Last Updated: Thursday, 02 October 2014, 13:24 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tanzania

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 31 August 2007
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tanzania, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d749553f.html [accessed 2 October 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 Labor
Percent of children 5-14 estimated as working in 2001:35.4%3973
Minimum age for work:153974
Age to which education is compulsory:153975
Free public education:Yes3976*
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2005:106%3977
Net primary enrollment rate in 2005:91%3978
Percent of children 5-14 attending school in 2000:57%3979
As of 2004, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:76%3980
Ratified Convention 138:12/16/19983981
Ratified Convention 182:9/12/20013982
ILO-IPEC participating country:Yes3983
* Must pay for school supplies and related items.

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 2001, approximately 36.2 percent of boys and 34.5 percent of girls ages 5 to 14 were working in Tanzania. The majority of working children were found in the agricultural sector (77.4 percent), followed by services (22.4 percent), manufacturing (0.1 percent), and other sectors (0.1 percent).3984 In rural areas, child labor is particularly prevalent.3985

Children work on commercial tea,3986 coffee,3987 sugar cane, sisal, cloves,3988 and tobacco farms,3989 and in the production of wheat, corn, green algae, pyrethrum, and rubber.3990

Children also work in underground mines and in bars and restaurants close by. Children known as "snake boys" crawl through narrow tunnels in unregulated gemstone mines to help position mining equipment and explosives.3991 In the informal sector, children engage in scavenging, fishing, fish processing, and quarrying.3992 Other children work as street vendors, cart pushers, auto mechanics,3993 barmaids, car washers, and carpenters.3994 Children also work as domestic servants in third-party homes,3995 and some fall prey to exploitation in prostitution when fleeing abusive employers.3996

The United Republic of Tanzania comprises a union between mainland Tanzania and the neighboring island of Zanzibar.3997 On the island of Zanzibar, children work in fishing, in markets, and at hotels.3998 Zanzibari children also work in the tourism industry,3999 petty trading, clove picking, domestic service, and are involved in commercial sexual exploitation near tourist spots.4000

The exploitation of children in prostitution is a growing problem in Tanzania,4001 where girls, and increasingly boys, are involved in commercial sexual exploitation.4002 On Zanzibar, some girls accept jobs at hotels and then become engaged in prostitution.4003

In Tanzania, children are trafficked internally; boys are trafficked for exploitive labor in agriculture, mines, and the informal sector, and girls are trafficked from rural to urban areas for forced domestic service and commercial sexual exploitation.4004 A limited number of Tanzanian girls are reportedly trafficked for forced labor in domestic service to South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Oman, and possibly to other countries in Europe or the Middle East.4005 Children at especially high risk of being trafficked include girls, especially those who completed primary school but did not enroll in secondary school; orphaned children living in child-headed households; and children whose families live in poverty.4006

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

Tanzania's Employment and Labor Relations Act No.6 of 2004 and the Labor Institutions Act No.7 of 2004 took effect in 2006.4007 These laws now prohibit the employment of children under the age of 14 in mainland Tanzania, except for light work that is not likely to harm the child's health and development and that does not prejudice the child's attendance at school.4008 The laws also prohibit children under the age of 18 from being employed in a mine, factory, ship, or other worksite that the Minister of Labor deems to be hazardous.4009

Zanzibar is governed by its own labor laws.4010 In Zanzibar, the minimum age for employment is 18 years, with some exceptions, such as for children in rural areas over 10 years who are permitted to perform light work, including some agricultural activities and domestic work.4011 Zanzibari law provides for the following two categories of child labor offenses: (a) ordinary practices for child labor, and (b) worst forms of child labor. The penalty for category (a) offenses is a fine or imprisonment for up to 6 months. For category (b) offenses, penalties include a fine, imprisonment for a minimum of 1 year, or both.4012

The law provides for the protection of children from exploitation in the workplace, and prohibits forced or compulsory labor, including a specific prohibition on forced labor by children.4013 Unlike the previous law, the new labor laws establish a criminal punishment for employers that use illegal child labor as well as forced labor. Violators can be penalized by a fine, 1 year of imprisonment, or both.4014 Tanzanian law also prohibits the military recruitment of children under 18.4015 It further prohibits the procuring of a child under 18 for indecent exhibition or for sexual intercourse, either inside or outside the country.4016 Tanzanian law considers sexual intercourse with a child under 18 years to be rape (except in cases of marriage), punishable by imprisonment ranging from 30 years to life in cases where perpetrators are 19 years or older.4017 Tanzania does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons. On the mainland, traffickers can be prosecuted under existing statutes criminalizing the sale of people, forced labor, child labor, and various sexual offenses. On Zanzibar, traffickers can be prosecuted under existing law that criminalizes kidnapping, abduction, and slavery.4018

