Measuring the Change
using prevalence data providing the widest temporal coverage of the most complete and comparable measures available by ICLS standards.
Child labour between 2005 and 2019 decreased by 20%.
Best Target 8.7 Data: Child Labour Rate
The data visualization displays the percentage of children in child labour in Belarus. Detailed information is provided in the Measurement tab (above).
- Child labour: Limited ILO/UNICEF data
- Forced labour: No nationally representative data
- Human trafficking: Case data available
Human Development Index Score: 0.817 (2018)
Mean School Years: 12.3 years (2018)
Vulnerable Employment: 3.4% (2018)
Working Poverty Rate: 0.1% (2020)
- ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Not Ratified
- ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2000
- UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Ratified 2003
Social Protection Coverage
General (at least one): No data
Unemployed: 44.6% (2016)
Pension: 100% (2016)
Vulnerable: No data
Children: No data
Disabled: No data
Poor: No data
Measurement of child labour prevalence has evolved considerably over the past two decades. Estimates of child labour incidence are more robust and exist for more countries than any other form of exploitation falling under SDG Target 8.7.
Child Labour Rate, Aged 5-17 (Source: Belstat)
In Belarus, children considered in child labour fall into either of the following three categories:
- Children aged 5-11 years: at least 1 hour per week and (or) at least 21 hours (28 hours in 2005, 2012) of domestic work;
- Children aged 12-14 years: at least 14 hours a week are involved in work and/or at least 21 hours (28 hours in 2005, 2012) of domestic work;
- Adolescent aged 15-17 year: at least 43 hours per week of work.
The graph on the right shows the percentage of children in child labour, disaggregated by sex.
Weekly Work Hours, Children Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)
Children aged 5-11 are considered to be subjected to child labour when engaging in any form of economic activity. Children aged 12-14 are permitted to engage in “light” work that is not considered hazardous and falls below 14 hours per week.
According to the latest 2012 estimates, the average number of hours worked per week by children aged 5-14 in Belarus was 2.3 hours. The average number of hours worked has decreased from 3.5 hours in 2005.
The chart displays differences in the number of hours that children aged 5-14 work in economic activities by sex and region. The sample includes all children of this age group. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is provided for 2005 and 2012.
Weekly Work Hours Children Only in Economic Activity, Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)
Children not attending school who are engaged in economic activity can be subjected to longer working hours.
In 2005, the latest year with available data, children in economic activity only, meaning they are not in school, worked an average of 1.0 hours per week.
The chart displays differences in the number of hours worked by children aged 5-14 who are not in school. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is not provided.
Weekly Hours Household Chores, Children Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)
Researchers recognize that children involved in economic activities are not the only children working. The ICLS recommended definition of child labour includes children aged 5-14 performing household chores for at least 21 hours per week.
Children aged 5-14, on average, are found to work on household chores 3.0 hours per week according to the 2012 estimate. This estimate represents a decrease in hours worked across all age groups since the last estimate in 2005, which found that children aged 5-14 in Belarus worked an average of 3.7 hours per week.
The chart displays differences in the number of hours children aged 5-14 work on household chores by sex and region. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is provided for 2005 and 2012.
Measuring the incidence of forced labour is a much more recent endeavour and presents unique methodological challenges compared to the measurement of child labour.
No nationally representative data is available on forced labour prevalence in Belarus.
Visit the How to Measure the Change page for information on new guidelines presented by the International Labour Organization and adopted by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians.
The challenges in estimating human trafficking are similar to those of estimating forced labour, though recent innovations in estimation have begun to produce prevalence estimates in developed countries.
Identified Victims of Human Trafficking (Source: GRETA)
According to the Group of Experta on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), the great majority of the identified victims in Belarus are women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation, where the main countries of destination are the Russian Federation and Turkey. There is also a growing trend of internal trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
The graph on the right shows the number of identified victims of human trafficking per year in Belarus, as reported by Belarusian authorities to (GRETA).
Human trafficking data collected by the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus is available here.
Key aspects of human development, such as poverty and lack of education, are found to be associated with risk of exploitation. Policies that address these issues may indirectly contribute to getting us closer to achieving Target 8.7.
