U.S. Department of Labor Annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The U.S. Trade and Development Act requires that a country implement its commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in order to be eligible to be designated a beneficiary developing country under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences. It also mandates that the President of the United States submit to Congress the Secretary of Labor’s findings with respect to each beneficiary country’s implementation of its international commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

Each country in the TDA Report receives an assessment to indicate clearly the Secretary of Labor’s findings on each country’s level of advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor during the reporting period. The report analyzes the Government’s efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through their legislation, enforcement, coordination, policies, and social programs.

In 2020, Zimbabwe made moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government enacted the Education Amendment Act, which raised the legal compulsory education age to 16. It also significantly expanded the Basic Education Assistance Module to provide assistance with school expenses to over 950,000 orphans and vulnerable children, while providing humanitarian assistance allowances for vulnerable families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, children are subjected to the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, mining, and tobacco production, each sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also engage in child labor in agriculture, including in the harvesting of sugarcane.

The government did not publicly release information on its criminal law enforcement efforts, and law enforcement agencies lack resources to enforce child labor laws. In addition, gaps remain in the country’s legal framework against child labor, including the prohibition of commercial sexual exploitation of children.

 2020  Child Labor and Forced Labor Report on Zimbabwe