Worst Forms of Child Labour

No to commercial sexual exploitation of children in Madagascar

On World Day against sexual exploitation, the ILO in Madagascar calls for strong effective actions to eradicate the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the country.

Actualité | 4 mars 2014
Antananarivo (ILO News) - On World Day against sexual exploitation, 4 March 2014, the ILO in Madagascar urges the Government, the social partners, the entire population and all interested stakeholders to develop strong effective actions to eradicate the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) that undermines the Malagasy society.
What is commercial sexual exploitation of children?

The use of girls and boys in sexual activities remunerated in cash or in kind (commonly known as child prostitution) in the streets or indoors, in such places as brothels, discotheques, massage parlours, bars, hotels, restaurants, etc. The trafficking of girls and boys and adolescents for the sex trade. Child sex tourism. The production, promotion and distribution of pornography involving children. The use of children in sex shows (public or private.) 
To this day, with the support of the International Labour Office (ILO), more than 1,000 children of Madagascar have been removed from this worst form of child labour and accompanied in their return to formal education and vocational training.

In collaboration with the National Committee to Fight against Child Labour (CNFLTE), the ILO has also organized an interactive workshop for local authorities and tourism stakeholders in Nosy-Be to raise awareness on the problem of commercial sexual exploitation of children and develop a workplan to address it.

In its support for the implementation of the National Action Plan to fight child labour in Madagascar, the ILO has undertaken different campaigns of prevention and assisted in the withdrawal and support of children victim of commercial sexual exploitation. These activities were carried out in several regions of Madagascar, comprising Toliara and Antsiranana.

ILO Madagascar efforts and strategies to fight this scourge include:
  • Awareness-raising and mobilization of local, regional and national authorities as well as all key stakeholders operating in this field
  • Strengthening institutional capacity
  • Direct actions to remove and assist child victims by promoting education and vocational training
  • Establishment of a monitoring system of child labour

A threat to child protection

Commercial sexual exploitation, one of the most hazardous forms of child labour, is a particular threat to child protection in a number of countries in the African region, including Kenya, South Africa and Madagascar.

"the fight is not limited to this day, it should be real and become a daily struggle", underscores the Office of the ILO in Antananarivo.
Children in Madagascar’s coastal cities are often engaged in commercial sexual exploitation to survive. They are also often recruited for commercial sexual exploitation through fraudulent offers of employment in the service industry and are subject to physical and psychological abuse.

In response to these exploitations, the Code of Conduct for the fight against CSEC, promoted by the Ministry of Tourism with the support of the ILO and UNICEF, has now been adopted by the hotel and tourism industry in Nosy -Be and Tulear. Some 120 operators in the tourism sector have joined the code of Conduct on Nosy Be and 35 more on Toliara.

The authorities of Madagascar had already adopted the 2014-2019 National Action Plan to eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour (NAP), which includes anti-trafficking and anti-commercial sexual exploitation initiatives.

Madagascar ratified the ILO Convention 182 on the fight against the worst forms of child labour in 2001. A hazardous child labour list was drawn up in 2013. The ILO – in partnership with the tripartite constituents - has been involved in a continuous and active fight against the commercial sexual exploitation of children affecting thousands of victims in the country.

The ILO considers commercial sexual exploitation of children an abhorrent violation of the human rights of children and adolescents and a form of economic exploitation similar to slavery and forced labour, which also implies a crime on the part of those who use girls and boys and adolescents in the sex trade.

Globally, the International Labour Organisation estimates that nearly a million people are trafficked every year for purposes of sexual exploitation.

Every year since 2009, 4th March has been designated as World Day of the Fight against Sexual Exploitation.