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Global Efforts to Eliminate Worst Forms of Child Labor See Mixed Results in 2015

Friday, October 14, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs has released its annual report describing the efforts of 137 countries and territories to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, which is one of the criteria for eligibility for trade benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences, the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, and the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

This report tracks from year to year whether a country has made significant, moderate, minimal, or no advancement. For 2015, a record 16 countries (up from 13 the previous year) are listed as having received an assessment of significant advancement. Seven of these are the same as the previous year (Brazil, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, and Uganda) while Argentina, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jordan, Montenegro, and Panama moved up from moderate advancement and Algeria moved up from minimal advancement. Fourteen countries improved their assessment level from minimal to moderate advancement (the Central African Republic, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Macedonia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, and Tanzania) and the Falkland Islands was upgraded from no advancement to minimal advancement.

On the other hand, six countries (Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Madagascar, South Africa, and Thailand) dropped from significant advancement to moderate advancement, 11 others (Azerbaijan, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Ukraine) dropped from moderate advancement to minimal advancement, and four (Niue, Swaziland, Tokelau, and Tonga) dropped from minimal advancement to no advancement. The number of countries making a minimal advancement dropped from 43 to 34 while the number of those making no advancement increased from 11 to 15.

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