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Chad

2013 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Moderate Advancement

In 2013, Chad made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government criminalized recruiting children for armed service and implemented the 2013 Child Soldier Action Plan. Government inspectors and UN officials conducted joint inspections to screen for underage recruits in the military. The Government also established Child Protection Units in military zones and provided child protection training. In addition, the Government ratified the National Birth Registry Code, which requires all children be issued a birth certificate. However, children in Chad continue to engage in child labor, including in cattle herding and in agriculture. Many gaps remain in the legal framework, which leave children vulnerable to exploitation. Children working in domestic service and in other informal workplaces are not covered by the Labor Law; there are no laws to protect trafficked children or children engaged in illicit activities, and there is no compulsory education age.

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I. Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of Child Labor

Children in Chad are engaged in child labor, including in cattle herding and in agriculture.(1-6) Table 1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in Chad.

Table 1. Statistics on Children's Work and Education
Working children, ages 5 to 14 (% and population): 53.0 (1,535,025)
School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%): 39.6
Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%): 30.7
Primary completion rate (%): 35.3

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2012, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2014. (7)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children's Work Project's analysis of statistics from Demographic and Health Survey, 2004. (8)

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children's work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children's Work by Sector and Activity
Sector/Industry Activity
Agriculture Crop harvesting* (3)
Cattle herding (1, 3-6, 9)
Industry Mining, including panning for gold*†(3, 10)
Services Domestic work (1-3, 9, 11, 12)
Street work, including vending and manual labor (2, 4)
Begging (2, 3, 12, 13)
Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡ Commercial sexual exploitation sometimes as a result of human trafficking (2, 3, 12-14)
Domestic work, cattle herding, begging, street vending, and agriculture, as a result of human trafficking (2, 3, 12-14)

*Evidence of this activity is limited and/or the extent of the problem is unknown.
†Determined by national law or regulation as hazardous and, as such, relevant to Article 3(d) of ILO C. 182.
‡Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a) - (c) of ILO C. 182.

Chadian children are trafficked to the Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Cameroon for forced labor in cattle herding.(3, 14) Some boys, sent to Koranic teachers to receive an education, are forced to beg and surrender the money they have earned.(3, 9, 12, 13) Sources indicate that there were a few cases of children being removed from surrendered rebel groups entering Chad.(15-17) Research found that some Chadian children are recruited into armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR), but was unable to determine the extent of the problem. Moreover, the UN and Child Soldiers International have noted that there are reports of cross-border recruitment of Chadian children into armed groups in CAR.(15, 18)

During the reporting period, Chad continued to suffer a food crisis becuase of a combination of severe drought and flooding that occurred in 2012.(14, 19) The UN estimates that 2.1 million people remain food insecure in Chad. In addition, in 2013, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that more than 60,000 foreign refugees and Chadian returnees arrived in Chad; they were fleeing instability from neighboring Nigeria, CAR, and South Sudan.(19) Given Chad's limited resources, both of these ongoing situations may affect the Government's ability to address the worst forms of child labor.

A source indicates that less than 16 percent of children have birth certificates, which may limit their access to education. Moreover, UNICEF has noted that birth registration rates are lower for vulnerable children.(16) In addition, rural areas offer limited access to registration centers, which may hinder parents' ability to register their children.(15)



II. Legal Framework for the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Chad has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor
Convention Ratification
ILO C. 138, Minimum Age
ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor
UN CRC
UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict
UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

The Government has established relevant laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor
Standard Yes/No Age Related Legislation
Minimum Age for Work Yes 14 Labor Code; Decree No. 55 of 1969 (20, 21)
Minimum Age for Hazardous Work Yes 18 Decree No. 55 of 1969 (20)
List of Hazardous Occupations Prohibited for Children Yes   Decree No. 55 of 1969 (20)
Prohibition of Forced Labor Yes   Article 20 of the Constitution; Article 5 of the Labor Code (9, 12, 21)
Prohibition of Child Trafficking No    
Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Yes   Articles 279 and 280 of the Penal Code (12, 22, 23)
Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities No    
Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment Yes 20 Military Statute No. 006/PR/06 (3, 24)
Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service Yes 18 Military Statute No. 006/PR/06 (3, 24)
Compulsory Education Age No   Law No. 016/PR/06 (13, 25)
Free Public Education Yes   Law No. 016/PR/06 (25)