Human Development Index (Source: UNDP)
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: (1) a long and healthy life; (2) access to knowledge; and (3) a decent standard of living. Human development can factor into issues of severe labour exploitation in multiple ways.
The chart displays information on human development in Belarus between 1995 and 2018. Only certain sample years have data disaggregated by sex.
The most recent year of the HDI, 2018, shows that the average human development score in Belarus is 0.817. This score indicates that human development is very high.
HDI Education Index (Source: UNDP)
Lack of education and illiteracy are key factors that make both children and adults more vulnerable to exploitive labour conditions.
As the seminal ILO report Profits and Poverty explains:
“Adults with low education levels and children whose parents are not educated are at higher risk of forced labour. Low education levels and illiteracy reduce employment options for workers and often force them to accept work under poor conditions. Furthermore, individuals who can read contracts may be in a better position to recognize situations that could lead to exploitation and coercion.”
The bars on the chart represent the Education Index score and the line traces the mean years of education in Belarus over time.
Decent work, a major component of SDG 8 overall, has clear implications on the forms of exploitation within Target 8.7. Identifying shortcomings in the availability of equitable, safe and stable employment can be a step in the right direction towards achieving Target 8.7.
HDI Vulnerable Employment (Source: UNDP)
There are reasons to believe that certain types of labour and labour arrangements are more likely to lead to labour exploitation. According to the ILO:
“Own-account workers and contributing family workers have a lower likelihood of having formal work arrangements, and are therefore more likely to lack elements associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and a voice at work. The two statuses are summed to create a classification of ‘vulnerable employment’, while wage and salaried workers together with employers constitute ‘non-vulnerable employment’.”
Between 1991 and 2018, Belarus had the same proportion of workers in vulnerable employment as compared to those in secure employment.
Working Poverty Rate (Source: ILO)
Labour income tells us about a household’s vulnerability. As the ILO explains in Profits and Poverty:
“Poor households find it particularly difficult to deal with income shocks, especially when they push households below the food poverty line. In the presence of such shocks, men and women without social protection nets tend to borrow to smooth consumption, and to accept any job for themselves or their children, even under exploitative conditions.”
ILO indicators that measure poverty with respect to the labour force include working poverty rate, disaggregated by sex, with temporal coverage spanning from 2000 to 2020. The chart displays linear trends in working poverty rate over time for all individuals over 15 years of age.
Labour Productivity (Source: ILO)
“Labour productivity is an important economic indicator that is closely linked to economic growth, competitiveness, and living standards within an economy.” However, when increased labour output does not produce rising wages, this can point to increasing inequality. As indicated by a recent ILO report (2015), there is a “growing disconnect between wages and productivity growth, in both developed and emerging economies”. The lack of decent work available increases vulnerability to situations of labour exploitation.
Labour productivity represents the total volume of output (measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product, GDP) produced per unit of labour (measured in terms of the number of employed persons) during a given period.
Rates of Non-fatal Occupational Injuries (Source: ILO)
Occupational injury and fatality data can also be crucial in prevention and response efforts.
“Data on occupational injuries are essential for planning preventive measures. For instance, workers in occupations and activities of highest risk can be targeted more effectively for inspection visits, development of regulations and procedures, and also for safety campaigns.”
There are serious gaps in existing data coverage, particularly among groups that may be highly vulnerable to labour exploitation. For example, few countries provide information on injuries disaggregated between migrant and non-migrant workers.
Rates of Fatal Occupational Injuries (Source: ILO)
Data on occupational health and safety may reveal conditions of exploitation, even if exploitation may lead to under-reporting of workplace injuries and safety breaches. At present, the ILO collects data on occupational injuries, both fatal and non-fatal, disaggregating by sex and migrant status.
Research to date suggests that a major factor in vulnerability to labour exploitation is broader social vulnerability, marginalization or exclusion.
Groups Highly Vulnerable to Exploitation (Source: UNHCR)
Creating effective policy to prevent and protect individuals from forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour means making sure that all parts of the population are covered, particularly the most vulnerable groups, including migrants.
