MAP16 Project activities in Sri Lanka

The project contributes to the promotion of decent work in Sri Lanka by supporting prevention measures and addressing child labour and its worst forms through new, fit for purpose, targeted approaches.

National context

Sri Lanka being progressive in most of the SDG indicators is equally progressive in reducing the incidence of child labour through its policies and laws while also providing universal education and health care services, thus reducing vulnerability. Sri Lanka has reduced child labour from 2.5 per cent in 2008/9 to 1 per cent in 2016.

Sri Lanka aims to eliminate child labour by 2021, and is continuing with initiation of strategic policies and procedures, such as Cabinet approval to increase the minimum age for employment from 14 to 16 year-olds, which now corresponds with the age for compulsory education.

According to the most recent Child Activity Survey in 2016, out of the total child population, 43,714 children are in child labour and out of those, 39,007 children are engaged in hazardous forms of work, accounting for 0.9 per cent of the total child population.

Project activities

The project activities in Sri Lanka include:
  • Evidence based targeted approach adopted to eliminate child labour with particular attention to its worst forms.
  • Relevant policy recommendations developed and adopted to address commercial sexual exploitation.
  • Integrated coordination mechanism for SDG Target 8.7 building on existing coordination mechanisms activated.


Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs, National Child Protection Authority, Department of Manpower and Employment.

Target beneficiaries

Children in the age group of 12-17 and their families, labour officers, child protection officers, social workers.