Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports
In 2022, Angola made moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government updated the list of hazardous occupations and activities for children, including 52 activities, 39 of which were not found on the previous list. The Ministry of Public Administration, Labor, and Social Security conducted training workshops focused on capacity building for child protection stakeholders, and several trainings and workshops on human trafficking concepts were provided by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to members of the Angolan diplomatic corps, national police, prosecutors, and all 18 provincial human rights committees. Additionally, the Multisectoral Commission on the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor established procedures to process and report child labor cases and strengthened its coordination with law enforcement and social services providers. However, children in Angola are subjected to the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also perform dangerous tasks in construction. Laws prohibiting forced labor are not sufficient as they do not criminalize practices similar to slavery or allow for the prosecution of debt bondage. Additionally, the number of labor inspectors is likely insufficient for the size of Angola's workforce, and social programs do not target all sectors in which children work.
Table 1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in Angola. Data on some of these indicators are not available from the sources used in this report.
|Working (% and population)||5 to 14||15.1 (1,246,354)|
|Attending School (%)||5 to 14||69.4|
|Combining Work and School (%)||7 to 14||13.6|
|Primary Completion Rate (%)||Unavailable|
Primary completion rate was unavailable from UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2023. (1)
Source for all other data: International Labor Organization's analysis of statistics from Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), 2015–2016. (2)
Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children's work by sector and activity.
|Agriculture||Farming, including plowing, harvesting, watering crops, picking fruits and vegetables, collecting mahungo caterpillars, and in the production of rice (3-9)|
|Fishing, including artisanal fishing,† and cleaning fish for deep freezing or sun drying (6,7,10-12)|
|Cattle herding and animal grazing (5,9,13)|
|Production of charcoal (14)|
|Industry||Artisanal diamond mining (9,13)|
|Mining coal (9)|
|Construction,† including stone breaking,† loading stones on trucks, carpentry,† concrete production,† gravel road building, and making and transporting bricks (4,8,9,15,16)|
|Working in animal slaughterhouses,† including processing cattle, goats, and pigs† (17)|
|Services||Street work, including vending,† car washing, parking assistance, shoe shining, begging, recycling metals and plastics, garbage and scrap iron scavenging,† and transporting heavy loads† (6-9,13,15,18-20)|
|Domestic work (3,6,13)|
|Working in shops and markets (6,7)|
|Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡||Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (6,13,21-25)|
|Forced labor in agriculture, brickmaking, construction, fisheries, artisanal diamond mining, and domestic work (13,25)|
|Use in illicit activities, including drug trafficking (6,13,25)|
|Use in illicit activities, including for the transport of illicit goods across the border of Angola and Namibia, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (13)|
† 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.
Research indicates that incidences of child labor have increased in recent years, especially in the agriculture, construction, services, and industrial sectors. Research further indicates that in the province of Namibe, over 50,000 children work in the agricultural sector. (5,6,8) Due to widespread droughts in Cunene Province, children in some villages are forced to drop out of school to gather water, dig wells, and herd cattle.(13) Undocumented Congolese migrant children also enter Angola for work in diamond-mining districts, and some are subjected to forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation in mining camps. Girls as young as age 12 are subjected to human trafficking from Kasai Occidental in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Angola for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. (13) Moreover, Angolan boys are taken to neighboring countries and forced to herd cattle or work as couriers to transport illicit goods. Reports also indicate that some adults force children younger than age 12 to commit crimes because children cannot be criminally prosecuted. (13)
Education is free up to the ninth grade; however, families often face difficulty in paying informal school fees, such as for textbooks, and at times, bribes requested by some education officials for new admissions or passing grades. (10,26,27) Further barriers to education for children include lack of classrooms and teachers. Despite research indicating that over 500 schools have been built in the last few years, many children remain outside of the educational system, and over 2 million school-age children in Angola do not attend school. (9,27-29) According to the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (2020–2022) report for Angola, 40 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 11 are not presently attending school, 18 percent have never been to school, and 19 percent do not have any level of education. For children between ages 12 and 17, almost half do not attend programs of secondary or vocational education corresponding to their age. (30) In addition, poor infrastructure, including the lack of sanitation facilities, disproportionately affects girls' attendance, especially at the secondary-school level. (9,29,31) Children in Angola are permitted to attend school only up to the sixth grade without a birth certificate; however, the government's "Massive Registration Campaign," conducted throughout all 18 provinces, resulted in the issuance of 5.1 million birth registration cards and 4.7 million identification cards between December 2019 and December 2021. (10,32)
Refugee children also face difficulties in continuing their education beyond age 11 since their status is directly connected to their parents' refugee cards, which are not accepted by secondary schools. Currently, a mechanism to apply for identity documentation does not exist, but the government is making efforts to address the issue and ensure that refugee children are not hindered from continuing their education. (10) In addition, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, in collaboration with UNHCR, is working on developing a national plan to address statelessness, which will provide a mechanism to ensure that children born to refugees in Angola receive birth certificates. (33)
Angola has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).
