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2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

In 2012, Chad made a minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. Government inspectors and UNICEF officials conducted joint inspections and removed 27 children from military training units and 26 more children from an armed rebel group which surrendered. In addition, the Government prosecuted nine cases of forced child labor and investigated seven other cases, resulting in the conviction of five people for child theft. However, many gaps remain in the legal framework and children remain vulnerable to exploitation. Children working in domestic service and other informal workplaces are not covered by the Labor Law, recruiting children for armed service has not been criminalized, and there is no compulsory education age. Children continue to be engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in cattle herding and dangerous activities in agriculture.

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Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Children are engaged in the worst forms of child labor in Chad, including in cattle herding and dangerous activities in agriculture.(3-5) Numerous children work as herders.(3, 6-8) These children work long hours and may suffer injuries such as being bitten, butted, gored, or trampled by animals.(9, 10) Many children are engaged in dangerous activities in agriculture. Children working in agriculture may use dangerous tools, carry heavy loads, and apply harmful pesticides.(5, 11-13) Children also work as domestic servants, and some may be required to work long hours, performing strenuous tasks, without sufficient food or shelter. These children may be isolated in private homes and are susceptible to physical and sexual abuse.(3, 14-16)

Although the security environment has improved and the Government stopped recruiting children as soldiers into the national army in 2010,there have been cases of children found in military training units.(5, 17-21) Within Chad, some children are trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor in domestic service, herding, begging, and agriculture.(20) Chadian children are also trafficked to the Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Cameroon for forced labor in cattle herding.(22) Children from Chad are trafficked to Saudi Arabia for forced labor as beggars and street vendors.(23) Some of these children may be sold or bartered by their families.(20) Some boys, sent to Koranic teachers to receive an education, are forced to beg and surrender the money they have earned or risk being beaten.(20, 24)

During the first half of 2012, Chad suffered a food crisis that extended across the region. During the second half of the year, Chad experienced severe flooding, which displaced hundreds of thousands of people and strained the limited resources of the Government.(22)

In several towns and especially in the capital, N’Djamena, there are reports of children working on the streets, but specific information on hazards is unknown. Children working on the streets are at risk of recruitment for other worst forms of child labor such as herding or domestic service.(6)



Laws and Regulations on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

According to the Labor Code, the minimum age for work is 14; however, exceptions permit light work in agriculture and domestic service from age 12.(25-27) The Labor Code also permits exceptions to be established through decrees issued by the Ministry of Labor (MOL), the Ministry of Public Security, and the Ministry of Public Health.(21, 25, 27) The Labor Code prohibits forced labor.(20) C

had has a list of hazardous activities specifically prohibited for children under age 18, such as working in a slaughterhouse or mine. However, the hazardous list has not been updated since 1969.(26, 28) In addition, such protections apply only to work in formal enterprises and do not protect children working in informal activities such as domestic service.(26, 29) The law also does not prohibit children’s use of dangerous tools in agriculture.(3)

Chadian law makes attending primary and middle school compulsory, but does not set forth a specific age at which schooling must begin.(27, 30) The lack of a clear age for children to enroll in school puts them at risk of the worst forms of child labor prior to fulfilling their compulsory education requirement.(27, 30) Chadian law also establishes the right to free education.(30) However, Chad faces many challenges in providing access to education, including shortages of functioning schools and teachers, as well as teacher absenteeism.(24, 31)

The minimum age for compulsory military recruitment is 20. The minimum age for voluntary military recruitment without parental consent is 18.(32, 33) However, children under 18 are permitted legally to volunteer for military service with a guardian’s consent. Although the UN Action Plan calls for a law criminalizing all use of child soldiers, to date no such law has been enacted.(34, 35) During the reporting period, the Government issued and disseminated instructions to prohibit child soldier recruitment.(3) However, the lack of a law criminalizing the use of child soldiers and the lack of adequate penalties for using child soldiers increase the risk that children could be used as child soldiers in future conflicts.