Although several government agencies have special child labor units and some jurisdiction over matters related to child labor, the primary responsibility for child labor law enforcement in mainland Tanzania lies with the Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Youth Development. In 2006, the government employed 124 national labor inspectors – a decrease from the 145 inspectors reported in the previous year.4019 Enforcement of labor laws by the Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Youth Development remains weak, according to the U.S. Department of State, and is undermined by a lack of personnel and low salaries. At the community level, child labor committees identify and monitor children who engaged in exploitive child labor. The government took actions to address child labor during the year, such as ensuring children's attendance in school, penalizing parents who failed to enroll their children, and educating formal sector employers on child labor issues.4020

Zanzibar has its own Ministry of Labor, which is responsible for enforcing the island's child labor laws.4021

The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Human Trafficking serves as the coordinating mechanism for government ministries, NGOs, international organizations, and civil society partners. Several ministries of both the Mainland and Zanzibar government participate in the Inter-Ministerial Committee and in mid-2006, the Ministry of Public Safety and Security established an anti-trafficking section in the Criminal Investigation Department.4022

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

Tanzania's National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP) 2005-2010 includes specific references to the elimination of the worst forms of child labor. The NSGRP commits the government to reducing the percentage of children engaged in child labor to less than 10 percent by 2010, by providing former child laborers with a range of educational alternatives. It also aims to increase the rates of primary school enrollment, attendance, and completion for child laborers and other orphans and vulnerable children.4023

In 2006, the government continued its campaign to raise awareness on the worst forms of child labor, including prostitution and forced domestic service.4024 The Ministry of Labor's Child Labor Unit worked with ILO-IPEC to train to district officials and district child labor coordinators on the worst forms of child labor.4025

In 2006, USDOL awarded a 4-year, USD 5.09 million cooperative agreement to Winrock International for a Child Labor Education Initiative project in Tanzania, which aims to withdraw 4,975 children and prevent 5,100 children from exploitive child labor in agriculture through the provision of educational services. The government will be collaborating with Winrock International on this new project.4026 ILO-IPEC continued to work with the government to implement its Timebound Program (TBP). The first phase of ILO-IPEC's Project of Support to the Timebound Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Tanzania ended in August 2006. This USD 5.4 million project funded by USDOL withdrew 16,314 children from and prevented 19,200 children from entering exploitive labor.4027 A USD 4.87 million, 4-year second phase of the TBP was funded by USDOL to continue efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in commercial agriculture, domestic service, mining, fishing, and prostitution in mainland Tanzania by 2010. The second phase also includes activities to combat child labor on Zanzibar.4028 The government also collaborated, through April 2006, on a USD 4 million, USDOL-funded child labor and basic education project implemented by the Education Development Center (EDC),4029 which prevented 1,166 children from exploitive child labor.4030 The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training agreed to continue operating the learning centers established by EDC and broadcasting the radio-based curriculum that served as the core of the project's efforts.4031 The government also collaborated with ILO-IPEC on the implementation of several other child labor and education projects, including a USD 1.53 million project to provide skills and apprenticeship training to urban youth, funded by Canada; a USD 449,408 project to combat child domestic work in Tanzania and Kenya, funded by Sweden; and a USD 557,729 project to combat hazardous child labor in tobacco farming, funded by the Foundation for the Elimination of Child Labor in the Tobacco Industry.4032

In 2006, Tanzanian government officials referred victims of trafficking, including children, to NGOs to provide shelter, counseling, and rehabilitation. In support of the IOM's campaign to increase awareness of the dangers of trafficking, government officials appeared on television and radio programs and immigration officers distributed brochures at 25 border posts.4033 On Zanzibar, the government trained immigration officers and local administrators on trafficking.4034


3973 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, March 1, 2007.

3974 The Law Reform Commission of Tanzania, Report of the Commission on the Law Relating to Children in Tanzania, 131-132. See also Tanzanian Ministry of Labour, Youth Development, and Sports official, Information on Efforts by Tanzania to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour Written communication to USDOL official, October 4, 2002.

3975 U.S. Department of State, "Tanzania," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78761.htm.

3976 Ibid.

3977 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

3978 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrolment Rate. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

3979 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates.

3980 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Survival Rate to Grade 5. Total, accessed December 18, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

3981 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed October 8, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.

3982 Ibid.

3983 ILO, IPEC Action Against Child Labour: Highlights 2006, Geneva, October 2006, 30; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20070228_Implementationreport_en_Web.pdf.

3984 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates.

3985 ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Tanzania – Phase II, project document, Geneva, September 2005, 3.

3986 M.J. Gonza and P. Moshi, Tanzania: Children Working in Commercial Agriculture – Tea: A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, January 2002; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/2001_ra_11_tz_tea_en.pdf.

3987 George S. Nchahaga, Tanzania: Children Working in Commercial Agriculture: A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, January 2002, 29-32; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/simpoc/tanzania/ra/coffee.pdf.