|ILO C. 138, Minimum Age||✓|
|ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor||✓|
|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 laws and regulations related to child labor (Table 4). However, gaps exist in Angola's legal framework to adequately protect children from the worst forms of child labor, including a lack of minimum age protections for children working outside formal employment relationships.
|Standard||Meets International Standards||Age||Legislation|
|Minimum Age for Work||No||14||Articles 1, 2, and 254 of the Labor Law (34)|
|Minimum Age for Hazardous Work||Yes||18||Articles 3(21) and 256 of the Labor Law (34)|
|Identification of Hazardous Occupations or Activities Prohibited for Children||Yes||Article 256 of the Labor Law; Hazardous Work List (34,35)|
|Prohibition of Forced Labor||No||Articles 71(j-l), 175, 177, 178, 180, and 383 of the Penal Code (36)|
|Prohibition of Child Trafficking||Yes||Articles 71(j-l), 175, 177, 178, 180, and 196 of the Penal Code (36)|
|Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children||Yes||Articles 71(j-l) and 195‒198 of the Penal Code (36)|
|Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities||Yes||Articles 4 and 7 of the Drug Trafficking Law; Article 168(1b and 1d) of the Penal Code (36,37)|
|Minimum Age for Voluntary State Military Recruitment||Yes||18||Article 11 of the Military Service Law (38)|
|Prohibition of Compulsory Recruitment of Children by (State) Military||Yes||Article 2 of the Military Service Law (38)|
|Prohibition of Military Recruitment by Non-state Armed Groups||Yes||Article 385(1c) of the Penal Code (36)|
|Compulsory Education Age||Yes||14||Articles 12, 27, and 31 of the Basic Law of the Education System (39)|
|Free Public Education||Yes||Article 11 of the Basic Law of the Education System (39)|
In 2022, the government approved an updated list of 52 hazardous activities and occupations prohibited to minors, 39 of which were not included on the previous list, such as construction, street vending, and lifting and transporting heavy loads; however, the updated list does not include diamond mining, a sector in which there is evidence of work conducted underground. (35) In addition, the law's minimum age protections do not apply to children working outside formal employment relationships, which is not in compliance with international standards that require all children to be protected by the law. (34,40) Moreover, laws prohibiting forced labor are not sufficient as they do not criminalize practices similar to slavery or allow for the prosecution of debt bondage. (36)
The government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor (Table 5). However, gaps exist within the operations of enforcement agencies that may hinder adequate enforcement of their child labor laws.
|Organization/Agency||Role & Activities|
|Ministry of Public Administration, Labor, and Social Security (MAPTSS)||Enforces laws against child labor and coordinates the Multisectoral Commission on the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor. Fines employers or sends cases to the Ministry of Interior, through the Criminal Investigation Services (SIC), for further investigation, and to the Attorney General's Office for prosecution. (10) Employs labor inspectors in all 18 provinces to carry out inspections and joint operations with social services providers. (41)|
|Ministry of Interior’s National Police||Enforce criminal laws and conduct operations and investigations related to the worst forms of child labor. Through SIC, collaborates with the Juvenile Court on child labor, child trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, and illicit recruitment investigations. (10)|
|Attorney General's Office||Investigates and prosecutes cases of the worst forms of child labor. (10)|
Labor Law Enforcement
In 2022, labor law enforcement agencies in Angola took actions to address child labor (Table 6). However, gaps exist within the operations of the Ministry of Public Administration, Labor, and Social Security (MAPTSS) that may hinder adequate labor law enforcement, including insufficient financial and human resource allocation.