Under the Penal Code, exploiting minors for prostitution is illegal.(20, 21, 28) However, under this law only those who “aid, assist knowingly, or protect the prostitution of others” are considered offenders. Those who solicit children under age 18 for sexual services are not considered offenders, and the law does not establish offenses related to pornography or pornographic performances by a child under age 18.(4, 21) Chad lacks a law protecting children from being used, offered, or procured for illicit activities.(4)

There is no specific law on human trafficking in Chad. However, a draft revision to the Penal Code is under review by the Government that would prohibit child trafficking and provide protection for victims.(20) During the reporting period, the National Committee for Child Protection helped to draft a new Child Protection Code. The Code has been approved by the Council of Ministers and as of the writing of this report is pending ratification at the National Assembly.(3) UNICEF has provided technical assistance for key provisions in the new Child Protection Code. The aim of the new code is to ensure that Chad’s laws fully meet the obligations of the Palermo Protocol and other international instruments.(22)

The Government of Chad is party to two resolutions or plans regarding child soldiers: the N’Djamena Declaration, a regional agreement binding its signatories to eliminate the use of child soldiers in their territories, and the Government of Chad-UN Action Plan on Children Associated with Armed Forces and Groups in Chad, which provides concrete steps for eliminating the use of child soldiers in Chad.(19, 35-37)



Institutional Mechanisms for Coordination and Enforcement

The National Committee for Child Protection coordinates government efforts to combat the worst forms of child labor. The Committee is led by a representative of the MOL and has members from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the Ministry of Human Rights (MHR), the Ministry of Social Action, the judicial police, and local NGOs.(3) Mechanisms to guide the Committee’s coordination efforts exist, including for activities such as referring children found during inspections to social services and returning them to their families. The Committee is responsible for carrying out the National Action Plan for Protecting Chadian Children (PRONAFET).(3)

The National Committee to Fight Against Trafficking, which consists of several Government agencies partnered with international agencies, implements the national action plan on trafficking but has limited resources.(18, 22) Each of the 22 regions of Chad reportedly has a technical committee responsible for addressing the worst forms of child labor, but there is no coordination at the national level. These regional committees include representatives from the Ministries of Education, Public Works, Justice, and Social Affairs and Family, as well as a representative from the police.(22)

The MOL employs 102 inspectors, controllers, and supervisory controllers to conduct labor inspections and to implement and enforce child labor laws.(3, 38) The Government and local NGOs believe this number is insufficient and more inspectors need to be trained. Local NGOs also report that inspectors do not have adequate resources, including vehicles and gas, to conduct inspections.(3) No statistics are available on the number of inspections that were conducted, the results of any such inspections, or the amount of training provided for labor inspectors.

The MOJ is responsible for investigating and enforcing all laws.(18) During the reporting period, Government inspectors and UNICEF officials conducted joint inspections and removed 27 children from military training units. The children were taken to a social center, provided education or training, then reunited with their families.(5, 22) Reportedly, the children were all volunteers who had lied about their age. Many children lack birth certificates or other documentation for proof of age.(22) In addition, joint-inspectors removed 26 children from an ex-rebel group led by Baba Ladde which surrendered.(5, 17)

No official statistics on law enforcement for the worst forms of child labor are available. Some crimes, especially in rural areas, are dealt with under traditional and tribal justice systems, and statistics are not centrally compiled.(18) However, reports indicate that nine cases of forced child labor were prosecuted during the reporting period.(21) One case resulted in a 2-year prison sentence for the defendant, a senior army officer, and another case resulted in a suspended 1-year sentence. Catholic Relief Services also reports that officials in Tandjilé and Mandoul regions investigated seven cases involving the alleged sale of boys for forced labor in cattle herding during the reporting period.(3) Three defendants were convicted of child theft; two of them were imprisoned and one received a suspended sentence and a fine.(3)

There are only 150 judges in Chad and there is a lack of physical infrastructure for the judiciary, such as courthouses. As a result, the judicial system is ill-equipped to enforce laws against the worst forms of child labor.(6, 39)



Government Policies on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government continued to support PRONAFET, which establishes responsibilities for several ministries that cooperate at various levels of government to prevent and address child labor, including the worst forms of child labor.(3)

The Government never adopted the UNICEF supported Integrated Action Plan to Fight the Worst Forms of Labor, Exploitation, and Trafficking (2008-2010). However, reportedly, Government officials continue to work towards the goals of the action plan.(22)

During the reporting period, the Government of Chad worked with the UN and international donors to draft a new National Development Plan (PND) for 2013-2015.(3) The PND was approved by the Cabinet and is awaiting legislative approval as of the writing of this report. Among the PND goals are increasing primary and secondary education and youth employment programs.(21)

A 10-year plan from 2004 to 2015 exists for reforming the education system, and the Chadian education system policy includes a focus on ensuring equitable access to education for child domestic workers, child herders, child soldiers, and street children, as well as increasing school attendance by girls.(4, 40, 41) However, the question of whether these development policies have an impact on child labor does not appear to have been addressed.



