Data Dashboards

Jamaica
Measurement
Measuring the Change

using prevalence data providing the widest temporal coverage of the most complete and comparable measures available by ICLS standards.

Child labour data with a complete statistical definition is only provided for 2002. There is no change to report.

%
Best Target 8.7 Data: Child Labour Rate

The data visualization displays yearly child labour statistics based on a variety of nationally-representative household surveys. All years of data hold up to standards set by interagency collaboration between ILO, UNICEF and World Bank, though, in some cases are not perfectly comparable between years. Detailed information on each data point is provided in the Measurement tab (above).

Data Availability
  • Child labour: ILO/UNICEF data
  • Forced labour: No nationally representative data
  • Human trafficking: No nationally representative data
Context
Human Development

Human Development Index Score: 0.726 (2018)

Mean School Years: 9.8 years (2018)

Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: 35.7% (2018)

Working Poverty Rate: 0.2% (2020)

Government Efforts
Key Ratifications
  • ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Ratified 2017
  • ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2003
  • 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: No data

Pension: 30.3% (2016)

Vulnerable: No data

Children: No data

Disabled: 9.0% (2016)

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: ILO)

Based on the international conventions and the International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS)  resolution, and consistent with the approach utilized in the ILO global child labour estimates exercise, the statistical definition of child labour used includes:

a) children aged 5-11 years in all forms of economic activity;
b) children aged 12-14 years in all forms of economic activity except permissible “light” work;
c) children and adolescents aged 15-17 years in hazardous work; and
d) children aged 5-14 years performing household chores for at least 21 hours per week.

In Jamaica, data on the percentage of child labourers is provided for 2002.

The chart displays differences in the percentage of children aged 5-17 in child labour by sex and region. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is not provided. 

Children in Hazardous Work, Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)

Hazardous child labour is the largest category of the worst forms of child labour with an estimated 73 million children aged 5-17 working in dangerous conditions in a wide range of sectors. Worldwide, the ILO estimates that some 22,000 children are killed at work every year.

In Jamaica, the latest estimates show that 0.3 percent of children aged 5-14 were engaged in hazardous work in 2002.

The chart displays differences in the percentage of children aged 5-14 in hazardous labour by sex and region. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is not provided. 

Children in Hazardous Work, Aged 15-17 (Source: ILO)

Children aged 15-17 are permitted to engage in economic activities by international conventions in most cases, except when the work is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children (Article 3 (d) of ILO Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (No. 182)). 

In Jamaica, the latest estimates show that 4.4 percent of children aged 15-17 were engaged in hazardous work in 2002.

The chart displays differences in the percentage of children aged 15-17 in hazardous labour by sex and region. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is not provided. 

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 2011 estimates, the average number of hours worked per week by children aged 5-14 in Jamaica was 2.6 hours. The average number of hours worked has decreased) from 3.6 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 not provided for 2002. 

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 10.7 hours per week. This number has decreased since 2002, when the average number of hours worked by this age group was 24.2. 

The chart displays differences in the number of hours worked by children aged 5-14 who are not in school, by sex and region. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is only provided for 2005.

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 2.4 hours per week according to the 2011 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 Jamaica worked an average of 4.2 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 not provided for 2002.

Children in Economic Activity by Sector, Aged 5-14: total (Source: ILO)

Identifying the sectors in which the most child labour exists can help policy actors and practitioners target efforts toward those industries. 

The latest data available on child labour by sector for Jamaica is from 2002. By the 2002 estimate, the Other Services sector had the most child labourers, followed by the Agriculture sector, the Manufacturing sector and the Commerce, Hotels and Restaurants sector.

The chart to the right displays child labour prevalence in each sector for all children. The charts below show the differences in child labour by sector with comparisons between groups by sex and region. 

 

Children in Economic Activity by Sector, Aged 5-14: sex (Source: ILO)

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 Jamaica.

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.

No nationally representative data is available on human trafficking prevalence in Jamaica.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page to learn about measuring human trafficking prevalence, including information on collecting data through national referral mechanisms and producing prevalence statistics using Multiple Systems Estimation (MSE).

Case Data: International and Non-Governmental Organizations

Civil society organizations (CSOs) focused on human trafficking victim assistance can serve as crucial sources of data given their ability to reach a population that is notoriously difficult to sample.

Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC): The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Polaris and Liberty Asia have launched a global data repository on human trafficking, with data contributed by counter-trafficking partner organizations around the world. Not only does the CTDC serve as a central repository for this critical information, it also publishes normed and harmonized data from various organizations using a unified schema. This global dataset facilitates an unparalleled level of cross-border, trans-agency analysis and provides the counter-trafficking movement with a deeper understanding of this complex issue. Equipped with this information, decision makers will be empowered to create more targeted and effective intervention strategies.

Prosecution Data

UNODC compiles a global dataset on detected and prosecuted traffickers, which serves as the basis in their Global Report for country profiles. This information is beginning to paint a picture of trends over time, and case-specific information can assist investigators and prosecutors.

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 Jamaica between 1990 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 Jamaica is 0.726. This score indicates that human development is 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 Jamaica 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, Jamaica showed a decrease in the 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.

 

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 Jamaica.

Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.