In February 2014, The Government issued Ordinance 001/PR/2014, which criminalized the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict.(17, 18) The Ordinance includes provisions that call for imprisonment of 5 to 10 years and a fine ranging from $200 to $2,000.(17)

In April 2013, the Government ratified the National Birth Registry Code, which requires all children to be issued a birth certificate in order to provide age verification for employment and military service.(9) However, according to Child Soldiers International, the new law only provides free registration within the first month of birth.(15) During the reporting period, a draft new Child Protection Code was pending ratification by the National Assembly. Also, during the reporting period, the Government was revising the Penal Code, the Labor Code, and the List of Hazardous Occupations, which has not been updated since 1969.(9, 20)

Currently, protections in the Labor Code apply to work in formal enterprises only; they do not protect children working in informal activities such as domestic service.(9, 26)

There is no specific law on human trafficking in Chad.(12) Research also found no prohibition to using children in illicit activities. Moreover, the CEACR has noted that Chad lacks a law protecting children from being used, offered, or procured for illicit activities.(2)

Chad does not have a compulsory education age. Moreover, the CEACR has noted that Chadian law makes attending primary and middle school compulsory, but does not establish a specific age for schooling to begin.(13, 25) The lack of a clear age for children to enroll in school puts them at risk of engaging in the worst forms of child labor, because the children could have completed their compulsory education requirement before reaching the minimum age for work.(13, 25) Such children would not be in school but would also not be legally permitted to work, thus making them vulnerable to being involved in the worst forms of child labor.(13, 25) In addition, although education is free, in practice, parents often must pay for textbooks and school fees, which may prevent some children from attending school.(3)



III. Enforcement of Laws on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement
Organization/Agency Role
Ministry of Public Function, Labor, and Employment Implement and enforce child labor laws.(1, 3, 27)
Ministry of Public Health, Social Affairs, and National Solidarity Work to prevent child abuse and endangerment.(9) Also provide interim accommodation for child soldiers removed from the military.(28)
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights Investigate and enforce all laws, including criminal child labor laws.(3, 29)
National Police's Child Protection Office Investigate cases involving women and children, including victims of trafficking.(30)
Child Protection Units Monitor and address violations of children's rights in military zones, including trafficking, forced labor, child soldier, and child labor issues.(16) Also conduct awareness-raising activities and trainings in the military.(15)

Criminal law enforcement agencies in Chad took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms. However, research found no evidence that agencies responsible for labor law enforcement took such actions.

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2013, the Ministry of Public Works, Labor and Employment employed approximately 100 inspectors, controllers, and supervisory controllers.(1, 27) However, the Government acknowledges that better child labor enforcement efforts are needed, but resources remain limited.(9) The Government and local NGOs believe that the number of labor inspectors is insufficient and more inspectors need to be trained. Local NGOs also report that inspectors do not have adequate resources, including vehicles and fuel, to conduct inspections.(1, 9) During the reporting period, the Government did not collect statistics on the number of inspections conducted, child labor violations found, or citations and penalties issued.(9)

Criminal Law Enforcement

While the Government stopped recruiting children as soldiers into the national army in 2010, between February and August 2013, the Government and UN conducted joint inspections of all military districts in Chad to ensure compliance. No child soldiers were identified in the joint inspections.(9, 28) In April 2013, Chadian military officials identified and removed 14 children among rebel leader Baba Lade's returning troops and transferred them to the Ministry of Public Health, Social Affairs, and National Solidarity (MSA) for reinsertion with their families.(15-17) In addition, between January and February 2013, the Government removed 23 children from armed groups entering Chad from the Central African Republic.(16) During the reporting period, the Government established Child Protection Units in all of Chad's military zones.(15, 16, 18) The Government also provided child protection training to 300 military personnel in Chad, as well as to 864 Chadian soldiers preparing for a peacekeeping mission abroad.(18) In addition, MSA staff received training on child protection from the International Bureau for Children Rights and UNICEF.(9, 28)

Sources indicate that there are not enough 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.(4, 31) Some crimes are dealt with under traditional and tribal justice systems, especially in rural areas, and statistics are not centrally compiled.(29) During the reporting period, no official statistics were available on the number of complaints, investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences for the worst forms of child labor.(9) However, the Government reported 23 criminal cases of trafficking or forced labor involving children. Eleven cases resulted in prosecution; the remaining cases are at various stages in the criminal justice system.(16, 17) In July 2013, the MSA began tracking nationwide anti-trafficking actions that involve children.(16)



