Press Release

ILO & UNICEF call for urgent measures to stop the worst forms of child labour in Timor-Leste

30 June 2023

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have renewed their call for the prioritisation of social safety nets and provision of quality social services to help protect children against the worst forms of child labour in Timor-Leste.   The two UN Agencies further urged Government to consider the adoption of the draft Timor-Leste National Action Plan (NAP) against the Worst Forms of Child Labour, which will help to define activities classified as child labour and further lists some of work, which is harmful to children. 

This call was made in the Autonomous Region of Oecusse Ambeno during an event to commemorate the World Day Against Child Labour, globally commemorated on the 12th June. 

In Timor-Leste, the draft National Action Plan against Child Labour, which is already on the table of Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs for approval, will provide the much-needed direction for the country to respond and prevent the worst forms of child labour. 

“We would like to reiterate our call for ratification of this NAP as soon as possible so that it becomes a guideline for the government and all related sectors to work and contribute to elimination of child labour in Timor-Leste” said ILO Country Director to Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Michiko Miyamoto.

Child labour, which refers to work that is harmful to the physical and mental development of a child, has been on the rise in Timor-Leste due to heightened household poverty, which is forcing more parents to send their children out to earn extra money for household expenses.  In addition, the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the inflation as a result of Russia-Ukraine crises, have added strain to household incomes and pushed more children into economic activities.   

According to the 2016 National Child Labour Survey, more than 67,688 children aged 5 to 17 years, or 16 percent of children in this age group are engaged in some form of economic activity. The survey further reveals that 52,651 children are classified as engaging in child labour, with 10 percent of these being children aged 5 to 12 years. 

“Too many children continue to be deprived of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity as they spend endless hours engaged in hazardous economic activities,” said UNICEF Representative, Bilal Aurang Zeb Durrani. “Guided by the international commitments made by Timor-Leste through the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2003, we must now take urgent steps to bring this problem to an end.” 

To reverse this current trend, the ILO and UNICEF advocate for increasing social protection safety nets such as credit schemes for vulnerable families. In addition, improving access to quality social services such as education and decent employment for adults will also hedge families from economic shocks and protect children from child labour.   

The ILO and UNICEF have further recommitted to working with Government and the Civil Society to sensitize parents on the nature of child labour and to help them understand the harmful effects of the practice. 



For more information, please contact: 

Jacinto Belo, ILO, Mobile Number - +67077233863; Email Address -

Tapuwa Mutseyekwa, UNICEF Advocacy and Communication Specialist, Mobile number - +670 77231103; Email Address – 

Antonio Gomes, UNICEF Communications Officer, Mobile number - +670 77232441; Email address - 



ILO & UNICEF husu medida urjente sira atu hapara forma traballu infantil ne'ebé aat liu iha Timor-Leste.

Oecusse Ambeno, 12 Junu 2023 - organizasaun Internasional traballu (ILO sigla Inglés) no Fundu Nasoins Unidas ba labarik (UNICEF sigla Inglés) renova ona sira-nia apelu ba priorizasaun rede seguransa sosiál no prestasaun servisu sosiál ho kualidade hodi tulun proteje labarik sira hasoru forma traballu infantil ne'ebé aat liu iha Timor-Leste. Ajénsia ONU rua ne'e husu liután Governu atu konsidera adopsaun ba projetu Planu Asaun Nasional Timor-Leste nian (PAP sigla Tetun) hasoru forma traballu infantil ne'ebé aat liu, ne'ebé sei tulun define atividade sira ne'ebé klasifika hanesan traballu infantil no lista servisu balun tan, ne'ebé sei estraga labarik sira.  

Apelu ne'e hala'o iha rejiaun Autonoma Oecusse Ambeno durante eventu komemorasaun loron Mundial Kontra Traballu Infantil, ne'ebé komemora iha loron 12 fulan Juñu iha mundu tomak.

Iha Timor-Leste, esbosu Planu Asaun Nasional ba traballu infantil, ne'ebé mak iha ona meza Ministru Koordenador Asuntu Ekonomiku ba aprovasaun, sei fó orientasaun ne'ebé presiza tebes ba nasaun atu responde no prevene forma traballu infantil ne'ebé aat liu.  

"Ami hakarak hato'o fila-fali ami-nia apelu ba ratifikasaun PAN ida-ne'e lalais liu atu nune'e bele sai hanesan matadalan ba Governu no setór sira ne'ebé iha relasaun ho Governu atu servisu no kontribui ba eliminasaun traballu infantile iha Timor-Leste" hateten Reprezentante ILO ba Indonesia no Timor-Leste, Michiko Miyamoto.    

Traballu ba infantil, ne'ebé refere ba servisu ne'ebé aat ba dezenvolvimentu fíziku no mental ba labarik ida, aumenta ona iha Timor-Leste tanba kiak uma-kain ne'ebé aas liu, ne'ebé obriga inan-aman barak liu atu haruka sira-nia oan sai hodi hetan osan adisionál ba despeza uma-kain nian. Aleinde ne’e, impaktu sosiál no ekonómiku husi pandemia COVID-19 no inflasaun nu'udar rezultadu husi krize Rusia-Ukrania nian, aumenta ona estrese ba rendimentu uma-kain nian no dudu labarik barak liu ba atividade ekonómika sira.      

Tuir peskiza Nasional Traballu Infantil 2016 nian, labarik liu 67,688 ho idade tinan 5 to'o 17 ka labarik porsentu 16 iha grupu idade ida-ne'e envolve iha forma atividade ekonómika balun. Peskiza ne'e hatudu tan katak labarik na'in 52,651 mak klasifika hanesan envolve iha traballu infantil, ho porsentu 10 husi labarik sira-ne'e mak tinan 5 to'o tinan 12.   

"Labarik barak kontinua nafatin ladún la goza sira nia infantisidade, sira-nia potensialidade no sira-nia dignidade tanba sira gasta oras ne'ebé la iha rohan hodi envolve iha atividade ekonómika perigu sira," dehan Reprezentante País UNICEF, Bilal Aurang Zeb Durrani. "Matadalan husi komitmentu internasionál ne'ebé Timor-Leste halo liuhusi ratifikasaun Konvensaun Direitu Labarik iha 2003, ita tenke foti pasu urjente sira hodi hapara problema ne'e"    

Atu troka tendénsia ida-ne'e, ILO no UNICEF halo advokasia ba aumentu rede seguransa protesaun sosiál hanesan rejime kréditu ba família vulneravel sira. Aleinde nee, hadi'a asesu ba kualidade servisu sosiál sira hanesan edukasaun no empregu ne'ebé di'ak ba ema adultu sira mós sei hasai família sira husi xoke ekonómiku no proteje labarik sira husi traballu infantil.   

ILO no UNICEF iha kompromisu atu servisu hamutuk ho Governu no Sosiedade Sivil hodi halo inan-aman sira sente sensivel kona-ba natureza traballu infantil no atu ajuda sira komprende kona-ba efeitu aat husi prátika ne’e.     


Ba informasaun detallu, bele kontaktu:

Jacinto Belo, ILO, Mobile Number - +67077233863; Email Address -

Tapuwa Mutseyekwa, UNICEF Advocacy and Communication Specialist, Mobile number - +670 77231103; Email Address – 

Antonio Gomes, UNICEF Communications Officer, Mobile number - +670 77232441; Email address - 

UN entities involved in this initiative

International Labour Organization
United Nations Children’s Fund

Goals we are supporting through this initiative