|Overview of Labor Law Enforcement||2021||2022|
|Labor Inspectorate Funding||Unknown||Unknown|
|Number of Labor Inspectors||266 (33)||257 (9)|
|Mechanism to Assess Civil Penalties||Yes (42)||Yes (42)|
|Training for Labor Inspectors Provided||Yes (10)||Yes (9)|
|Number of Labor Inspections Conducted at Worksite||9,088 (10)||8,296 (9)|
|Number of Child Labor Violations Found||0 (10)||8 (9)|
|Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed||N/A||8 (9)|
|Number of Child Labor Penalties Imposed that Were Collected||N/A||Unknown|
|Routine Inspections Conducted||Yes (10)||Yes (9)|
|Routine Inspections Targeted||Yes (10)||Yes (9)|
|Unannounced Inspections Permitted||Yes (42)||Yes (42)|
|Unannounced Inspections Conducted||Yes (10)||Yes (9)|
|Complaint Mechanism Exists||Yes (10)||Yes (9)|
|Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services||Yes (10)||Yes (9)|
In 2022, MAPTSS conducted training workshops to build the capacity of several stakeholders working on child protection issues, including the National Child Protection System, the National Children's Institute (INAC), Provincial and Municipal Departments of Social Action, the Ministry of Interior, and the Court of Minors. In total, approximately 176 individuals were trained, including labor inspectors, throughout six provinces. (9) However, although inspections were conducted throughout the country and in most sectors, no labor inspections were conducted in the informal sector, which consists of 75 percent of Angola's economic activity, and in which child labor is known to occur. (9) Furthermore, research indicates that Angola does not have an adequate number of labor inspectors to carry out their mandated duties, and reports indicate that MAPTSS considers the budget allocated for labor inspection activities to be insufficient. (9,43)
Inspectors from MAPTSS work with INAC and the Ministry of Social Action, Family, and the Advancement of Women (MASFAMU) to ensure that child labor victims receive the appropriate social services. (9) INAC refers children found during inspections to social services and ensures their legal rights. INAC, along with MASFAMU, coordinates complaints with the Criminal Investigation Services (SIC), which then refers investigated cases to the Children's Tribunal (Julgado de Menores). (9)
Criminal Law Enforcement
In 2022, criminal law enforcement agencies in Angola took actions to address child labor (Table 7). However, gaps exist within the operations of the criminal enforcement agencies that may hinder adequate criminal law enforcement, including insufficient training for criminal investigators.
|Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement||2021||2022|
|Training for Criminal Investigators Provided||Yes (10)||Yes (9)|
|Number of Investigations||3 (44)||Unknown (9)|
|Number of Prosecutions Initiated||Unknown||Unknown (9)|
|Number of Convictions||1 (44)||Unknown (9)|
|Imposed Penalties for Violations Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor||Yes (44)||Unknown (9)|
|Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services||Yes (10)||Yes (9)|
In 2022, the Government of Angola provided several trainings and workshops with a focus on human trafficking concepts to members of the Angolan diplomatic corps, national police officers, prosecutors, and all 18 provincial human rights committees. (45) However, reports indicate that training remains insufficient, particularly for investigators located outside the capital and in remote areas across the country. (46)
Child trafficking victims can be referred to MASFAMU-run shelters before a determination is made regarding their reintegration with their families or guardians. (9) INAC and MASFAMU use a network of 114 counseling and housing shelters to support victims and provide them with social services. (47) Reports indicate, however, that victims in rural areas have less access to social services than those in urban areas. (44)
The government has established a key mechanism to coordinate its efforts to address child labor (Table 8). However, gaps exist that hinder the effective coordination of efforts to address child labor, including challenges with aggregating and synthesizing data on human trafficking cases.
|Coordinating Body||Role & Activities|
|Multisectoral Commission on the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor||Addresses all issues related to the worst forms of child labor and leads the drafting, implementation, and monitoring of national plans for the elimination of child labor, including the National Action Plan to Eradicate Child Labor. Led by the Minister of Public Administration, Labor, and Social Security, and includes representatives from the National Children’s Institute (INAC), the Ministry of Social Action, Family, and the Advancement of Women (MASFAMU), and six other government agencies. (9) During the reporting period, established procedures on the measuring and reporting of child labor cases, as well as strengthening coordination with law enforcement and social services. In addition, conducted review of proposed updates to the Hazardous Work List. (9)|
In 2022, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights strengthened mechanisms to protect children and women as the main victims of human trafficking in the country by creating a gender observatory, increasing awareness of reporting hotlines, and establishing a child protection system. In addition, the Interministerial Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons conducted several trainings and workshops throughout the reporting period and participated in various media outlet programs on human trafficking issues, including three on television and five on the radio. (45) Despite these efforts, reports indicate that the government faces challenges with aggregating and synthesizing data on human trafficking cases. (13,48)
The government has established policies that are consistent with relevant international standards on child labor (Table 9).
