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 2002 and 2012 increased by 54.8%
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).
- Child labour: ILO/UNICEF data
- Forced labour: No nationally representative data
- Human trafficking: No nationally representative data
Human Development Index Score: 0.737 (2019)
Mean School Years: 10.3 years (2019)
Vulnerable Employment: 51.4% (2012)
Working Poverty Rate: 2.9% (2016)
- ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Not ratified
- ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2001
- UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Accession 2008
Social Protection Coverage
General (at least one): 72.40% (2016)
Unemployed: 20.50% (2016)
Pension: 92.30% (2016)
Vulnerable: 35.10% (2016)
Children: 100% (2016)
Disabled: 100% (2016)
Poor: 94.90% (2016)
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 Mongolia, the percentage of child labourers has increased overall from 2002 to 2012. Only the measures provided for 2002, 2006 and 2012 cover the full definition of hazardous work and cannot be compared directly with data from other sample years.
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 provided for 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013.
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 Mongolia, the latest comparable estimates show that 0.8 percent of children aged 5-14 were engaged in hazardous work in 2012. The number is lower than in 2006, but has not changed from 0.8 percent in 2002. Only the measures provided for 2002, 2006 and 2012 cover the full definition of hazardous work and cannot be compared directly with data from other sample years.
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 provided for 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013.
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 Mongolia, the latest comparable estimates show that 5.5 percent of children aged 15-17 were engaged in hazardous work in 2012. The percentage is higher than in 2006, but has decreased from 6.7 percent in 2002. Only the measures provided for 2002, 2006 and 2012 cover the full definition of hazardous work and cannot be compared directly with data from other sample years.
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 provided for 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013.
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 estimates, the average number of hours worked per week by children aged 5-14 in Mongolia was 13.8 hours. The average number of hours worked has decreased from 21 hours in 2000.
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 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013.
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 2013, the latest year with available data, children in economic activity only, meaning they are not in school, worked an average of 21.5 hours per week. This number has decreased since 2012, when the average number of hours worked by this age group was 22.8
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 provided for 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013.
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 12.2 hours per week according to the latest estimate. This estimate represents a decrease in hours worked across all age groups since the last estimate in 2012, which found that children aged 5-14 in Mongolia 2012 worked an average of 8.7 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 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013.
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 Mongolia is from 2012. By the estimate, the Agriculture sector had the most child labourers, followed by the Commerce, Hotels and Restaurants sector and the Manufacturing 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)
Children in Economic Activity by Sector, Aged 5-14: Area (Source: ILO)
SDG Indicator 8.7.1, Economic Activity (Source: ILO)
While the concept of child labour includes working in activities that are hazardous in nature, to ensure comparability of estimates over time and to minimize data quality issues, work beyond age-specific hourly thresholds is used as a proxy for hazardous work for the purpose of reporting on SDG indicator 8.7.1. Similarly, while the worst forms of child labour other than hazardous also form part of the concept of child labour more broadly, data on the worst forms of child labour are not currently captured in regular household surveys given difficulties with accurately and reliably measuring it. Therefore, this element of child labour is not captured by the indicators used for reporting on SDG 8.7.1.
In accordance with the ICLS resolutions, child labour can be measured on the basis of the production boundary set by the United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA), which limits the frame of reference to economic activity.
The chart displays the proportion and number of children aged 5-17 years engaged in economic activities at or above age-specific hourly thresholds in Mongolia for the year 2018. Gender disaggregated data is provided for 2018.
SDG Indicator 8.7.1, Household Chores (Source: ILO)
In addition to being measured on the basis of SNA, child labour can also be measured on the basis of the general production boundary, which includes economic activity and unpaid household services, that is, the production of domestic and personal services by a household member for consumption within their own household, commonly called “household chores”.
The chart displays the proportion of children aged 5-17 years engaged in economic activities and household chores at or above age-specific hourly thresholds in Mongolia for the year 2018. Gender disaggregated data is provided for 2018.
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 Mongolia.
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 Mongolia.
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.
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 Mongolia between 1990 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 Mongolia is 0.737. 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 Mongolia 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.
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 1990 and 2012, Mongolia 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 2016. 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.”
The chart displays UNHCR’s estimates of persons of concern in Mongolia.
Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.
Article 16 [Citizen’s Rights]
The citizens of Mongolia are enjoying the following rights and freedoms:
4.The right to free choice of employment, favorable conditions of work, remuneration, rest, and private enterprise. No one may be unlawfully forced to work.
