Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Tonga

Tonga
2021 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Minimal Advancement – Efforts Made but Continued Practice that Delayed Advancement

In 2021, Tonga made minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government of Tonga and the Government of New Zealand launched a new joint education project outlining a 15-year policy framework for Tonga's education system. However, despite new initiatives to address child labor, Tonga is assessed as having made only minimal advancement because it continued to implement a practice that delays advancement to eliminate 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 in Tonga 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 did not provide information on its labor or criminal law enforcement efforts for inclusion in this report.

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