Child labour by age

Child labour by age
2015 Ethiopia National child labur survey

Almost 9 million Ethiopian children between the ages of 5 and 17 were in child labour in 2015. That’s 24.2% of all Ethiopian children according to the national directives and guidelines from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MOLSA), ILO and Central Statistical Agency.

The problem is worse in rural areas (27.5%), especially in the regions of Amhara (33.3 %), and Afar (31.7%).

According to the U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report 2019, traffickers often deceive parents of children living in rural areas into sending their children to major cities to work as domestic workers. The traffickers promise families that the children will go to school and receive wages for their work, thereby enabling them to send money home.


Child labour in rural vs urban areas

Child labour in rural vs urban areas
2015 Ethiopia National child labur survey



The first national child labour survey was conducted by the Central Statistical Agency (CSA). The second one took place in 2015.


Ethiopia ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Wefare of the Child.


Ethiopia ratifies the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)


Ethiopia ratifies the Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons. The country commits to taking measures against transnational organized crime.


The new Labour Proclamation No.1156/2019 increased the minimum age for admission to employment of young children from 14 to 15 years, prohibiting to employ a person less than 15 years of age


  • Establish an inter-regional joint forum.
  • Strengthen the legal system and law enforcement.
  • Inclusion of migration in school curriculum.
  • Demarcation of mandates within the government.
  • Institutionalization of child labour and forced labour and enforcement of policies, conventions and laws regarding these issues. Initiate the implementation of the National Action Plan on Child Labour in depth.
  • Increase research, awareness raising and capacity building on these issues at all levels.
  • Encourage and ensure businesses free from child labour and forced labour.
  • Increase the allocation of resources and finance by government and development partners.
  • Incorporation of human trafficking, worst forms of child labour (WFCL) and forced labour in the legal framework and awareness creation on these issues.
  • Capacity building of labour inspectors and law enforcement to safeguarding children.
  • Maintain oft the basic principle of access to free and universal education for all children.

Next Steps

On May 19th, 2020 the 7th Alliance 8.7 Global Coordinating Group Meeting was virtually held and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Dr. Ergogie Tesfaye mentioned that Ethiopia is prepared to reassess the existing National plan of action for the eliminations and eradication of the worst form of child labour and also the action plan for anti-human trafficking.

Human trafficking: establishment of an inter-regional joint forum on migration, strengthen the legal system and law enforcement, job creation and innovation and empowerment of the country’s economic development, provide information about legal and illegal migration, as well as about the destination country, shorten the bureaucracy for regular migration, and data and information accessibility.

Child labour and forced labour: institutionalization of these issues and their inclusion into Ten years Perspective Plan/Roadmap as cross cutting issues, enforcement of policies, conventions and laws and initiate the implementation of the National Action Plan on Child Labour in depth, increase research, awareness raising and capacity building, and encourage and ensure business free of child labour and forced labour


  • 10 Jul 2020
    family work

    High-Level Political Forum 2020: Achieving SDG Target 8.7 and universal social protection in times of COVID-19 The High-level Political Forum on Sust..

    Read more
  • 19 May 2020
    family work

    The meeting was chaired by Ms. Anousheh Karvar and took place through Zoom on 19th May from 14:00-17:00 CET  

    Read more
  • 20 Dec 2019
    family work

    As part of the Ethiopian Government's commitment to combatting child labor, human trafficking, forced labor and modern slavery, the Ministry of Labor ..

    Read more
  • 11 Jun 2020
    family work

    Honduras, Vietnam, Fiji, Guatemala, Nigeria, Albania, Mexico, Chile, Uganda, Costa Rica and Nepal have all launched video messages during the week-lon..

    Read more
  • 29 May 2020
    family work

    The human rights and labour rights of the most vulnerable must be at the heart of the COVID-19 response 1. The COVID-19 pandemic could reverse year..

    Read more

“Ethiopia’s response to this call to action is loud and clear. We share the ambitious vision of Alliance 8.7 and we welcome the unique opportunity to be a leading member of this inclusive global partnership, and to set an example that will inspire similar efforts across Africa and around the world.”

Dr. Ergogie Tesfaye, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Home Ethiopia