According to the 2016 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: “Almost one of every four victims of forced labour were exploited outside their country of residence, which points to the high degree of risk associated with migration in the modern world, particularly for migrant women and children. “
As IOM explains: “Although most migration is voluntary and has a largely positive impact on individuals and societies, migration, particularly irregular migration, can increase vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation.” UNODC similarly notes that: “The vulnerability to being trafficked is greater among refugees and migrants in large movements, as recognized by Member States in the New York declaration for refugees and migrants of September 2016.”
The chart displays UNHCR’s estimates of persons of concern in Belarus.
Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.
Article 41. Citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall be guaranteed the right to work as the worthiest means of an individual’s self-assertion, that is, the right to choose of one’s profession, type of occupation and work in accordance with one’s vocation, capabilities, education and vocational training, and having regard to social needs, and the right to healthy and safe working conditions.
The State shall create conditions necessary for full employment of the population. Where a person is unemployed for reasons which are beyond one’s control, he shall be guaranteed training in new specializations and an upgrading of his qualifications having regard to social needs, and to an unemployment benefit in accordance with the law.
Citizens shall have the right to protection of their economic and social interests, including the right to form trade unions and conclude collective contracts (agreements), and the right to strike.
Forced labour shall be prohibited, other than work or service specified in the 80 verdict of a court of law or in accordance with the law on the state of emergency or martial law.
Article 13 Prohibition of Forced Labour
Article 24. Right to Work
Every child has the right to choose a profession and an occupation in accordance with his/her vocation, abilities,
education, professional training and with consideration of social needs.
After age of 16 the child has the right to independent work activity. With written permission of one of the parents
(guardians) labour contract can be concluded with a child aged 14 years in the order and on conditions established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.
Application of child’s labour on the hard works and on the works with harmful and/or dangerous conditions of work, underground and mountain works the list of which is approved by the Government of the Republic of Belarus or by the authorized body is prohibited.
Article 21. Age at which a labour contract is allowed
Worst Forms of Child Labour
Article 9. The Right to Inviolability of the Personality, Protection from Exploitation and Violence
Every child has the right to protect his own personality from any type of exploitation and violence.
The state provides inviolability of child’s personality, realizes its protection from all types of exploitation including
sexual, from physical and (or) psychical violence, cruel or offensive treatment, disparage, sexual harassment including such treatment from parents (guardians) and relatives, from engaging into criminal activity, junction to alcoholic drinks, non- medical use of narcotic, toxic, psychotherapy and other drastic, intoxicating substances, compulsion for the prostitution, gambling and making actions connected with making materials or goods of pornographic character, and also from engaging of a child in activities that may cause harm to his/her physical, mental or moral development.
The persons, who get to know about the facts of cruel treatment, physical and (or) psychological violence toward a child, which pose a threat for child’s life, health and development, shall immediately report about it to the competent state body.
Article 1. Main terms used the this Law and their definitions
For the purposes of this Act the following terms and their definitions are applied:
trafficking in human beings – buying and selling of a human being or other transactions with respect to it, as well recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons committed for the purpose of exploitation;
exploitation – illegal coercion of a person to work or provide services, if he/she cannot refuse to perform work or services due to circumstances beyond his/her control, including slavery or practices similar to slavery.
National Action Plans, National Strategies
Governments can take action to assist victims and to prevent and end the perpetration of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour. These actions should be considered in wider societal efforts to reduce prevalence and move towards eradication of these forms of exploitation.
Programs and Agencies for Victim Support
Policies for Assistance
Policies for Assistance, Human Trafficking
Article 1. Main terms used the this Law and their definitions For the purposes of this Act the following terms and their definitions are applied: victim of trafficking – a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, an alien or a stateless person (hereinafter, unless otherwise indicated, – a citizen), in respect of which trafficking in human beings or related offenses were committed;
SECTION 4 PROTECTION AND REHABILITATION OF THE VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING
Article 18. Measures for protection and rehabilitation of the victims of trafficking
1. Measures for protection and rehabilitation of the victims of trafficking include:
1.1. ensuring safety;
1.2. social protection and rehabilitation;
1.3. suspension of the expulsion and deportation;
1.4. assistance rendered by diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Belarus.