Labour Law, 1999
Article 3. Definitions
3.1 For the purposes of this Code:
3.1.14. “forced labour” means job duties that are required to be performed by an employee with the view to enforce the labour discipline, to avenge for the participation in a strike, as well as for the expression of own opinion on the political, social and economic regime, with the purpose of discriminating on the basis of social origin, ethnicity, race and religion, or those that are required notwithstanding the danger that arises to the employee’s life and health;
Article 7. Prohibition of discrimination, establishment of limitations or privileges in the labour relations
7.1 Nobody may be illegally forced to work.
Labour Law, 1999
CHAPTER EIGHT Employment of minors, disabled, midgets and elderly
Article 109. Employment of minors
109.1 A person who has attained 16 years of age has the right to enter into an employment agreement.
109.2 Unless in contradiction to Article 109.5 of this Code, a person who has attained 15 years of age may enter into an employment agreement at the consent of his or her parents or guardians.
109.3 A person who has attained 14 years of age may enter into an employment agreement for the purpose of acquiring vocational training and work experience, but only with the consent of his or her parents or guardians and approval of the state central administrative body in charge of labour matters.
Worst Forms of Child Labour
Labour Law, 1999
CHAPTER EIGHT Employment of minors, disabled, midgets and elderly
Article 109. Employment of minors
109.4 An employer shall not employ a minor in a job that will adversely affect his or her intellectual development or health.
109.5 A list of work at which minors may not be employed shall be approved by the member of the Government in charge of labour matters.
109.6. Conclusion of an employment agreement with minors in cases other than those specified in Articles 109.1 through 109.3 of this Code shall be prohibited.
Article 110. Protection of the health of minor employees
110.1 A minor employee may be employed subject to the approval of the relevant medical authority after he or she undergoes a medical examination, and further biennium medical examinations shall be required until he or she attains 18 years of age.
110.2 It shall be prohibited to require a minor employee to work overtime, on public holidays and weekends.
110.3 . It shall be prohibited to employ minor employees on the jobs with obnoxious labour conditions.
110.4 . It shall be prohibited to require a minor employee to lift or carry loads that exceed weight limits established by the member of Government in charge of labour matters.
Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child, 1996
Article VII. Rights of the child to be protected
4. It is prohibited to attract the child into crimes, violence, gambling, conflict among adults, drinking, smoking, narcotics and other psychotropic substances and abuse and violence and accuse, kidnapping or turning the child a subject of mortgage, displacement or abandon, to torture and to use the child in sabotage and to engage in forceful and arranged early marriages, illegal adoption, detention and the illicit transfer.
5. State organizations and officials support the activities designed to respect the dignity of the imprisoned child and to educate and to develop his/her talents and to engage in accordance with the provisions of legislation. It is prohibited to detain or imprison the child together with adults.
6. It is prohibited to individuals, economic entities and organizations to employ the child in any work that is likely to be harmful to the child’s health and moral and to exploit, to pay unjust wage, to engage in begging and to conduct profit making activities on their behalf illegally.
“Incorporated the National Program for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and National Action Plan. Coordinates child labor and child protection issues through the Ministries of Labor and Social Protection; Education, Culture, Science and Sports; and Health. In 2017, established an interagency permanent working group to institute programs to address child labor in certain sectors, including herding.”
“Aims to strengthen efforts to prevent and combat different types of human trafficking, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children and improve protective services for victims.”
“Describes the acceptable minimum conditions and criteria for employing children in herding. Activities include projects to improve housing and access to information for herders, and ensure that children engaged in herding receive an education. Each year, the government allocates 1 percent of its budget to implement the policy.”
“Calls for improvements in education, health, social welfare, and labor policies through 2020. Priorities include the education, safety, and health of vulnerable children.”
Governments take action that assists victims and prevents or ends perpetration of modern slavery, forced labour, child labour and human trafficking. These actions should be considered in efforts to reduce prevalence and move towards eradication of these forms of exploitation.
Policies for Assistance
Article 16 [Citizen’s Rights] The citizens of Mongolia are enjoying the following rights and freedoms:
14) The right to appeal to the court for protection if one considers the rights or freedoms spelt out by the Mongolian law or an international treaty to have been violated; to be compensated for the damage illegally caused by others; not to testify against oneself, one’s family, parents, or children; to defense; to receive legal assistance; to have evidence examined; to fair trial; to be tried in one’s presence; to appeal against a court decision; to seek pardon.
