Data Dashboards

Serbia
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 is only available for 2014. 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: 0.776 (2015)

Mean School Years: 10.8 years (2015)

Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: 28.6% (2013)

Working Poverty Rate: 0.1% (2016)

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 2003
  • UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Ratified 2001
Social Protections Coverage

General (at least one): No data

Unemployed: 8.8% (2012)

Pension: 46.1% (2010)

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: 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 Serbia, data on the percentage of child labourers is provided for 2014. The measure provided for 2014 does not cover the full definition of hazardous work.

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 2014.

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 2014 estimates, the average number of hours worked per week by children aged 5-14 in Serbia was 4.3 hours. The average number of hours worked has increased from 3.9 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 2014.

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 2014, the latest year with available data, children in economic activity only, meaning they are not in school, worked an average of 15.5 hours per week. This number has increased since 2005, when the average number of hours worked by this age group was 9.3.

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 2005 and 2014.

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 2.6 hours per week according to the 2014 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 Serbia 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 2014

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 Serbia.

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 Serbia.

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 Serbia between 1990 and 2015. Only certain sample years have data disaggregated by sex.

The most recent year of the HDI, 2015, shows that the average human development score in Serbia is 0.776. 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 Serbia 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 2005 and 2013, Serbia showed an increase 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 Serbia.

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

Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, 2006
Prohibition of slavery, servitude and forced labour
Article 26

No person may be kept in slavery or servitude.
All forms of human trafficking are prohibited.
Forced labour is prohibited. Sexual or financial exploitation of person in unfavourable position shall be deemed forced labour.
Labour or service of persons serving sentence of imprisonment if their labour is based on the principle of voluntarity with financial compensation, labour or service of military persons, nor labour or services during war or state of emergency in accordance with measures prescribed on the declaration of war or state of emergency, shall not be considered forced labour.

Child Labour

Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, 2006
Special protection of the family, mother, single parent and child
Article 66

Families, mothers, single parents and any child in the Republic of Serbia shall enjoy special protection in the Republic of Serbia in accordance with the law.
Children under 15 years of age may not be employed, nor may children under 18 years of age be employed at jobs detrimental to their health or morals.

Zakona o Radu (Labour Code) 2005
Article 24. Labor relations can be entered into with a person above the age of 15 who meets other requirements for work at certain tasks, stipulated under the law, or Organizational Structure and HR Document (hereinafter: OS&HR)
OS&HR shall establish organizational structure, types of jobs, types and level of education/training and other special requirements for work at these posts.
OS&HR is enacted by the director, i.e. entrepeneur
OS&HR need not be enacted by entrepreneur with five or less employees.

Article 25. Labor relations with persons below the age of 18 can be entered into upon written approval of the parents, adoptive parents or foster parents, under the condition that such work does not jeopardize their health, moral or education, and is not prohibited under the law.
A person below the age of 18 can enter into labor relations only upon certificate of the competent health care body substantiating that he/she is capable of performing such tasks that are stipulated in the labor contract and that these tasks are not harmful for his/her health.

Article 87. Full time working hours for persons below the age of 18 shall not exceed 35 hours per week or eight hours per day.

Worst Forms of Child Labour

Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, 2006
Rights of the child
Article 64

A child shall enjoy human rights suitable to their age and mental maturity.
A child shall be protected from psychological, physical, economic and any other form of exploitation or abuse. A child born out of wedlock shall have the same rights as a child born in wedlock.
Rights of the child and their protection shall be regulated by the law.

Zakona o Radu (Labour Code) 2005
Article 84. Employees below the age of 18 shall not work at the following jobs:

1. Involving strenuous physical work, work underground, under water and at excessive heights;
2. Involving noxious radiation or substances that are toxic, carcinogenic or causing inherited diseases, as well as risk for health related to cold, heat, noise or vibrations;
3.Those that may, pursuant to advice of the competent health authority, increase health and life risks and be harmful in the light of psychophysical capacities of adolescents.

Article 88.
Overtime and re-distribution of working hours shall not be allowed for employees below the age of 18.
Employee below the age of 18 shall not work at night, except:

1. In cases of work in the area of culture, sports, art and advertising
2. When it is necessary to continue work discontinued due to the action of force majeure, under the condition that such work lasts for a definite period of time, that has to be urgently finished and the employer has no other older employees available.

Employer shall, in case referred to in para. 2 of this Article provide supervision of work of employees below the age of 18 by a person of full age.

Human trafficking

Krivičnom Zakon Republike Srbije (Penal Code of the Republic of Serbia) 2005
Human Trafficking
Article 388

1. Whoever by force or threat, deception or maintaining deception, abuse of authority, trust, dependency relationship, difficult circumstances of another, retaining identity papers or by giving or accepting money or other benefit, recruits, transports, transfers, sells, buys, acts as intermediary in sale, hides or holds another person with intent to exploit such person’s labour, forced labour, commission of offences, prostitution, mendacity, pornography, removal of organs or body parts or service in armed conflicts shall be punished by imprisonment of from three to twelve years.
10. The agreement of persons to be exploited or placed in slavery or servitude referred to in paragraph 1 this Article shall not affect the existence of the criminal offence referred to in paragraphs 1, 2 and 6 of this Article.

