Child Labour in Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Ratnapura district school children
The ILO in collaboration with SIMPOC technically and financially supported the Child Labour Survey 2008 which commenced in August 2008 and has just reached completion. The preliminary results were discussed with stakeholders in October this year. A task force has been appointed to review these findings and ensure that the findings, apart from relating to international statistical measurement standards on child labour, are also analysed within the framework of national legislation on child labour. The Survey used the National List of Hazardous Forms of Child Labour to identify children in hazardous forms of child labour (HFCL), giving due recognition to the contextual determination of HFCL in Sri Lanka.

The Child Labour Survey of 2008 unlike the previous one conducted in 1999-2000 extended the survey to the Eastern province of the country (previously not captured as it was a state of conflict). Thus the sample size based on the Census sampling frame was extended to 16,000 households from the 1999 sample of 14,000 households. The preliminary findings indicated that information post-analysis could be obtained in district-specific terms as well. The Survey provides information related to child economic activities at major group level of industries and occupational classification, broad age groups, broad levels of education, gender, rural/urban residency in the main apart from information on child labour and HFCL.

The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) conducted the survey on the request of the Ministry of Labour Relations. The final report will be published in English as well as the national languages. The document is expected to be disseminated to the public by the end of the first quarter of 2010.