Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 08:28 GMT

2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tuvalu

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 22 September 2005
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tuvalu, 22 September 2005, available at: [accessed 26 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.

Selected Child Labor Measures Adopted by Governments
Ratified Convention 138N/A[4055]
Ratified Convention 182N/A
ILO-IPEC Member 
National Plan for Children 
National Child Labor Action Plan 
Sector Action Plan 

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in Tuvalu are unavailable.[4056] Children are mainly involved in traditional subsistence farming and fishing and are rarely employed outside of these sectors.[4057]

Under Tuvalu's Education for Life program,[4058] education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 15 years, and free until the age of 13.[4059] In 1998, the gross and net primary enrollment rates were both 100 percent.[4060] Gross and net enrollment ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and therefore do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance. Recent primary school attendance statistics are not available for Tuvalu. Although Tuvalu has achieved almost universal primary education, secondary enrollment rates are much lower.[4061]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

Tuvalese law sets the minimum age of employment at 14 years, and a child must be 18 years old to sign a formal work contract.[4062] The law prohibits industrial labor or work on ships by children less than 15 years of age.[4063] In addition, the Constitution and the Penal Code prohibit forced labor.[4064] The Penal Code criminalizes the procurement of a child less than 18 years of age for prostitution.[4065] While the Penal Code does not specifically address trafficking in children, the kidnapping or abducting of children is prohibited.[4066] There is no information available on the enforcement of labor laws.

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

UNICEF works with the Ministry of Health, other government agencies, and NGOs to address children's health and youth development.[4067] The EU provides funds for education-related projects,[4068] and AusAID is funding an 8-year project to improve the management and administration of the education system at the primary and secondary levels.[4069] NZAID started an early childhood education project and education sector planning in 2004.[4070]

[4055] The Government of Tuvalu is not a member of the ILO, and is thus unable to ratify ILO conventions.

[4056] LABORSTAT, 1A-Total and econmically active population, by age group (Thousands), [Database] [cited August 30, 2004]; available from

[4057] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2003: Tuvalu, February 25, 2004, Section 6d; available from

[4058] Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tuvalu: United Nations Development Assistance Framework, United Nations, Suva, Fiji, May 2002, 9; available from

[4059] See UNESCO, Education for All 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Tuvalu, [Online] 2000 [cited May 19, 2004]; available from

[4060] More recent data on enrollment rates are not available. See UNESCO, Education for All: Year 2000 Assessment [CD-ROM], Paris, 2000. For an explanation of gross primary enrollment and/or attendance rates that are equal to or greater than 100 percent, please see the definitions of gross primary enrollment rate and gross primary attendance rate in the glossary of this report.

[4061] ADB, Millenium Development Goals in the Pacific: Relevance and Progress, Manila, March 2003, 50-51; available from

[4062] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2003: Tuvalu.

[4063] Ibid.

[4064] Constitution of Tuvalu, Article 18, (1978); available from See also Government of Tuvalu, Penal Code, (1978), Article 249 [cited August 15, 2002]; available from

[4065] Penal Code, Articles 136, 38-39.

[4066] Ibid., Articles 131-32, 241-42, 46-47.

[4067] UNICEF, UNICEF's Programme of Assistance to Pacific Island Countries, [online] [cited May 19, 2004]; available from

[4068] Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tuvalu: UN Development Assistance Framework, A 8.

[4069] Australian Agency for International Development, Country Brief Tuvalu,, [online] 2004 [cited May 20, 2004]; available from See also Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tuvalu: UN Development Assistance Framework, A 11.

[4070] New Zealand's International Aid and Development Agency, Tuvalu Overview,, [online] 2004 [cited May 11, 2004]; available from

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