IV. Coordination of Government Efforts on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

Table 6. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor
Coordinating Body Role & Description
Inter-Ministerial Committee on Trafficking in Persons and Child Protection (ICTPCP) Coordinate Government efforts on child trafficking, forced labor, commercial sexual exploitation, the use of children in illicit activities, and all other child labor, including the worst forms of child labor. Implement the National Action Plan for Protecting Chadian Children (PRONAFET). (9, 16, 30) Led by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Human Rights and includes representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the MSA, local NGOs, and the Judicial Police.(9, 16, 30) The ICTPCP's structure is based on recommendations by the UN and modeled after the existing the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Child Soldiers (ICCS). (9)
Inter-Ministerial Committee on Child Soldiers (ICCS) Coordinate government efforts to eliminate the use of children in armed conflict.(9)
Regional Committees to Combat Child Labor Coordinate regional government efforts to address the worst forms of child labor in each of Chad's 22 regions.(14, 16) Include representatives from the Ministries of Education, Public Works, Justice, and Social Affairs and Family, as well as a representative from the police.(14)

In 2013, the Government established the new Inter-Ministerial Committee on Trafficking in Persons and Child Protection (ICTPCP) to replace the National Committee for Child Protection.(9) During the reporting period, UNICEF conducted training with the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Child Soldiers to develop an age verification procedure allowing the identification of children among potential military recruits.(9)



V. Government Policies on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government of Chad has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 7).

Table 7. Policies Related to Child Labor
Policy Description
National Action Plan for Protecting Chadian Children (PRONAFET) Establishes responsibilities for several ministries that cooperate at various levels of government to prevent and address child labor, including the worst forms.(1, 9)
National Development Plan 2013-2015 (NDP)† Establishes a comprehensive development plan with an emphasis on education and poverty reduction. Other goals include increasing primary and secondary education and youth employment.(9, 22) In 2013, the Government launched and began implementing the NDP.(9)
2013 Child Soldiers Action Plan (CSAP)† In partnership with UNICEF, aims to eliminate the use of child soldiers by providing a road map of 10 specific objectives, and by designating agencies responsible for implementation.(9) In 2013, the Government launched and successfully implemented 7 of the CSAP's 10 objectives.(9)
N'djamena Declaration of Regional Conference: Ending Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Forces and Groups; Contributing to Peace, Justice and Development Represents a commitment among the signatory countries, including Chad, to eliminate the use of child soldiers in their territories.(32-34)
Guide on the Protection and Assistance of Child Victims of Trafficking Outlines the Government's formal procedures for protecting and assisting child victims of trafficking.(16)
Support Program for Reform of the Educational System 2004 -2015 Reforms the education system, including by ensuring equitable access to education for child domestic workers, child herders, child soldiers, and street children, as well as by increasing girls' school attendance.(2, 13, 35)

†Policy was launched during the reporting period.

Although the Government of Chad has adopted anti-trafficking and child soldier policies, research found no evidence of a policy on other worst forms of child labor.(3) During the reporting period, the National Action Plan for Protecting Chadian Children was not fully implemented because of the transition from the National Committee for Child Protection to the new Inter-Ministerial Committee on Trafficking in Persons and Child Protection.(9)



VI. Social Programs to Address the Worst Forms of Child Labor

In 2013, the Government of Chad participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. Social Programs to Address Child Labor
Program Description
Birth Registration Campaign† UN-funded program that conducts birth registrations. In 2013, provided registration for approximately 100,000 births in N'Djamena.(18)
Transition Center MSA program that provides family reunification and reintegration assistance to child soldiers removed from the military.(3, 36) A source indicates that the center also assists victims of child trafficking.(30)
Awareness-Raising Activities Government program that conducts outreach campaigns to raise awareness and prevent child trafficking and child labor, especially of child herders.(3, 22, 30) In 2013, emphasis was on the importance of birth registration.(16)
Income-Generating Activities† Government program that provides grants to women's groups that work to increase income of vulnerable women and children. In 2013, the grants assisted 1,590 beneficiaries.(16)
Humanitarian Assistance† $10 million USAID-funded program that provides humanitarian assistance. In 2013, funded agriculture, livelihoods, nutrition, and health interventions.(19)

†Program was launched during the reporting period.

Although Chad has set up programs that target child labor, the scope of these programs is insufficient to address the extent of the problem fully, particularly in agriculture, herding, forced begging, and domestic work.(2)



VII. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Chad (Table 9).

