Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports


2020 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Minimal Advancement – Efforts Made but Continued Practice that Delayed Advancement

In 2020, Tonga made minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. During the reporting period, the government ratified International Labor Organization Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labor. In addition, the government released the results of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, the first nationwide survey on children and women in Tonga. However, despite new initiatives to address child labor, Tonga is receiving an assessment of minimal advancement because it continued to implement a practice that delayed advancement in eliminating the worst forms of child labor. Research indicates that there are no labor inspectors and there is no legal authority to conduct labor inspections. Labor inspections are a key tool for identifying child labor violations, and their absence makes children more vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor. Children are subjected to the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also engage in child labor in farming and fishing. Gaps in the legal framework also remain; the country has no laws specifying a minimum age for work or defining hazardous forms of work for children under age 18, leaving children unprotected from labor exploitation. In addition, the government has not integrated child labor elimination and prevention strategies into relevant policies to address child labor, including its worst forms.

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