Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 08:34 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Chad

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 - Chad, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa4653c.html [accessed 17 September 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 Labor708
Working children, 5-14 years (%), 2004:53
Working boys, 5-14 years (%), 2004:56.1
Working girls, 5-14 years (%), 2004:49.7
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:14
Compulsory education age:Sources conflict
Free public education:Yes*
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:76
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2003:60
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%), 2004:39.6
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2004:33
ILO-IPEC participating country:No
* Must pay miscellaneous school expenses

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children work in agriculture and herding throughout Chad, and as street vendors, manual laborers, helpers in small shops, and domestic servants.709 There have been reports of children who have been subjected to forced labor after being contracted by their parents to work for nomadic herders.710 Anecdotal evidence suggests that some children are exploited into prostitution in the Southern oil-producing region.711

Chad is a country of origin, transit, and destination for children trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. The majority of children are trafficked within Chad for work in domestic service, begging, and herding.712 Children may be trafficked from the Central African Republic and Cameroon to Chad's oil-producing regions for commercial sexual exploitation. Chadian children are also trafficked to the Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Cameroon for cattle herding713 and to Saudi Arabia for involuntary servitude as forced beggars and street vendors.714 The practice of sending boys to Koranic teachers to receive education is a common tradition. While some boys are cared for and receive lessons, many are forced to beg for money or food by their teachers and surrender the money that they have earned.715

There have been reports of child soldiering in the Chadian National Army and its affiliated forces, as well as in opposition militia forces.716 It is reported that children are recruited to work as body guards, drivers, and cooks, as well as fighters and lookouts in the conflicts in Chad.717 In eastern Chad, it has also been reported that children were forcibly recruited and taken away from their families from within refugee camps by Sudanese fighters.718

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age for employment in Chad at 14 years. Apprenticeships, however, can begin at 13 years.719 In addition, other exceptions can be made with the permission of the Minister of Public Health, the Minister of Labor and Social Security, and the permission of the legal representative of the child.720 Night work by children under 18 years is prohibited.721 Children under age 18 years are prohibited from performing hazardous work and work likely to harm their health, safety, or morals.722 Labor inspectors may require an examination of young workers to determine if the tasks for which they are employed exceed their strength.723 The law distinguishes which occupations are considered to be worst forms of child labor, including domestic servitude, child herders, and victims of trafficking.724 Violation of child labor laws is subject to a fine for the first offense; repeat offenders are subject to a fine and/or 6 days to 3 months in prison.725 The law stipulates that punishment will not be incurred for child labor offenses committed as a result of inaccurate age determination if the employer is not at fault.726

The law prohibits forced labor.727 According to the law, children must be at least 18 years to volunteer for the Armed Forces and 20 years to be conscripted.728 Under the law, prostitution is illegal and those who procure a prostitute are subject to more stringent penalties if the offense is related to a minor.729 Offenders may be fined and imprisoned for 2 months to 2 years. If an offender is a relative or guardian, the punishment is increased to 5 to 10 years in prison.730 The law does not specifically prohibit trafficking,731 but traffickers can be prosecuted under charges of kidnapping, sale of children, and violations of labor statutes.732

The Office of Labor Inspection is responsible for implementing and enforcing child labor laws.733 Although, the Office of Labor Inspection has 16 labor inspectors, reportedly it has not received funding to carry out labor inspections in the past three years.734 According to USDOS, child labor laws are not enforced due to a lack of resources.735 The Government has increased efforts to enforce children's rights laws to combat child trafficking in the absence of a child trafficking law. Efforts included rapid response to and punishment for child trafficking offenses and increased efforts to defend the rights of children.736

Chad was 1 of 24 countries to adopt the Multilateral Cooperative Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Joint Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in West and Central African Regions.737 As part of the Multilateral Cooperative Agreement, the governments agreed to use the child trafficking monitoring system developed by the USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC LUTRENA project; to assist each other in the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of trafficking offenders; and to protect, rehabilitate, and reintegrate trafficking victims.738

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

During the reporting period the Government focused efforts on preventing trafficking and child labor through awareness raising, sponsoring educational media campaigns to inform parents and children about the dangers of child trafficking.739 The Government also conducted awareness campaigns on the worst forms of child labor, particularly focusing on child herders.740 In response to the child abduction case with the NGO Zoe's Arc, during the reporting period the Government of Chad increased efforts to defend the rights of children and combat trafficking in persons.741

The problem of child soldiers is being addressed by the Government along with UNICEF, through a comprehensive survey on child soldiers conducted in 2007.742 Early in the year the Government of Chad and UNICEF signed an agreement to demobilize child soldiers among the various armed groups engaged in the conflict throughout Chad, and to repatriate Sudanese children who have been forcibly recruited.743 However, an initial 452 children were released from the Chadian Armed Forces in July 2007.744


708 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 Government of Chad, Code du travail, Loi No. 96/PR/038, (December 11, 1996), article 52; available from http://droit.francophonie.org/dfweb/publication.do?publicationId=2945. See also U.S. Department of State, "Chad," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2007, Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100473.htm. See also U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 26.