3988 ILO-IPEC, Tanzania: Focusing on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, Dar es Salaam, 2001.

3989 A. Masudi, A. Ishumi, F. Mbeo, and W. Sambo, Tanzania: Child Labour in Commercial Agriculture – Tobacco: A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, November 2001.

3990 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, December 15, 2006. See also U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, October 23, 2002.

3991 J.A. Mwami, A.J. Sanga, and J. Nyoni, Tanzania: Children Labour in Mining: A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, January 2002, 37-39; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/simpoc/tanzania/ra/mining.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 6d.

3992 C. Kadonya, M. Madihi, and S. Mtwana, Tanzania: Child Labour in the Informal Sector: A Rapid Assessment, ILO-IPEC, Geneva, January 2002, 33-48; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/simpoc/tanzania/ra/infosec/pdf.

3993 ILO-IPEC, Baseline Study and Attitude Survey on Child Labour and Its Worst Forms-Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, June 2003, 9-10, 28, 33.

3994 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 6d.

3995 Ibid. See also ILO-IPEC, Baseline Study and Attitude Survey on Child Labour – Tanzania, 10. See also Daniel Dickinson, "Tanzania 'Housegirls' Face Sexual Abuse", BBC News, [online], May 10, 2003 [cited February 16, 2007]; available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3015223.stm. See also Bill Rau for ILO-IPEC, Combating Child Labour and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, no. 1, Geneva, July 2002. See also ILO-IPEC, Tanzania: Focusing on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 17. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 6d.

3996 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam official, Email communication to USDOL official, August 9, 2007.

3997 ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Tanzania – Phase II, project document, 1.

3998 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, December 15, 2006.

3999 ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Tanzania – Phase II, project document, 3.

4000 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 6d.

4001 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention, Concluding Observations: United Republic of Tanzania, CRC/C/TZA/CO/2, June 21, 2006, Item 65; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/2010f74fde85dce1c1257259002607a3?Opendocument.4002 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, August 18, 2003. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 6d.4003 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 5.4004 Ibid. See also U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, February 28, 2007. See also U.S. Department of State, "Tanzania (Tier 2)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006, Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65989.htm. See also ILO-IPEC, Baseline Study and Attitude Survey on Child Labour – Tanzania, 24.4005 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, February 28, 2007. See also U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam official, Email communication to USDOL official, August 13, 2006. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Tanzania." See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 5.

4006 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 5.

4007 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam official, Email communication, August 10, 2007.

4008 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam official, E-mail communication, August 13, 2006.

4009 Ibid.

4010 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, December 15, 2006.

4011 Right to Education – At What Age?, United Republic of Tanzania, accessed February 16, 2007; available from http://www.right-to-education.org/content/age/tanz.html.

4012 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, December 15, 2006.

4013 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam official, E-mail communication, August 13, 2006. See also U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, October 29, 2005.

4014 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam official, E-mail communication, August 13, 2006.

4015 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Tanzania," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/resources/global-reports.

4016 Government of Tanzania, Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act, (July 1998), Sections 138 and 139; available from http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rsd/rsddocview.html?tbl=RSDLEGAL&id=3ae6b5098.

4017 Ibid., Sections 130 and 131. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 5.

4018 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam official, Email communication, August 9, 2007.

4019 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, December 15, 2006.

4020 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 6d.

4021 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, December 15, 2006.

4022 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, February 28, 2007. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Tanzania." See also U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam official, Email communication, August 9, 2007.

4023 The United Republic of Tanzania, National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP), Dar es Salaam, June 2005, 14, 27; available from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPRS1/Resources/TanzaniaPRSP(June-2005).pdf. See also ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Programme on the Worst Forms of Child Labour – Phase I, technical progress report, September 2005.

4024 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 5.

4025 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, December 15, 2006.

4026 U.S. Department of Labor, Cooperative Agreement with Winrock International, Tanzanian African Women Leaders in Agriculture, and Khulisa Management Services, Washington, DC, September 30, 2006.

4027 ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Tanzania – Phase I, final technical progress report, Geneva, September 18, 2006.

4028 ILO-IPEC, Tanzania: Focusing on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, vii, 27. See also ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Tanzania – Phase II, project document.

4029 Education Development Center, Supporting the Education Component of the Timebound Program on Eliminating Child Labor in Tanzania, project document, Washington, DC, April 2002.

4030 Education Development Center, Supporting the Education Component of the Timebound Program, final technical progress report, June 2006, 16.

4031 Ibid. See also U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, February 28, 2007.

4032 ILO-IPEC official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, November 16, 2006. See also ILO-IPEC, Supporting the Timebound Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Tanzania – Phase II, project document, 65-66.

4033 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Tanzania," Section 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Tanzania." See also U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam official, Email communication, August 9, 2007.

4034 U.S. Embassy – Dar es Salaam, reporting, February 28, 2007.

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