Social Programs to Eliminate or Prevent the Worst Forms of Child Labor

During the reporting period, Chad worked with partner organizations, including the UN, to provide assistance to children removed from the military.(17, 21) In addition, the Government supports several NGO administered programs in Chad to assist victims of trafficking and exploitation. The Government also supported a program to conduct outreach campaigns to prevent the worst form of child labor.(21) However, programs to combat the worst forms of child labor remain few and limited in scope compared to the magnitude of the problem, particularly in agriculture, herding, and domestic service.(4, 42)



Based on the reporting above, the following actions would advance the elimination of the worst forms of child labor in Chad:

Area

Suggested Actions

Year(s) Action Recommended

Laws and Regulations

Draft and adopt a law that criminalizes all use of children under age 18 in armed conflict and provides appropriate penalties.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Adopt the draft Child Protection Code and legislation pertaining to domestic workers.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Adopt the draft Penal Code provisions to protect children from trafficking and sexual exploitation.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Enact a law to prohibit the use, procurement, or offering of children for illicit or pornographic purposes.

2011, 2012

Review and update the list of hazardous occupations, ensuring that it covers all sectors and activities in which children are at risk of injury, and impose appropriate penalties for violations.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Amend the education law to establish a clear age for compulsory education that ensures children are in school until they have attained at least 14 years, the minimum age for employment.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Coordination and Enforcement

Continue to work toward fulfilling the responsibilities committed to in the June 2010 N'Djamena Declaration on eliminating all use of child soldiers in Chad.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Ensure there is an adequate number of labor inspectors and resources to enforce child labor laws.

2012

Provide law enforcement officials and judges with adequate resources to enforce laws against the worst forms of child labor.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Gather and publish statistics regarding the enforcement of the worst forms of child labor laws, including the number of complaints, investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Policies

Adopt a National Action Plan to effectively target all worst forms of child labor in Chad.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Assess the impact that existing development policies may have on addressing child labor.

2012

Social Programs

Develop programs to prevent the recruitment of children into armed forces and demobilize any remaining children engaged in child soldiering.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Establish and expand programs providing services to children engaged in the worst forms of child labor, especially in agriculture, herding, domestic service, and forced begging by

  • Strengthening the livelihoods of families of child laborers,
  • Raising awareness of the importance of education, and
  • Addressing the lack of schools and trained teachers, as well as teacher absenteeism.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

 



1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total.; accessed February 4, 2013; http://www.uis.unesco.org/Pages/default.aspx?SPSLanguage=EN. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. For more information, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

2. UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. February 5, 2013. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children’s work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor. For more information on sources used, the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

3. U.S. Embassy- N'djamena. reporting, January 29, 2013.

4. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Chad (ratification: 2000) Published: 2011; accessed January 14, 2013; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

5. U.S. Department of State. "Chad," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2012. Washington, DC; April 19, 2013; http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper.

6. Franciscans International. Alternate report Submitted to the 96th Session of the Committee on Human Rights: Chad; May 2009. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/FI_Chad96.doc.

7. UN Human Rights Committee. Replies of the Government of Chad to the List of Issues to be Taken up in Connection with the Consideration of the Initial Periodic Report of Chad; January 20, 2009. http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session5/TD/A_HRC_WG6_5_TCD_1_E.pdf.

8. U.S. Department of State official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. December 21, 2010.

9. International Labour Office. Livestock Production, International Labour Organization, [online] January 31, 2012 [cited October 26, 2012]; http://www.ilo.org/ipec/areas/Agriculture/WCMS_172431/lang--en/index.htm.

10. Gender Equity and Rural Employment Division. Children's work in the livestock sector: Herding and beyond. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 2013. http://www.fao.org/documents/en/detail/307941.

11. African Development Bank. Chad: Environmental and Social Impact Evaluation Summary of the Doba-Sarh Road; December 2008. http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Environmental-and-Social-Assessments/30776511-EN-TCHAD-RESUME-EIES-KOUMRA-SARH.PDF.