Table 9. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including Its Worst Forms
Area Suggested Action Year(s) Suggested
Laws Adopt the draft Child Protection Code. 2009 - 2013
Complete the review and adopt an updated 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 - 2013
Ensure that relevant child labor laws and regulations apply equally to children working in the formal and informal sectors. 2013
Adopt a law to protect children from trafficking. 2009 - 2013
Enact a law to protect children from being used, offered, or procured for illicit activities. 2011 - 2013
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 - 2013
Enforcement Ensure an adequate number of labor inspectors and resources to enforce child labor laws. 2012 - 2013
Gather and publish statistics regarding the enforcement of laws on the worst forms of child labor, including the number of complaints, investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences. 2009 - 2013
Provide law enforcement officials and judges with adequate resources to enforce laws against the worst forms of child labor. 2009 - 2013
Government Policies Adopt a policy to target effectively all worst forms of child labor in Chad. 2009 - 2013
Fully implement the National Action Plan for Protecting Chadian Children. 2013
Social Programs Establish and expand programs providing services to children engaged in 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
  • Eliminating school fees and textbook costs.
2009 - 2013
Ensure that all children are able to register for, and are provided with, birth registration certificates without limitations. 2013



1. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting, January 29, 2013.

2. 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.

3. U.S. Department of State. "Chad," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2013. Washington, DC; February 27, 2014; http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/.

4. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Alternate report Submitted to the 96th Session of the Committee on Human Rights: Chad. Prepared by Franciscans International, May 2009. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/FI_Chad96.doc.

5. 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 . Geneva; February 16, 2009. http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session5/TD/A_HRC_WG6_5_TCD_1_E.pdf.

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

7. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed February 10, 2014]; 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.

8. UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Demographic and Health Survey, 2004. Analysis recieved February 13, 2014. 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.

9. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting, January 22, 2014.

10. Government of the Central African Republic. Code Minier de la République Centrafricaine, Loi No. 9-005, enacted April 29, 2009. http://www.droit-afrique.com/images/textes/RCA/RCA%20-%20Code%20minier%202009.pdf.

11. Syndicat National des Agents des Postes et Télécommunication (SYNAPOSTEL). "Tchad: la questions des enfants bouviers et domestiques, une urgence nationale." africaefuture.org [online] September 17, 2009 [cited January 19, 2014]; www.africaefuture.org/synapostel/html/765.html.

12. U.S. Department of State. "Chad," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2013. Washington, DC; June 19, 2013; http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/index.htm.

13. 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. Report No. CRC/C/TCD/CO/2.

14. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting, February 20, 2013.

15. Child Soldiers International. Briefing on the status of implementation of the June 2011 Action Plan on children associated with armed forces and groups and its 10-Point Roadmap . London; March 13, 2014. http://www.child-soldiers.org/research_report_reader.php?id=748.

16. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting, February 14, 2014.

17. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. June 2, 2014.

18. UN Secretary-General. Children and armed conflict: Report of the Secretary-General, May 15, 2014. http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=a/68/878.

19. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting part 1, October 23, 2013.

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

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

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

23. Government of Chad. Promulgation d'un code pénal, Loi No. 12-67-PR-MJ, enacted June 9, 1967.

24. Government of Chad. Statut general des militaires, Loi No. 006/PR/92, enacted April 28, 1992.

25. Government of Chad. Orientation du système éducatif Tchadien, Loi No. 016/PR/06, enacted March 13, 2006.

26. 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.

27. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting, February 22, 2012.

28. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting part 2, October 23, 2013.

29. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting, February 14, 2011.

30. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting, November 22, 2013.

31. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting, February 10, 2010.

32. Government of Cameroon, Government of Central African Republic, Government of Chad, Government of Nigeria, Government of Niger, and Government of Sudan. "Ending Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Forces and Groups; Contributing to Peace, Justice and Development," in Regional Conference; June 7-9 2010; N'djamena;

33. Salma Zulfiqar, and Hector Calderon. "Chad and five other Central African countries pledge to end use of children in armed conflict." unicef.org [online] June 11, 2010 [cited January 19, 2014]; http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/chad_53966.html.

34. U.S. Embassy- N'Djamena. reporting, June 29, 2011.

35. 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.

36. UN Office of the Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. Chad, UN, [online] May 15, 2013 [cited January 19, 2014]; http://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/countries/chad/.