Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tuvalu

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 7 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tuvalu, 7 June 2002, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
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.

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

The government receives assistance from UNDP and UNICEF for a variety of national and regional programs that benefit children.[2601] UNDP provides technical assistance to strengthen the capacities of local governments on the Tuvalu islands and implements regional Basic Education, Non-Formal Education, and Poverty Strategy Initiatives in the Pacific.[2602] UNICEF's programs specifically address children's health and education.[2603]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in Tuvalu are unavailable. Employment of children outside of the traditional economy rarely occurs.[2604]

Education is free of charge and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 15 years.[2605] In 1998, the gross and net primary school enrollment rates were 100 percent.[2606] Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for Tuvalu. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.[2607]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Employment Law sets the minimum age for employment at 14 years, although a child must be 18 years old to sign a formal work contract.[2608] The Employment Law also prohibits industrial labor or work on any ship by children less than 15 years of age.[2609] In addition, the Constitution and the Penal Code prohibit forced labor.[2610] The Penal Code criminalizes the procurement of a child less than 18 years of age for prostitution, and although the law does not specifically address trafficking in children, kidnapping or abducting children is illegal under the Code.[2611] Tuvalu is not a member of the ILO and therefore has not ratified any ILO Conventions pertaining to child labor.[2612]

[2601] UNDP, "Program Info: Tuvalu" [hereinafter "Program Info: Tuvalu"], at on 11/8/01. See also UNICEF, "UNICEF's Programme of Assistance to Pacific Island Countries" [hereinafter "UNICEF's Programme of Assistance"], at on 10/10/01.

[2602] "Youth Profile: Tuvalu," Youth at the UN Country Profiles, at on 11/8/01. See also "Program Info: Tuvalu."

[2603] "UNICEF's Programme of Assistance."

[2604] According to U.S. Department of State Pacific Desk Officer, "traditional economy" refers to informal work that takes place in the home or on a family farm. See Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Tuvalu (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2001) [hereinafter Country Reports 2000], Section 6d, at

[2605] UNESCO, Pacific Subregion Statistical Indicators at on 11/13/01. See also UNESCO, The Education for All (EFA) 2000 Assessment: Country Report – Tuvalu, at on 12/14/01.

[2606] UNESCO, Education for All: Year 2000 Assessment, (Paris, 2000) [CD-ROM].

[2607] For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see Introduction to this report.

[2608] Country Reports 2000.

[2609] Ibid.

[2610] Constitution of Tuvalu, 1978, Article 18(f), at on 11/8/01. See also Tuvalu Penal Code, 1978, Article 249 [hereinafter Tuvalu Penal Code], at on 11/8/01.

[2611] Tuvalu Penal Code at Articles 136, 242, 246, and 247.

[2612] Alphabetical list of ILO member countries at on 11/13/01).

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