Report on Child Activity Survey 2016 of Sri Lanka Launched

The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) in Sri Lanka launched the report of the Child Activity Survey (CAS) 2016 on 21st of February, 2017. The survey was conducted at the request of the Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations. International Labour Organization (ILO) provided technical assistance and the United States Department of Labour financially supported to conduct this country-wide household survey in 2016.

Press release | 21 February 2017
From left to right:Dr. Amara Satharasinghe, DG, DCS;Mr. M.I.M. Rafeek, Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs; Mr. Gotabaya Jayaratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations; Mr. Azfar Khan and Mr Bijoy Raychaudhuri from ILO Geneva
The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) in Sri Lanka launched the report of the Child Activity Survey (CAS) 2016 on 21st of February, 2017. The survey was conducted at the request of the Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations. International Labour Organization (ILO) provided technical assistance and the United States Department of Labour financially supported to conduct this country-wide household survey in 2016. This is the third in the series of Child Activity Surveys conducted by the DCS. The previous rounds were conducted in 1999 and 2008/09 with the assistance of the ILO.

In launching the report, Dr. Amara Satharasinghe, the Director General of the Department of Census and Statistics stated that Sri Lanka has witnessed a major decline in child labour. However, the country needs to keep this momentum to address the issues concerning child labour and its worst forms. Additionally, Mr. M.I.M. Rafeek, Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs stated the importance of applying evidence based approach to enable policy makers to make informed decisions to address the issues of child labour and its worst forms. Moreover, Mr. Gotabaya Jayaratne mentioned that Sri Lanka has a potential to become a role model for other developing countries in terms of addressing child labour and its worst forms. The head of Research and Evaluation of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work branch of the ILO, Geneva, Mr. Azfar Khan congratulated the DCS as well as the progress that Sri Lanka has made in addressing child labour. He mentioned that the Sustainable Development Goal 8, Target 8.7 addresses the issue of child labour and the UN organizations and stakeholders are encouraged to make a collaborative effort, known as Alliance 8.7.

The CAS-2016 report covers data on demographic characteristics of children, their school attendance, economic activities, health and safety, housing, and household characteristics. Furthermore, the report presents information on perception of parents/guardians on their children working and other characteristics pertaining to the children aged 5-17 years.

The total number of children in the age group of 5-17 years in Sri Lanka in 2016 was estimated as 4.6 million. According to the survey findings, 2.3 per cent of children aged 5-17 years are engaged in some kind of economic activity. In 2008/09 report 12.9% of children of this age were engaged in economic activity -this is a decline by 10.6 percentage points. Hazardous form of child labour which is a subset of working children, is as low as 0.9% in 2016 compared to 1.5% in 2008/2009.

Many other related statistics on working children, child labour, hazardous form of child labour, health conditions of working children, parents’ perception of child’s working condition, living conditions of children are available in the report which will be of value to policy makers, researches and especially those who are working for the welfare of the children in Sri Lanka. The Report carrying all the findings of the survey has been published in the DCS website www.statistics.gov.lk.