Data Dashboards

Measuring the Change

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

Due to lack of nationally representative data, there is no change to report.

Best Target 8.7 Data: Child Labour Rate

No data available

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

Human Development Index Score: 0.740 (2019)

Mean School Years: 7.0 years (2019)

Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: 19.3% (2018)

Working Poverty Rate: 1.5% (2020)

Government Efforts
Key Ratifications
  • ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Not Ratified
  • ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2013
  • UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Accession 2016
Social Protection Coverage

General (at least one): No data

Unemployed: No data

Pension: 99.7% (2012)

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.

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 2009 estimates, the average number of hours worked per week by children aged 5-14 in Maldives was 8.0 hours.

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 2009. 

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 2009, the latest year with available data, children in economic activity only, meaning they are not in school, worked an average of 18.4 hours per week.

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 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 5.2 hours per week according to the 2009 estimate.

The chart displays differences in the number of hours children aged 5-14 work on household chores by sex and region. Completed disaggregated data to compare groups is provided for 2009. 

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 Maldives.

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 Maldives.

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 Maldives between 1995 and 2019. Only certain sample years have data disaggregated by sex. 

The most recent year of the HDI, 2019, shows that the average human development score in Maldives is 0.740. 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 Maldives 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, Maldives 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.

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./span>

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.”

There is no visualization for the Maldives as there is not a sufficient amount of data available.

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

Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2013

Constitution of the Republic of Maldives, 2008

“25. No slavery or forced labour

(a) No one shall be held in slavery or servitude, or be required to perform forced labour.
(b) Compulsory military service, service required in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community, or service required pursuant to a court order shall not be deemed to be contrary to article (a).”

Employment Act, 2008

“Prohibition of forced employment
3. a) No person shall be compelled or forced into employment.
b) “”Forced employment”” shall mean any services or labour obtained from a person under threat of punishment, undue influence or intimidation, and does not include services or labour performed of his own volition by any person. The following are exempted from such definition:‐

i. labour carried out by, or services obtained from a person under the control and supervision of the relevant State authority in pursuance of a court judgement; or
ii. labour or services obtained to the extent deemed reasonable in instances of emergencies which may pose risk to the life or well being of the entire populace or a section of the population.”

Child Labour

Employment Act, 2008

Minimum age
6. Minors under the age of sixteen years shall not be employed except in connection with training associated with their education or deportment. Minors under the age of sixteen years who participate in the family’s line of work of their own will shall be exempted from this principle.”

“Hours of work
9. a) A minor employed in accordance with Section 6, shall not be required to be at work during school hours of the minor.
b) A minor shall not be required to work after 11pm at night”

Worst Forms of Child Labour

Constitution of the Republic of Maldives, 2008

“35. Special protection to children, young, elderly and disadvantaged people
(a)Children and young people are entitled to special protection and special assistance from the family, the community and the State. Children and young people shall not be harmed, sexually abused, or discriminated against in any manner and shall be free from unsuited social and economic exploitation. No person shall obtain undue benefit from their labour.”

Employment Act, 2008

“Prohibition of employment of minors
7. a) No minor shall be employed in any work or employment or in conditions of work or employment that may have a detrimental effect on his health, education, safety or conduct.
b) All age limits stipulated in this Chapter shall be computed according to the Gregorian calendar. A child shall be deemed to be under eighteen years of age as provided for in Law No 9/91 (The Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child)”

Human Trafficking

Anti Human Trafficking Act, 2013

Gender Equality Act, 2016

“14. (a) Any violence towards women, as gender inherited, shall be considered, for the purposes of the present Act, as gender-based discrimination. (b) Gender-based violence against women, as stated in (a) of this Article shall mean the following acts against women as gender inherited.
(1) Domestic violence stated in Law 3/2012 (Domestic Violence Act).
(2) Acts or threats of rape or sexual assault as stated in Law 17/2014 (Sexual Offences Act).
(3) Physical, sexual or psychological harm.
(4) Threats to acts of nature described in (a) (3) of this Article.
(5) Detention without consent.
(6) Denial of dignified economic and social life.
(7) Denial of opportunity to earn for self-sustenance.
(8) Acts of sexual abuse and harassment as stated in Law 16/2014 (Sexual Abuse and Harassment Act).
(9) Trafficking of girls and women or obtaining benefits through the trafficking of girls and women.
(10) All acts against women and girls prohibited by law.
(c) Execution of penalties prescribed in law for acts of the same nature as stated in (b) of this Article shall not obstruct the application for and attainment of redress afforded under this Act.”


Anti Human Trafficking Act, 2013

Constitution of the Republic of Maldives, 2008

“25. No slavery or forced labour
(a) No one shall be held in slavery or servitude, or be required to perform forced labour.
(b) Compulsory military service, service required in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community, or service required pursuant to a court order shall not be deemed to be contrary to article (a).”

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

Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2013

Gender Equality Act, 2016

“33. (a) Compensation for charges raised under the present Chapter, for noncompliance with the present Act, or for perpetrating a form of discrimination prohibited by the present Act, shall be decided upon by the Tribunal or the Court, based on the facts of the case, through procedures that are to be established by the Tribunal or the Court, in reference to the present Article.
(b) In the interests of serving Justice for the case, the Tribunal or the Court may decide to provide compensation for claims made under the present Chapter, in one of the following ways.

(1) Provide full compensation for the claim.
(2) Provide partial compensation for the claim, as decided upon by the Tribunal or the Court.
(3) In instances where there has been a similar case in the past and a precedent was set, compensation as stipulated by the precedent.”

Policies for Assistance, General

Immigration Act, 2007

Criminal Procedure Code, 2016

Penalties, Human Trafficking

Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2013

Penalties, Forced Labour

Employment Act, 2008

“Contravention of basic principles
5. a) Any person whose rights conferred pursuant to the basic principles specified in this Chapter have been affected, may submit such matter to the Tribunal specified in Section 10.
b) Complaints submitted to the Tribunal in connection with a right conferred pursuant to the basic principles specified in this Chapter shall be dealt with expeditiously by the Tribunal. The complainant and the respondent shall both be afforded ample opportunity to make submissions and respond to arguments.
c) Where the Tribunal deems that a complaint submitted to it is based on legitimate and valid grounds, it has the power to issue orders mandating compliance with the basic principles specified in this Chapter, including:‐

i. an order to perform or cease performance of an act;
ii. an order to re instate a dismissed employee;
iii. an order to restore a benefit or advantage that has been denied to a
person; or
iv. an order providing for compensation.”

Penalties, Child Labour

Employment Act, 2008

12. Any person contravening a provision of this Chapter shall be fined a sum not less than Mrf 1,000 and not more than Mrf 5,000.

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: Pension
Social Protection Coverage: Vulnerable Groups
Social Protection Coverage: Poor
Social Protection Coverage: Children
Social Protection Coverage: Disabled
Social Protection Coverage: Unemployed