Child labour by age


1.9 million Malagasy children between the ages of 5 and 17 were child labourers in 2012. That’s 26.2% of all Malagasy children. Of those in employment, 81.4% performed hazardous activities.

Child labour is higher in rural areas (28.6%) than in urban areas, especially in the regions of Amoron’l Mania (42.1%) and Vatovavy-Fitovinany (40.6%).

The worst forms of child labour include commercial exploitation and trafficking. In 2007, 4.5% of Malagasy children were trafficked, often for domestic work. Trafficking, both transnational and internal, is not uncommon in Madagascar. Though data is scant,evidence indicates that victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation, forces labour, domestic work, and forced begging.

Children status in employment

Children status in employment



Madagascar launched the National Action Plan to Eliminate Child Labour.


Madagascar signs a Partnership Protocol Agreement with the European Union, International Labour Organization, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Labour. The agreement aims to remove children from situations of child labour and human trafficking and prevent further entry by expanding education and training opportunities.


Madagascar adopted the law No. 2014-040 on human trafficking. M . elaborated the National Plan to eliminate human trafficking. M. created the national office to fight human trafficking (BNLTEH).


The newly created National Gendarmerie Child Protective Service investigates cases related to child labour and human trafficking, especially commercial sexual exploitation. It refers all case for prosecution


Madagascar is currently planning to update its National Plan on child labour and human trafficking.The National Committee to Fight Against Child Labour implements awareness-raising campaigns.


  • Establish a national database on child labour and map stakeholders. Child labour is a complex issue and progress requires a coordinated response with a strong knowledge base.
  • Engage all stakeholders. Stakeholders must work with the government and create an integrated response to child labour issues.
  • Enhance labour inspectors’ authority and  establish a Social Workers Unit. Labour inspectors and social workers can contribute significantly in the fight against child labour.
  • Revise the national action plan. Madagascar’s original plan to eliminate child labour has not been updated since 2004.
  • Establish a national database on human trafficking. Reliable information allows stakeholders to understand the extent of the problem.
  • Protect migrant workers’ rights through bilateral labour agreements. Madagascar could work with transit and destination countries to ensure safe and legal migration.
  • Raise awareness through activities and campaigns. Detecting and protecting victims remains difficult at various levels.
  • Strengthen mechanisms for law enforcement. A more stable judiciary system would allow Madagascar to better enforce legislation.
  • Make resources available to the National Office to Combat Trafficking. More resources would mean more funding for projects that address child labour and human trafficking issues.


Child Labour

  • From March to September 2019, a study on child labour in Madagascar’s six major cities (Urban Municipalities of Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa I, Toamasina I, Mahajanga I, Toliara I and Morondava) was carried out by the National Employment and Training Office (ONEF) with the support of ILO and the National Commission to Combat Child Labour (CNLTE).
  • A Decree on the strengthening of the power of sanction and control of labour inspectors is now available
  • Revision of the National Plan of Action to Combat Child Labour: From June to November 2019, the Ministry in charge of labour continued the final evaluation of the implementation of the National Plan of Action to Combat Child Labour and the collection of recommendations to be taken into account during the process of updating the Plan

Human trafficking

  • A national database system on trafficking in persons has been developed.  It is centralized and managed by the National Office to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (BNLTEH), an agency under the Office of the Prime Minister. The establishment of this hub was launched in November 2019.
  • Since February 2020, a tripartite process was launched aimed at reviewing the Malagasy labor code to ensure compliance with the recently ratified conventions C143, 181, 189 and protocol 29 and to ensure protection for migrant workers.

Trafficking in Person

Establishment of a National Data Hub (3-year project)

A national database system on trafficking in persons is developed. Key ministries that already have the necessary data started to populate the system.

Conclusion of Bilateral Labour Agreements (BLA) with transit and destination countries (Mauritius, Kuwait, Canada, China, Lebanon, Comoros, etc.)

The BLA between Madagascar and Mauritius is under negotiation. Madagascar has already drafted BLA texts to be negotiated with other countries such as Kuwait, Lebanon, Comoros, USA.

Continuation of awareness raising activities on the fight against trafficking in persons

The awareness-raising campaign on the fight against trafficking in persons and the harmful consequences of irregular migration was carried out in the media.

Child Labour in Madagascar

Establishing a database on child labour / mapping of actors

A study on child labour in 6 major cities in Madagascar is available. MICS (Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys) survey conducted with UNICEF support is completed and available.

Strengthen the powers of the Labour Inspectorate (status of judicial police officer (OPJ)) and create a body of social workers

A text has been formulated and has been submitted to the National Labour Council but has not yet been put on the agenda.

Adoption of the new National Plan of Action to Combat Child Labour

Studies on the implementation of the National Action Plan have been carried out.

Next steps

  • Overhauling the Labour Code

  • Development of a new National Action Plan to combat child labour

  • Strengthening the powers of labour inspectors in terms of control activities.


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“Madagascar has reaffirmed its political will and commitment to transform the unhappy faces of women, men, girls, and boys who are victims of modern abuse and slavery into more radiant faces, free of pain. Being a pioneer country of Alliance 8.7, Madagascar wants to become a pioneering country of concrete results in a few years.”

Christian Ntsay,Prime Minister
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