709 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 6d. See also United Nations Security Council, Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Chad, July 3, 2007, section 17; available from http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N07/390/23/PDF/N0739023.pdf?OpenElement. See also ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request, Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Chad (ratification: 2000), [online] [cited December 5, 2007]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/.

710 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 6d. See also United Nations Security Council, Report of Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Chad, section 17. See also ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request WFCL: Chad, article 3 section 2.

711 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 4b.

712 U.S. Department of State, "Chad (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/2007/82805.htm. See also U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, October 11, 2007, para 4b. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 5.

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

714 U.S. Department of State, "Saudi Arabia (Tier 3)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/82807.htm.

715 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 5, 6d. See also U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 3. See also Peter Easton et al., Research Studies Series no. 8, International Working Group on Nonformal Education of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, May 1997; available from http://www.adeanet.org/wgnfe/publications/abel/abel2.html. See also Peter Easton, "Education and Koranic Literacy in West Africa," IK Notes no. 11 (August 1999), 1, 3; available from http://www.worldbank.org/afr/ik/iknt11.pdf.

716 United Nations Security Council, Report of Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Chad, section 18, 22, 23, 31, 33. See also United Nations Security Council, Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict: Sixty Second Session, A/62/609-S/2007/757, December 21, 2007, section 107-108; available from http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N07/656/04/PDF/N0765604.pdf?OpenElement. See also Human Rights Watch, Early to War: Child Soldiers in the Chad Conflict, July, 2007, 3, 19, 21; available from http://hrw.org/reports/2007/chad0707/.

717 United Nations Security Council, Report of Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Chad, section 18. See also Human Rights Watch, Early to War, 3, 19.

718 United Nations Security Council, Report of Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Chad, sections 28-29. See also United Nations Security Council, Report of Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, section 7, 109. See also Human Rights Watch, Early to War, 17. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 1g.

719 Government of Chad, Code du travail, article 18.

720 Ibid., article 52. See also U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 32.

721 Government of Chad, Code du travail, article 206.

722 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 6d. See also ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request WFCL: Chad, article 7.

723 ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request WFCL: Chad, article 5.

724 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, November 21, 2007, para A.

725 Government of Chad, Code du travail, article 190. See also U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 32.

726 Government of Chad, Code du travail, article 190.

727 Ibid., article 5. See also ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request WFCL: Chad, article 7.

728 ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request WFCL: Chad, article 3, section 3. See also United Nations Security Council, Report of Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in Chad, section 22.

729 ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request WFCL: Chad, article 3, section 3. See also U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 36.

730 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 32, 36.

731 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Chad." See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "Chad-Sudan: Legal Framework a Hindrance in 'Child Trafficking' Case", IRINnews.org, [online], November 1, 2007 [cited December 4, 2007]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/printreport.aspx?reportId=75096.

732 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 32.

733 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, November 21, 2007, para B.

734 Ibid.

735 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 6d. See also U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, November 21, 2007, para B.

736 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, November 21, 2007, para E.

737 Catholic Relief Services official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, October 2, 2006. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA), technical progress report, Washington, DC, September 1, 2006, 2.

738 ECOWAS and ECCAS, Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in West and Central Africa, Abuja, July 7, 2006, 5-7. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA), Technical progress Report, 10-11.

739 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, November 21, 2007, para D. See also U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 40. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 6d.

740 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, November 21, 2007, para D. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Chad." See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 6d.

741 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, November 21, 2007, para E. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 5.

742 U.S. Embassy – N'djamena, reporting, January 30, 2007, para 9.

743 UNICEF, UNICEF and Government of Chad Reach Accord Raising Hopes for Children in Armed Conflict, Press Release, May 11, 2007; available from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/chad_39619.html. See also UNICEF, UNICEF and Chad Sign Agreement to Demobilize Child Soldiers, Press Release, May 9, 2007; available from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/media_39603.html. See also Human Rights Watch, Early to War.

744 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Chad," section 1g. See also United Nations Security Council, Report of Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, section 107.

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