Compelling to testify against oneself is prohibited. Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court by due process of law. The penalties imposed on the convicted may not be applicable to his or her family members and relatives.
Article141. Liability for the breach of the Labour Code
141.1.6. An official who requires women or minors to do work that is prohibited to be performed by them, to lift or carry loads exceeding the prescribed limits, has required an employee under 18 years age to work in a workplace that adversely affects his or her mental development or health, or in obnoxious labour conditions, or compels them to work overtime or on public holidays or weekends in violation of Article 74 of this Code shall be subject to a fine of 15,000 to 30,000 togrogs imposed by a state labour inspector;
Criminal Code, 2002
Article 114. Involving into criminal actions of persons under legal age
114.1.Involving persons under legal age into criminal activities by using force, threat with such, deceit or in other ways shall be punishable by 100 to 200 hours of forced labor or by incarceration for a term of 1 to 3 months.
114.2. The same crime committed by a parent, guardian, custodian or a pedagog assigned by law the duty of upbringing the persons under legal age shall be punishable by 201 to 500 hours of forced labor or by imprisonment for a term of up to 5 years.
114.3.Involving persons under legal age into an organized group or criminal organization or into committing a serious or grave crime shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of more than 5 to 8 years.
Article 115. Involving persons under legal age into heavy drinking, drug abuse, prostitution, vagrancy and beggary
115.1. Involving persons under legal age into heavy drinking, drug abuse, prostitution, vagrancy and beggary shall be punishable by a fine equal to 20 to 50 amounts of minimum salary, 100 to 250 hours of forced labor or by incarceration for a term of 1 to 3 months.
115.2.The same crime committed by a parent, guardian, custodian or a pedagog assigned the duty of upbringing the persons under legal age by law shall be punishable by a fine equal to 51 to 100 amounts of minimum salary, or by incarceration for a term of more than 3 to 6 months with or without deprivation of the right to hold specified positions or engage in specified business for a term of up to 2 years.
115.3.The same crime committed repeatedly, by using violence or threat with such shall be punishable by 100 to 250 hours of forced labor or imprisonment for a term of 3 to 5 years.
Article 121. Forcing a child to labor
121.1. Illegally forcing a child to labor shall be punishable by a fine equal to 51 to 250 amounts of minimum salary or imprisonment for a term of up to 4 years.
Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child, 1996
Article XXV. Sanctions for the violation of the rights of the child
If the violation type of the rights of the child is not a criminal one then the following administrative penalty will be imposed by the decision of the Governor of somon and district on the person violating the law on the protection of the rights of the child:
1/ Individuals, officials responsible for physical and mental abuse of the child will face a penalty of 20000 to 30000 tugriks or up to 30 days detention;
5/ individuals forcing the child to beg and officials engaging the child in a work harmful for his/her health will face a penalty of 10000 to 20000 tugriks;
Human Trafficking Law, 2012
Labour Law, 1999
Article141. Liability for the breach of the Labour Code
141.1 If a breach of the labour legislation is not subject to criminal liability, the following administrative punishments shall be imposed on the person responsible:
141.1.1. An official who illegally forces an employee to work shall be subject to a fine of 5,000 to 30,000 togrogs, a business entity or organization – 100,000 to 250,000 togrogs as imposed by a judge;
141.1.3. For discrimination, limitations or advantages established with respect to employment based on the ethnicity, nationality, race, social origin or status, sex, wealth, religion or political affiliation; or limitation of the rights and freedoms of an employee in a manner unrelated to the nature of his or her work when hiring a citizen or in subsequent labour relations, a judge shall impose a fine on an official of 5,000 to 25,000 togrogs and on a business entity of or organization of 50,000 to 100,000 togrogs;
Article 113. Sale and purchase of humans
113.1. Sale or acquisition of humans shall be punishable by a fine equal to 51 to 250 amounts of minimum salary, 300 to 500 hours of forced labor or imprisonment for a term of up to 3 years.
113.2. The same crime committed:
113.2.1.with the purpose of taking human blood, tissues or organs;
113.2.2.with the purpose of engaging the victim into prostitution; 113.2.3.repeatedly;
113.2.4. against two or more persons; 113.2.5. against a person under the legal age;
113.2.6. in a group, by a group at an advance agreement shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of more than 5 to 10 years.
113.3. The same crime committed on a permanent basis, by trafficking, by an organized group or a criminal organization or if it has entailed grave harm shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of more than 10 to 15 years.
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 Protections (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.