Child labour in Myanmar

© Marcel Crozet / ILO
Child labour deprives children and adolescents from a normal childhood, exposing them to moral, health and social risks. It prevents them from education, studying normally and also from developing skills and abilities to their highest potentials. Child labour is a serious violation of human rights and fundamental rights and principles at work, thus representing a barrier to decent work.

Child labour is a cause and consequence of poverty and lack of opportunities. It impacts the development of countries and often leads to forced labour in adulthood as well as other human rights violations. For all these reasons, the elimination of child labour is one of the priorities of the ILO.

Child Labour in Myanmar

  • According to the 2015 Labour Force Survey Report 1,13 million children aged 5 to 17 years – or 9.3% of the child population- are in child labour;
  • Just over half of the child labourers – 616,815 or 5.1% of the child population – are trapped in hazardous work likely to harm their physical, mental or moral development;
  • Most of the children in hazardous work are – 24.1% - are between 12-14 years old and 74.6 % are between 15-17 years old.
  • The 12-14 years age group, tend to work very long hours. Thus 25.8% of the 12-14 years old and 24.3% of the 15-17 years old worked 60 hours or more;
  • Key sectors were child labour occurs are Agriculture (60.5%), Manufacture (12%) and wholesales & retail trade; repair of motor vehicles etc. (11%).
Source: Myanmar Labour Force Survey 2015

Child Labour Globally

  • Around the world, there are 152 million children aged 5 to 17 in child labour;
  • Slightly less than half of children in child labour —73 million of them— are performing hazardous work that places their health, safety or moral development at risk;
  • 88 millions child labourer are boys and 64 millions are girls. However, these estimates don’t include household chores, for which responsibility falls more on girls;
  • The highest incidence of child labour is in Africa (71.1 millions), followed by Asia and the Pacific (62 millions), the Americas (10.7 millions), Europe and Central Asia (5.5 millions) and the Arab States (1.2 millions);
  • Child Labour is mostly found in Agriculture (71%), Services (17%) and Industrial (12%) sectors.
Source: Child Labour Global Estimates 2017

Combatting Child Labour in Myanmar

  1. Myanmar celebrities speak up against child labour

  2. The Smell of Dynamite

  3. I Wanna Go to School