Last Updated: Friday, 25 July 2014, 12:52 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Mozambique

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 - Mozambique, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa482c.html [accessed 25 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 Labor2399
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:15
Compulsory education age:12
Free public education:Yes*
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:102
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:77
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2004:62
ILO-IPEC participating country:Associated
* Must pay for miscellaneous school expenses

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In rural areas of Mozambique, children work on family or commercial farms, often picking cotton, tea, tobacco, and herding livestock.2400 Children also work in prostitution and as domestics.2401 At informal bars, known as barracas, girl employees are also made to work as prostitutes.2402 In some instances, children work in bonded labor in order to pay off a family debt.2403 Child begging is a mounting problem, with incidences of children being "contracted" to beg for non-family members.2404

Children are trafficked internally and to South Africa for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation in brothels and popular nightclubs.2405 Young boys are trafficked within the country and to South Africa for farm and mine work, while girls are trafficked into prostitution and domestic servitude.2406

Children are known to cross the border from Zimbabwe into Mozambique to work in agriculture, construction, informal mining, prostitution, and street vending.2407

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment in Mozambique is 15 years. In exceptional cases, the law allows children between 12 and 15 years to work with the joint approval of the Ministries of Labor, Health, and Education; these children are afforded special rights that protect their mental, physical, and social development.2408 The law restricts the conditions under which minors between 15 and 18 years may work, and commits employers to provide for their education and professional training. For example, children are prohibited from working more than 38 hours per week and more than 7 hours per day.2409 Minors under 18 years are not permitted to work in unhealthy, dangerous, or physically taxing occupations; must undergo a medical examination; and must be paid at least minimum wage. Violators of child labor laws are subject to fines.2410

The Ministry of Labor has the authority to enforce and regulate child labor laws in both the formal and informal sectors. Labor inspectors may obtain court orders to enforce compliance with child labor legislation.2411 According to USDOS, however, both the Labor Inspectorate and the police lack adequate staff, funds, and training to investigate child labor cases, especially outside the capital. USDOS claims that the law is enforced in the formal sector but that enforcement is inadequate in the informal sector.2412

The law prohibits forced labor, with the exception of prison labor.2413 The age for conscription and voluntary recruitment into the military is 18 years. In times of war, however, the minimum age for military conscription may be lowered.2414 The law also forbids the practice of prostitution in any form, including that of children. Procuring a minor is punishable by imprisonment for 6 months to 2 years.2415 Various penal statutes contain provisions that can be applied to the trafficking of children.2416

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

The Government provided information and provided education about the dangers of child labor. Public outreach efforts included police training on child prostitution and pornography.2417 Police stations in Mozambique have established facilities to address the needs of child trafficking victims.2418 In 2007, the Ministry of Interior was increased the number of these facilities from 151 to 155.2419

The Government of Mozambique is participating in a USD 3 million USDOL-funded program implemented by the American Institutes for Research to combat child labor in agriculture, domestic work, street work, and commercial sexual exploitation.2420 The 3-year project aims to withdraw and prevent 2,600 children from engaging in such activities.2421

The Civic Education Forum, a civil society organization, operates a shelter for victims of trafficking. The shelter was built on land donated by the Moamba District Government to house and grow food for the residents.2422


2399 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. Department of State, "Mozambique," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 200. Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, section 5, 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100495.htm.

2400 Ibid., section 6d. See also Save the Children, Visitors from Zimbabwe: A preliminary study outlining the risks and vulnerabilities facing Zimbabwean children who have illegally crossed into Mozambique, May 2006, 8; available from http://www.savethechildren.it/2003/download/Pubblicazioni/Zimbabwe/Zimbabwe_Cross_Border_Children.pdf.

2401 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Mozambique," section 6d. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Summary Record of the 762nd Meeting, Consideration of reports of States parties, Initial Report: Mozambique, CRC/C/SR.762, February 28, 2003, 8; available from http://tb.ohchr.org/default.aspx?country=mz.

2402 Save the Children UK, Visitors from Zimbabwe: A Preliminary Study Outlining the Risks and Vulnerabilities Facing Zimbabwean Children who have Crossed Illegally into Mozambique, May 24, 2006, 9; available from http://www.reliefweb.int/library/documents/2006/sc-zim-24may.pdf See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "Mozambique: Exploitation and abuse awaits Zimbabwe's migrants", IRINnews.org, [online], May 25, 2006 [cited December 10, 2007]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportId=39621. See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "Mozambique: New bridge puts children at risk", IRINnews.org, [online], November 7, 2006 [cited December 10, 2007]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportId=61502.

2403 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention, Concluding Observations: Mozambique, CRC/C/15/Add.172, April 3, 2002, 10; available from http://tb.ohchr.org/default.aspx?country=mz. See also ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request, Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182), Mozambique (ratification: 2003), [online] 2006 [cited March 18, 2008]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newcountryframeE.htm.

2404 ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request, Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 182.

2405 Jonathan Martens, Maciej 'Mac' Pieczkowski, and Bernadette van Vuuren-Smyth, Seduction, Sale and Slavery: Trafficking in Women and Children for Sexual Exploitation in Southern Africa, 3rd edition, International Organization for Migration Regional Office for Southern Africa, Pretoria, May 2003, 51; available from http://www.iom.org.za/site/media/docs/TraffickingReport3rdEd.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, "Mozambique (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.

2406 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Mozambique," section 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Mozambique."

2407 Save the Children UK, Visitors from Zimbabwe, 7-10.

2408 Government of Mozambique, Labour Law, (October 2007), articles 23, 26; available from http://www.arbitrationmz.com/data/docs/Labour_Law_nr_232007.eng.pdf. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Summary Record of the 762nd Meeting, Consideration of reports of States parties, Initial Report, 8. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Mozambique," section 6d.

2409 Government of Mozambique, Mozambique Labour Law, Articles 23, 26. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Mozambique," section 6d.

2410 Government of Mozambique, Mozambique Labour Law, Articles 23, 27, 267. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Mozambique," section 6d.

2411 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Mozambique," section 6d.

2412 Ibid.

2413 Government of Mozambique, Constitution, (November 2, 1990), article 88; available from www.chr.up.ac.za/hr_docs/constitutions/docs/MozambiqueC(rev).doc.

2414 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Mozambique," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/regions/country?id=145.

2415 The Protection Project, Mozambique, [online] 2006 [cited March 19, 2008]; available from http://www.protectionproject.org/human_rights_reports/report_documents/mozambique.doc.

2416 ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request, Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 182. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Mozambique."

2417 U.S. Department of State official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, February 1, 2007.

2418 U.S. Embassy – Maputo, reporting, November 20, 2007.

2419 U.S. Embassy – Maputo, reporting, March 3, 2008, para 11.

2420 American Institutes for Research, RECLAIM: Reducing Exploitive Child Labor in Mozambique, technical progress report, September 2006.

2421 American Institutes for Research, RECLAIM: Reducing Exploitive Child Labor in Mozambique, cooperative agreement, September 2005, 1, 2.

2422 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Mozambique." See also U.S. Embassy – Maputo, reporting, March 3, 2008, para 11.

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