Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste
2019 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Minimal Advancement – Efforts Made but Regression in Practice that Delayed Advancement

In 2019, Timor-Leste made a minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. In October, the government released an analytical report on the findings of its 2016 National Child Labor Survey in conjunction with the Mini Labor Force Survey. Additionally, the government funded the Vulnerable Persons Unit to help support children who were victims of child labor and human trafficking. However, despite new initiatives to address child labor, Timor-Leste is receiving an assessment of minimal advancement due to a regression in practice that delayed advancement in eliminating the worst forms of child labor. While no law or policy prohibits pregnant girls from attending school, reports during the reporting period indicate that orders from school principals forced girls to leave school when they became pregnant, making them more vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor. Children in Timor-Leste engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also perform dangerous tasks in agriculture. In addition, Timor-Leste’s Penal Code and Labor Code only protect children under the age of 17, leaving children age 17 vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor.

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