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Source: International Labour Organization –

DILI (Joint Press Release) – The Government of Timor-Leste has taken an important step in its effort to eradicate child labour in all its forms, particularly the worst forms of child labour with the launch and issuance of the Timor-Leste National Child Labour Survey 2016 Analytical Report. The first of its kinds, the Child Labour Report is launched together with the Mini Labour Force Survey 2016 on 7 October 2019 in Dili, Timor-Leste.

The Child Labour Survey 2016 conducted by the General Directorate of Statistics, Ministry of Finance Timor-Leste and the Secretariat of State for Vocational Training and Employment with technical support from the International Labour Organization (ILO). The support of the ILO is provided under cooperative agreements on Global Action Programme on Child Labour Issue (GAP 11) and Measurement Awareness-rising and Policy Engagement Project to Accelerate Action against Child Labour and Forced Labour (MAP 16), funded by the United States Department of Labour.

The future of Timor-Leste lays in the hands of its future generation. These children are our future; therefore the Child Labour Survey is a significant instrument in the implementation of more measurable governmental programmes and initiatives, and can be used as a tool for continuing sustainable improvements in the future.”

H.E Vice-Minister and Acting of Minister of Finance, Sra. Sara Lobo Brites

The report is also linked with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under the Goal 8.7 which has called for immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking as well as secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour.

“The future of Timor-Leste lays in the hands of its future generation. These children are our future; therefore the Child Labour Survey is a significant instrument in the implementation of more measurable governmental programmes and initiatives, and can be used as a tool for continuing sustainable improvements in the future” stated H.E Vice-Minister and Acting of Minister of Finance, Sra. Sara Lobo Brites.

“The ILO congratulate the concrete effort taken by the Government of Timor-Leste through the publication of this important Child Labour Survey. Its key findings are crucial for future developments of relevant policies and programmes aimed to reach a future without child labour in this country,” stated Country Director of the ILO for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Mrs. Michiko Miyamoto.

The ILO congratulate the concrete effort taken by the Government of Timor-Leste through the publication of this important Child Labour Survey. Its key findings are crucial for future developments of relevant policies and programmes aimed to reach a future without child labour in this country.”

Country Director of the ILO for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Mrs. Michiko Miyamoto

The data presented in the Child Labour Survey has provided a richer understanding for all relevant stakeholders in the country regarding the reality of working children, characteristics of the works they perform, industries and occupations in which they are engaged and education attainment. Covering 1,755 households in all 13 municipalities, some of the key findings include:

  • Around 67,688 children (aged 5-17 years old) or equal with 16.1 percent are economically active both in rural and urban areas.
  • The main reason for children to be economically active is to supplement their family incomes and the majority of them work for their families, followed by working in the plantation/farm/garden.
  • Out of 16.1 percent of children that are economically active, 12.5 percent are in child labour and the majority of them (55.5%) are involved in hazardous work.
  • From a total population of children, 83.8 percent are attending school; however, children in child labour are less likely to attend school.
  • Around 43,000 children (aged 5-17 years old) are reported never attended school; among these children 6,455 are involved in an economic activity, 4,901 are in child labour, and 2,888 in hazardous work.

During Child Labour Survey, adult data were also obtained from the other household members. The adult data provided many of key data generally obtained from conventional labour force surveys. The Mini Labour Force Survey 2016 titled “Timor-Leste Labour Force Surveys 2010-2013-2016: Main trends based on harmonized data” has provide a time series of key labour indicators within the period of three years, aiming to analyse the evolution of the main labour force indicators. The key findings included:

  • The labour force participation rate has increased throughout the years, from 24.0 percent in 2010, 30.6 percent in 2013 and 46.9 percent in 2016.
  • The employment-to-population has also steadily increased from 22.1 percent in 2010 to 27.3 percent in 2013 and to 42.0 percent in 2016.
  • The unemployment rate increased from 7.8 percent in 2010 to 11.0 percent in 2013 and slightly decreased to 10.4 percent in 2016.
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing employment remain as highest branch of economic activity.

” The findings of Mini Labour Force Survey 2016 will contribute to the knowledge base and provide assistance in planning and in policy formulation,” stated H.E Secretary of State for Vocational Training and Employment, Sr. Julião da Silva.

For further information please contact:

Sr. Elias dos Santos Ferreira
Director General Statistic
General Directorate of Statistics Timor-Leste
Ministry of Finance
Email: edsferreira@mof.gov.tl

Sr. Jenifer António da Cruz Pui
Director Labour Market Information Centre
Secretary of State for Vocational Training and Employment
Email: jeniferantoniopui@gmail.com

MIL OSI NGO