Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December 2014, 14:40 GMT

2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tuvalu

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 29 August 2006
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tuvalu, 29 August 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d7491113.html [accessed 19 December 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 Child Labor Measures Adopted by Governments
Ratified Convention 138N/A4777
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.4766 Children are reportedly involved in traditional subsistence farming and fishing.4767

Under Tuvalu's Education for Life program,4768 education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 15 years and free until the age of 13.4769 In 2001, the gross primary enrollment rate was 102 percent.4770 Gross 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.4771

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.4772 The law prohibits industrial labor or work on ships by children less than 15 years of age.4773

The worst forms of child labor may be prosecuted under different statutes in Tuvalu. The Constitution and the Penal Code prohibit forced labor.4774 The Penal Code criminalizes the procurement of a girl less than 18 years of age for prostitution.4775 While the Penal Code does not specifically address trafficking in children, the kidnapping or abducting of children is prohibited.4776 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.4778 The EU provides funds for education-related projects,4779 and AusAID is funding an 8-year project to improve the management and administration of the education system at the primary and secondary levels.4780


4766 This statistic is not available from the data sources that are used in this report. Please see the "Data Sources and Definitions" section of the report for information about sources used. Reliable data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms, such as the use of children in the illegal drug trade, prostitution, pornography, and trafficking. As a result, statistics and information on children's work in general are reported in this section. Such statistics and information may or may not include the worst forms of child labor. For more information on the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the "Data Sources and Definitions" section.

4767 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2004, Washington, D.C., February 28, 2005; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41663.htm.

4768 Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tuvalu: United Nations Development Assistance Framework, United Nations, Suva, Fiji, May 2002, 9; available from http://www.undp.org.fj/documents/UNDAF_TUVALU%20May%202002.doc.

4769 UNESCO, Education for All 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Tuvalu, [online] 2000 [cited July 28, 2005]; available from http://www2.unesco.org/wef/countryreports/tuvalu/contents.html.

4770 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=51 (Gross and Net Enrolment Ratios, Primary; accessed December 2005). For an explanation of gross primary enrollment rates that are greater than 100 percent, please see the definition of gross primary enrollment rates in the "Data Sources and Definitions" section.

4771 ADB, Millenium Development Goals in the Pacific: Relevance and Progress, Manila, March 2003, 50-51; available from http://www.adb.org/documents/books/MDG_Pacific/mdg.pdf#page=48.

4772 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Tuvalu.

4773 Ibid.

4774 Constitution of Tuvalu, Article 18, (1978); available from http://vanuatu.usp.ac.fj/paclawmat/Tuvalu_legislation/Tuvalu_Constitution.html. See also Government of Tuvalu, Penal Code, (1978), Article 249 [cited August 15, 2002]; available from http://vanuatu.usp.ac.fj/Paclawmat/Tuvalu_legislation/Consolidation_1978/Tuvalu_Penal_Code.html.

4775 Penal Code, Articles 136, 138-139.

4776 Ibid., Articles 131-132, 241-242, 246-247.

4777 The Government of Tuvalu is not a member of the ILO, and is thus unable to ratify ILO conventions.

4778 UNICEF, UNICEF's Programme of Assistance to Pacific Island Countries, [online] [cited July 28, 2005]; available from http://www.undp.org.fj/un/UNICEF/UNICEF_PIC.htm.

4779 Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tuvalu: UN Development Assistance Framework, A 8.

4780 Australian Agency for International Development, Country Brief Tuvalu, AusAID.gov, [online] 2005 [cited July 28, 2005]; available from http://www.ausaid.gov.au/country/country.cfm?CountryId=22. See also Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tuvalu: UN Development Assistance Framework, A 11.

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