Official Definitions
Forced Labour

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) Act, 2007

“2—1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“”forced labour”” means any work or services exacted from a person by threat of penalty and for which the said person did not offer himself to provide such work or services voluntarily;”

Child Labour

The Child Care and Protection Act, 2004

33. No person shall employ a child under the age of thirteen years in the performance of any work.

“34.(1) No person shall employ a child who has attained the age of thirteen years, but who has not attained the age of fifteen years, in the performance of any work other than in an occupation included on the list of prescribed occupations referred to in subsection (2).
(2) For the purposes of subsection (I), the Minister shall maintain a list of prescribed occupations-

(a) consisting of such light work as the Minister responsible for labour considers appropriate for the employment of any child of the age referred to in that subsection; and
(b) specifying the number of hours during which and the conditions under which such child may be so employed.

(3) No person shall employ a child-

(a) in the performance of any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education or to be harmful the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual or social development; or
(b) in night work or an industrial undertaking.”

Worst Forms of Child Labour

The Docks (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations, 1968

Article 55

Building Operations and Works of Engineering Construction (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations 1968 (L.N. 214/68).

Article 49

Mining Act, 1947

Article 18

The Child Care and Protection Act, 2004

“10. Prohibition against sale or trafficking of children
(1) No person shall sell or participate in the trafficking of any child
(2) Any person who commits an offence under subsection (1) shall be liable on conviction on indictment before a Circuit Court, to a fine or to imprisonment with hard labour for a term not exceeding ten years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) Act, 2007

“2—1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“”child”” means any person under eighteen years of age;
“”exploitation”” includes—

(a) the exploitation of the prostitution of a person;
(b) compelling or causing a person to provide forced labour;
(c) keeping a person in a state of slavery or servitude;
(d) engaging in any form of sexual exploitation;
(e) illicit removal of organs;
(f) keeping a person in debt bondage;”

Slavery

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) Act, 2007

“2—1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“”slavery”” means the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised by another, and includes practices similar to slavery, such as bondage and serfdom;”

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

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) Act, 2007

“6. Restitution
8. Immunity of victim from prosecution”

Part III Assistance to and Protection of Victims

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) (Amendment) Act, 2018

Policies for assistance, general

The Child Care and Protection Act, 2004

Penalties
Penalties, Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) Act, 2007

“4,-(1) A person commits the offence of trafficking in
persons. persons where, for the purpose of exploitation he-

(a) recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives
another person within Jamaica;

(b) recruits, transports or transfers another person from
Jamaica to another country; or

(c) recruits, transports, transfers, or receives another
person from another country into Jamaica,
by any of the specified means in subsection (2).

(2) The means referred to in subsection (1) are-

(a) threat or use of force or other form of coercion;

(b) abduction;
(c) deception or fraud;
(d) the abuse of-

(i) power; or

(ii) a position of vulnerability;

(e) the giving or receiving of a benefit in order to obtain the
consent of a person who has control over another
person.

(3) Notwithstanding the absence of the use of any of the
means specified in paragraphs (a) to (e) of subsection (2), a
person who recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives a
child for the purpose of exploitation of that child commits the
offence of trafficking in persons.
(4) It shall not be a defence for a person who commits
the offence of trafficking in persons that the offence was
committed with the victim’s consent.”

“(5) A person who facilitates the offence of trafficking in persons commits an offence.
(6) A person who commits the offence of trafficking in persons or who facilitates that offence is liable on conviction on indictment before a Circuit Court to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(7) A person who, for the purpose of committing or facilitating an offence under subsection ( I ) conceals, removes, withholds or destroys any-

(a) travel document that belongs to another person; or
(b) document that establishes or purports to establish another person’s identity or immigration status, is liable on conviction on indictment before a Circuit Court to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(8) Every person who receives a financial or other benefit knowing that it results from the offence of trafficking in persons commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment before a Circuit Court to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(9) For the purposes of this section, an offence under subsection (1) is facilitated-

(a) where the facilitator knows that such an offence is intended to be facilitated;
(b) whether or not the facilitator knows the specific nature of the offence that is intended to be facilitated; and
(c) whether or not the offence was actually committed.

(8A) A person commits an offence where that person conspires with any other person to commit an offence of trafficking in persons and shall be liable on conviction on indictment before a Circuit Court to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

4A. Aggravating Circumstances

5. Offences by Bodies Corporate

The Child Care and Protection Act, 2004

“10. Prohibition against sale or trafficking of children
(1) No person shall sell or participate in the trafficking of any child
(2) Any person who commits an offence under subsection (1) shall be liable on conviction on indictment before a Circuit Court, to a fine or to imprisonment with hard labour for a term not exceeding ten years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

Penalties, Child Labour

The Child Care and Protection Act, 2004

36. Where any child is employed in contravention of any of the provisions of section 33 or 34, any person to whose act, default or representations the contravention is attributable commits an offence against this Act and is liable upon summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

“41. Begging
(1) Every person who-

(a) causes or procures any child; or
(b) having the custody, charge or care of a child, allows the child,
to be in any street, premises or place for the purpose of begging or receiving alms, or of inducing the giving of alms commits an offence against this Act.

(2) If any person while singing, playing, performing or offering anything for sale in a street or public place has with him a child who has been lent or hired out to him, the child shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be in that street or place for the purpose of inducing the giving of alms.
(3) Where an offence under this section is committed by a person mentioned in subsection (1) (b)-

(a) in the parish of Kingston or the parish of St. Andrew, such offence shall be triable by the Family Court- Corporate Area Region; and
(b) in a parish within the geographical jurisdictionof a Family Court established pursuant to Part II of the Judicature (Family Court) Act, such offence shall be triable by that Family Court.”

Data Commitments

A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, Not signed

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.

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