2. Measures for protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article shall not apply, and the measures applied shall be canceled (terminated) if the victim of trafficking impedes the pre-trail investigation or trial of criminal cases of trafficking or related crimes.
Article 19. Ensuring safety of victims of trafficking
1. Ensuring the safety of victims of trafficking, including their family members, relatives and other persons whom they reasonably believe to be close ones and their property is carried out in the manner prescribed by the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Belarus to ensure the safety of participants of criminal proceedings, other persons and their property.
2. Information on the victims of human trafficking or circumstances of trafficking, disclosure of which poses a threat to life or health of victims of trafficking and other persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this article, as well as on individuals, combating trafficking in human beings, shall not be disclosed.
Article 20. Social protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking
1. Social protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking is provided free of charge and includes:
1.1. provision of temporary places of stay, including the bunks and food, to victims of trafficking:
under the age of three years – in the public health organizations;
aged three to eighteen years – in the social and educational centers for up to six months, or in the centers for the protection of victims of trafficking and rendering assistance to them;
over eighteen years of age – by the centers for the protection of victims of trafficking and rendering assistance to them, by the territorial centers of social services in conjunction with the local executive and administrative bodies in the “”crisis”” rooms or in the premises of other organizations;
1.2. legal assistance (including explanation of their rights and obligations under the legislation of the Republic of Belarus), including free legal assistance provided by the bar associations. Legal assistance to victims under the age of fourteen is rendered to their legal representatives;
1.3. healthcare provided by public health organizations in the form of necessary medical services in accordance with the list determined by the Ministry of Health, including in-patient treatment, regardless of place of residence of the victim of trafficking;
1.4. psychological assistance in the form of psychological counseling, psychological treatment, psychological intervention and socio-educational assistance;
1.5. identification of families of minors-victims of trafficking or organizing for their fostering in other families, in the absence of such possibility – in children’s residential care institutions;
1.6. assistance in finding employment at a permanent job;
1.7. other types of assistance in accordance with the decisions of local councils of deputies, executive and administrative bodies.
2. For the purposes to returning to favorable living conditions victims of trafficking are sent by the prosecution bodies:
2.1. to public health organizations, subject to the local executive and administrative bodies for the social protection and rehabilitation provided for in the second paragraph of sub-clause 1.1 and sub-clauses 1.3, 1.4 and 1.7 of clause 1 of this article – under the age of three years;
2.2. to the socio-educational centers for social protection and rehabilitation provided for in the third paragraph of sub-clause 1.1 and 1.2-1.5 and 1.7 of clause 1 of this article – aged three to eighteen years;
2.3. to the territorial centers of social services for social protection and rehabilitation provided for in the fourth paragraph of sub-clauses 1.1 and 1.2, 1.4, 1.6 and 1.7 of clause 1 of this article – above the age of eighteen;
2.4. to centers for the protection of victims of trafficking and rendering assistance to them.
3. Organization of social protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking is provided by:
3.1. local executive and administrative bodies, to which public health organization are subordinate to – in relation to the provision of assistance under sub-clause 1.3 of clause 1 of this article, and assistance to victims of trafficking under the age of three under the second paragraph of sub-clause 1.1 and sub-clause 1.4 of clause 1 of this article;
3.2. local executive and administrative bodies, to which educational institutions are subordinate to – in relation to the provision of assistance to victims of trafficking between the ages of three and eighteen years, under the third paragraph of sub-clause 1.1 and sub-clauses 1.2, 1.4 and 1.5 of clause 1 of this article;
3.3. bodies for labor, employment and social protection of the local executive and administrative bodies – in relation to the provision of assistance to victims of trafficking who have reached the age of eighteen years, under the fourth paragraph of sub-clause 1.1 and sub-clauses 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6 of clause 1 of this article;
3.4. non-governmental organizations, international or foreign organizations.
4. Victims of trafficking may be granted financial support in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Belarus.