|Policy||Description & Activities|
|National Action Plan to Eradicate Child Labor (2021–2025)||Prioritizes effective, immediate, and integrated measures toward the promotion of children's rights, including through the prevention and eradication of child labor and its worst forms, by 2025. Focuses on seven principal areas: (1) child development; (2) social assistance; (3) education; (4) advocacy, accountability, and enforcement; (5) raising children's voices; (6) communication; and (7) monitoring and evaluation. (49) Each area provides specific objectives, including increasing access to education and vocational training, raising awareness of the problem at all levels of the community, strengthening relevant legal framework, and increasing the capacity of children's participation. (49) In 2022, the government began implementing the action plan, including through labor inspections and forced labor awareness campaigns. (45)|
|National Action Plan on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Persons (2020–2025)||Outlines Angola's strategy to address human trafficking, including domestic human trafficking, in a 5-year plan with the option of extension. Commits to specific activities designed to improve the prevention, protection and assistance, and prosecution components involved in addressing human trafficking. (50) In 2022, the government implemented the recently approved National Referral Mechanism for the Protection of and Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking and the Standard Operating Procedures for addressing human trafficking. (45)|
‡ The government had other policies that may have addressed child labor issues or had an impact on child labor. (51)
In 2022, the government funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor (Table 10). However, gaps exist in these social programs, including the inadequacy of programs to address the full scope of the problem.
|Program||Description & Activities|
|Social Protection Programs†||National network of child support centers implemented by the government in coordination with NGOs, offering meals, shelter, basic education, and family reunification services to victims of crime, including child trafficking victims. MASFAMU and the Organization of Angolan Women operate 52 children’s shelters that assist victims of child trafficking. (9) Active during the reporting period. (9)|
|Birth Registration and Justice for Children†||Government-run program making birth registration free for all Angolan citizens. (52) Ongoing throughout the reporting period. (9)|
|Mobile Schools and Free Meals for Children†||Ministry of Education program that provides education in mobile schools to migrant children who work with their parents in cattle herding. Specifically supports children at the highest risk of involvement in child labor in southern Angola. (46) Supports some mobile schools with kitchens, facilitating the free school meals program. (46) Active in 2022. (9)|
For information about USDOL's projects to address child labor around the world, visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/ilab-project-page-search
† Program is funded by the Government of Angola.
During the reporting period, the government conducted awareness and prevention campaigns against child sex tourism. INAC and MASFAMU also led child sexual exploitation awareness campaigns through radio and television public service announcements. (45) However, although Angola has implemented programs that target child labor, the scope of these programs is insufficient to fully address the extent of the problem. Furthermore, research did not identify programs that seek to reach children subjected to certain worst forms of child labor, such as commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.
Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor in Angola (Table 11).
|Area||Suggested Action||Year(s) Suggested|
|Legal Framework||Ensure that minimum-age protections are extended to children working outside of formal employment relationships.||2021 – 2022|
|Ensure that laws prohibiting forced labor criminalize practices similar to slavery and allow for the prosecution of debt bondage.||2021 – 2022|
|Ensure that the law prohibits hazardous occupations or activities for children in all relevant sectors in Angola, including in diamond mining.||2011 – 2022|
|Enforcement||Publish information regarding labor inspectorate funding.||2011 – 2022|
|Increase the number of labor inspectors from 257 to 376 to ensure adequate coverage of the labor force of approximately 15 million people.||2009 – 2022|
|Ensure that the Ministry of Public Administration, Labor, and Social Security receives adequate resources to conduct inspections in sectors in which child labor is known to occur, including in the informal sector.||2019 – 2022|
|Ensure that child trafficking survivors in rural areas have adequate access to social services.||2021 – 2022|
|Increase training for criminal investigators, including training of investigators outside the capital and in remote areas across Angola.||2019 – 2022|
|Publish information on the number of investigations conducted, prosecutions initiated, convictions achieved, and penalties imposed for violations related to the worst forms of child labor.||2019 – 2022|
|Coordination||Increase the government's capacity to aggregate and synthesize data on human trafficking cases.||2018 – 2022|
|Social Programs||Develop and expand existing social programs to ensure that all children have access to education and are not restricted by informal fees, lack of birth certificates, lack of teachers and classrooms, or poor school infrastructure.||2013 – 2022|
|Institute programs to support children subjected to commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor and expand existing programs to address the full scope of the child labor problem.||2010 – 2022|
|Ensure that refugee children are not hindered from continuing their education beyond age 11 by creating a process for them to obtain identity documents.||2020 – 2022|
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education, both sexes (%). Accessed: March 15, 2023. http://data.uis.unesco.org/.For more information, please see “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
- ILO. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), 2015–2016. Analysis received March 2023. Please see “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
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http://c026204.cdn.sapo.io/1/c026204/cld-file/1426522730/6d77c9965e17b15/aa4ced447f00ac5becad3d5eeddd34cb/fiscalidadeonline/2015/Lei geral do trabalho 2015-06-15.pdf
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- Government of Angola. Lei n.º 38/20 de 11 de Novembro. November 11, 2020.
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