12. International Labour Office. Children in hazardous work: What we know, What we need to do. Geneva, International Labour Organization, 2011. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_159585.pdf While country-specific information on the dangers children face in agriculture is not available, research studies and other reports have documented the dangerous nature of tasks in agriculture and their accompanying occupational exposures, injuries and potential health consequences to children working in the sector.

13. International Labour Office. Farming, International Labour Organization, [online] January 31, 2012 [cited October 26, 2012]; http://www.ilo.org/ipec/areas/agriculture/WCMS_172416/lang--en/index.htm.

14. Synapostel. "Tchad: la questions des enfants bouviers et domestiques, une urgence nationale." africaefuture.org [online] September 17, 2009 [cited March 29, 2013]; www.africaefuture.org/synapostel/html/765.html.

15. International Labour Office. Domestic Labour, International Labour Organization, [online] [cited October 26, 2012]; http://www.ilo.org/ipec/areas/childdomesticlabour/lang--en/index.htm.

16. International Labour Office. Children in hazardous work: What we know, what we need to do. Geneva, International Labour Organization; 2011. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_159585.pdf. While country-specific information on the dangers children face in domestic work is not available, research studies and other reports have documented the dangerous nature of tasks in domestic work and their accompanying occupational exposures, injuries and potential health consequences to children working in the sector.

17. UN Office of the Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. Chad, UN, [online] May 15, 2013 [cited June 12, 2013]; http://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/countries/chad/.

18. U.S. Embassy- N'djamena. reporting, February 14, 2011.

19. U.S. Embassy- N'djamena. reporting, June 29, 2011.

20. U.S. Department of State. "Chad," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2012. Washington, DC; June 19, 2012; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/192594.pdf.

21. U.S. Embassy- N'djamena official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. June 4, 2013.

22. U.S. Embassy- N'djamena. reporting, February 20, 2013.

23. U.S. Department of State. "Saudi Arabia," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2012. Washington, DC; June 19, 2012; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/192594.pdf.

24. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention: Concluding Observations: Chad,. Geneva: February 12, 2009.

25. Government of Chad. Code du Travail, No. 038/PR/96, enacted December 11, 1996. www.droit-afrique.com/images/textes/Tchad/Tchad%20-%20Code%20du%20travail.pdf.

26. Government of Chad. PR-MT JS-DTMOPS du février 1969 relatif au travail des enfants, Décret No. 55, enacted 1969.

27. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Chad (ratification: 2005) Submitted: 2011; accessed January 14, 2013; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

28. Government of Chad. Portant promulgation d'un code pénal, No. 12-67-PR-MJ, enacted May 21, 1969.

29. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Chad (ratification: 2000) Submitted: 2009; accessed January 14, 2013; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

30. Government of Chad. Portant organisation du système éducatif Tchadien, Loi No. 016/PR/06, enacted March 13, 2006.

31. Integrated Regional Information Networks. "Chad: A Semblance of Education for a Displaced Child." IRINnews.org [online] March 13, 2008 [cited January 14, 2013]; http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportId=77273.

32. Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. "Chad," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2008. London; 2008; [hard copy on file].

33. Government of Chad. Portant statut general des militaires, No. 006/PR/92, enacted April 28, 1992. [hard copy on file].

34. U.S. Library of Congress. Chad: Child Labor Laws. Washington, DC; May 2010. [hard copy on file].

35. Government of Chad. Plan d'action sur les enfants associés aux forces armées au Tchad; 2011. [hard copy on file].

36. Government of Cameroon, Government of Central African Republic, Government of Chad, Government of Nigeria, Government of Niger, Go Sudan. N'djamena Declaration of Regional Conference: Ending Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Forces and Groups; Contributing to Peace, Justice and Development. June 7-9 2010. [hard copy on file].

37. Zulfiqar, S, H Calderon. "Chad and five other Central African countries pledge to end use of children in armed conflict." unicef.org [online] June 11, 2010 [cited March 29, 2013]; http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/chad_53966.html.

38. U.S. Embassy- N'djamena. reporting, February 22, 2012.

39. U.S. Embassy- N'djamena. reporting, February 10, 2010.

40. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Consideration of Reports Submitted Under Article 44 of the Convention: Second Periodic Reports of States Parties due in 1997. Geneva; December 14, 2007. Report No. CRC/C/TCD/2*.

41. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) Chad (ratification: 1966) Published: 2010; accessed January 14, 2013; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

42. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Periodic Reports of States Parties: Chad; 2007 December 14,. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/47a0a5222.html