“Article 21. Centers for protection of victims of trafficking and rendering assistance to them
Article 22. Suspension of expulsion and deportation of victims of trafficking
Article 23. Assistance rendered by diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Belarus
Article 24. Recovery of costs associated with protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking
Law No 103-Z of 4 January 2010 on procedures and conditions for sending citizens to labour and medical rehabilitation clinics and conditions for their stay.
Act No. 146-Z of 17 July 2006 to amend and supplement several acts of the Republic of Belarus on matters relating to the stay in Belarus of foreign citizens and persons without citizenship, prevention of the consequences of human trafficking, and to repeal the Act on immigration.
Presidential Decree on Certain Measures aimed to Combat Trafficking in Persons/ILO: Presidential Decree No. 3 of 9 March 2005 on several measures against the trade of human beings.
Presidential Decree No 15 of 22 November 2005 to amend and supplement several presidential decrees on the fight against human trafficking
Decree of the Ministry of Health No. 28 of 12 September 2005 to approve the list of free medical services to victims of trafficking in persons.
Penalties, Human Trafficking
Article 27. Liability for trafficking in human beings and related offences
1. A person perpetrating trafficking in human beings or related offense is liable in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Belarus.
2. The behavior of victims of trafficking, expressed as a reluctance or inability to change their anti-social behavior caused by trafficking or related crimes, shall not indemnify the perpetrators of human trafficking or related offenses, and cannot be regarded as a circumstance mitigating their liability.
Article 181 [entered into force on January 1, 2001, as amended by the Law No.227-3 On Changes to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, 22 July 2003]
Trafficking of People
1. Actions intended to sell or purchase or undertake other types of activities regarding turning over or obtaining a dependant person (trafficking of people), shall be subject to the arrest—up to six months; or to restriction of freedom—up to three years; or to imprisonment—up to six years.
2. The same actions committed:
— knowingly against a juvenile;
— against two or more persons;
— with the goal of sexploitation or other type of exploitation;
— with the goal of using the victim’s organs or tissue for purposes of transplantation;
— by a group of people based on foregoing planning, or by an organized group;
— by public official at the hand of power abuse
shall be penalized by imprisonment for the term from 5 to 10 years with the seizure of property or without.
3. Aforementioned actions that carelessly caused the death or heavy bodily injury of a victim shall be subject to imprisonment for a term from 8 to 15 years with the seizure of property or without.
Penalties, Child Labour
Article 40. Liability for the Infringement of the Present Law
Persons violating the present law or obstructing its implementation bear liability in accordance with the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus.
181. Human Trafficking
181-1. Use of Slave Labour
183. Illegal Imprisonment
187. Illegal actions aimed at employment of citizens for
1.ii. Take steps to measure, monitor and share data on prevalence and response to all such forms of exploitation, as appropriate to national circumstances
Programs and Agencies for Enforcement
Measures to address the drivers of vulnerability to exploitation can be key to effective prevention. A broad range of social protections are thought to reduce the likelihood that an individual will be at risk of exploitation, especially when coverage of those protections extends to the most vulnerable groups.
Pension Rate (Source: Belstat)
The graph on the right shows the proportion of the population at and above the official age of retirement receiving a pension in the total population who reached the official age of retirement.
Social Protection Coverage: General (at Least One)
Social Protection (Source: ILO)
The seminal ILO paper on the economics of forced labour, Profits and Poverty, explains the hypothesis that social protection can mitigate the risks that arise when a household is vulnerable to sudden income shocks, helping to prevent labour exploitation. It also suggests that access to education and skills training can enhance the bargaining power of workers and prevent children in particular from becoming victims of forced labour. Measures to promote social inclusion and address discrimination against women and girls may also go a long way towards preventing forced labour.
If a country does not appear on a chart, this indicates that there is no recent data available for the particular social protection visualized.
Social Protection Coverage: Unemployed
Social Protection Coverage: Pension
Social Protection Coverage: Vulnerable Groups
Social Protection Coverage: Poor
Social Protection Coverage: Children
Social Protection Coverage: Disabled
Based on the Official Response from the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the Dashboard for Belarus has been revised as follows:
- Creation of Child Labour Rate visualization
- Inclusion of link to Belstat’s human trafficking statistics under the Human Trafficking tab
- Creation of visualization for pension data