour in Swaziland, Geneva, August, 2003.

3237 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Swaziland," section 5. See also Miriam and Keregero Keregero, TECL Paper No. 45: Commercial sexual exploitation of children in Swaziland, Rapid Assessment, Geneva, 2006, 9; available from http://www.child-labour.org.za/blns-countries/swaziland/documents-andlaws/research-reports/insights-into-children-subject-to-commercial-sexual-exploitation/.

3238 Government of Swaziland, An Act to provide for the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland, 2005, article 29(1); available from http://www.southernafricalawcenter.org/salc/library/Librarydetail.aspx?id=341449205. See also Government of Swaziland, King and Parliament of Swaziland: The Employment Act, 98(3); available from http://www.doingbusiness.org/Documents/LawLibrary/Swaziland-Employment-Act-1980-(Excerpts).pdf.

3239 U.S. Department of State official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, March 17 2008. See also Dawie Bosch, Scoping Report Swaziland, 9.

3240 Government of Swaziland, Employment Act article 97(1). See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Swaziland," section 6d.

3241 Government of Swaziland, Employment Act article 98(3). See also Dawie Bosch, Scoping Report Swaziland, 9.

3242 Government of Swaziland, Employment Act articles 97(2), 98(1-2).

3243 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Swaziland," section 6d. See also U.S. Embassy – Mbabane, reporting, December 7, 2007, para B. See also U.S. Department of State official, E-mail, March 17, 2008.

3244 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Swaziland," section 6c.

3245 Dawie Bosch, Scoping Report Swaziland, 11. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Swaziland," section 5.

3246 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Swaziland," section 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Swaziland (Special Case)," in Trafficking in Persons Report-2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/86204.htm.

3247 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Swaziland," in Child Solidiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004, 102; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/library/global-reports?root_id=159&directory_id=165.

3248 ILO-IPEC, Annexure to TECL Project Document: Strategy for Swaziland Project Document Country Annex, Geneva, May 2005, 1,4. See also ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Programme to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour in South Africa's Child Labour Action Programme and Laying the Basis for Concerted Action Against Worst Forms of Child Labour in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, Project Document, Geneva,, September 30, 2003, 1.

3249 American Institutes for Research, Reducing Exploitive Child Labor Southern Africa (RECLISA), project document, Washington September 8, 2005, 1, 17-18, 22.

3250 U.S. Department of State official, E-mail, March 17, 2008. See also Committee on the Rights of the Child, Written Replies by the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland Concerning the List of Issues Received by the Committee, CRC/C/SWZQ/Add.1, pursuant to the Consideration of the Initial Report of the Kingdom of Swaziland, August 17, 2006, 19; available from http://tb.ohchr.org/default.aspx?country=sz.

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