Slavery

Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, 2006
Prohibition of slavery, servitude and forced labour
Article 26

No person may be kept in slavery or servitude.
All forms of human trafficking are prohibited.
Forced labour is prohibited. Sexual or financial exploitation of person in unfavourable position shall be deemed forced labour.
Labour or service of persons serving sentence of imprisonment if their labour is based on the principle of voluntarity with financial compensation, labour or service of military persons, nor labour or services during war or state of emergency in accordance with measures prescribed on the declaration of war or state of emergency, shall not be considered forced labour.

International Commitments
National Strategies

National Strategy for Roma Inclusion (2016–2025)

“Aims to improve the status of Roma population in Serbia in education, including preschool inclusion. Seeks to include representatives from Roma communities in policy implementation.”

Anti-Discrimination Strategy and Action Plan (2013–2018)

“Seeks to prevent discrimination and improve the situation of children and ethnic minorities, including Roma, refugees, internally displaced children, and victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, including those used in the production of pornography. Between 2015 and 2016, trainings were held for government officials, representatives of the Action Plan, and civil society organizations on activity coordination and implementation.”

Protocol on Rules and Procedures for the Institutions and Organizations Working with Children Involved in Life and Work on the Streets of Belgrade

“Aims to enhance institutional cooperation among the MOI, the Criminal Police Directorate, Communal Police, City Centers for Social Work, the City Secretariat for Education, the City Secretariat for Health, and civil society organizations. Defines street children, worst forms of child labor, useful child work, and child trafficking. Stipulates lead institutions, rules, and procedures for interacting with street children. Save the Children is funding the first round of trainings.”

Development Partnership Framework (2016–2020)

“Government of Serbia and UN strategic planning document for the achievement of the UN’s sustainable development goals, including inclusive education, especially for the most vulnerable, and strengthening social welfare for families.”

International Ratifications

ILO Forced Labour Convention, C029, Ratified 2000

ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, C105, Ratified 2003

ILO Minimum Age Convention, C138, Ratified 2000

ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182, Ratified 2003

Slavery Convention 1926 and amended by the Protocol of 1953, Succession 2001

UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, Succession 2001

UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), Ratification 2001

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Succession 2001

UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Ratification 2003

UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, Ratification 2002

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 (Source: U.S. Department of Labor)

Policies for Assistance

Zakon o strancima (Act on foreigners) 2008
Conditions for issuing permissions
Article 28
A foreigner may be granted the permission for temporary residence if he/she furnishes the proof that:

1. He/she has got sufficient financial means to sustain him/her;
2. He/she has got health insurance;
3. His/her reasons for temporary residence are justified and in compliance with the purpose of temporary residence referred to in Article 26, paragraph 1 of the Law.

Fulfillment of the conditions stipulated in paragraph 1, Item 2 hereof shall be specified in more detail in a regulation by the minister competent for interior affairs, with consent from the minister competent for health.

A foreigner shall be denied the permission for temporary residence if any obstacles referred to in Article 11, paragraph 1 of this Law exist.

As an exception to the provisions in paragraphs 1 and 3 hereof, if it is in the interest of a court procedure regarding the criminal act of human trafficking, a foreigner who is the victim of such a criminal act shall be given the permission for temporary residence in the Republic of Serbia, except when obstacles referred to in Article 11, paragraph 1, Items 6 and 8 of this Law exist.

During the temporary residence in the Republic of Serbia, the foreigner referred to in paragraph 5 hereof, who does not have sufficient financial means to sustain himself/herself, shall be provided with appropriate accommodation, meals and elementary living conditions.

Penalties
Penalties, Child Labour

Zakona o Radu (Labour Code) 2005
Article 274. Employer in the capacity of a legal entity shall be fined in the amount of CSD 600,000 to 1,000,000 for the following offences:

2. if he/she enters into labor relations with a person below the age of 18 contrary to provisions of this law (Article 25);
8. if he/she orders an employee below the age of 18 to work contrary to provisions of this law (Articles 84, 87 and 88);
9. if he/she orders an employee aged between 18 and 21 to work contrary to provisions of this law (Article 85);

Entrepreneur shall be fined in the amount of CSD 300,000 to 500,000 for the offences referred to in para. 1 of this Article.
A responsible person in a legal entity shall be fined in the amount of CSD 30,000 to 50,000 for the offences referred to in para. 1 of this Article.

Penalties, Human Trafficking

Krivičnom Zakon Republike Srbije (Penal Code of the Republic of Serbia) 2005
Human Trafficking
Article 388

1. Whoever by force or threat, deception or maintaining deception, abuse of authority, trust, dependency relationship, difficult circumstances of another, retaining identity papers or by giving or accepting money or other benefit, recruits, transports, transfers, sells, buys, acts as intermediary in sale, hides or holds another person with intent to exploit such person’s labour, forced labour, commission of offences, prostitution, mendacity, pornography, removal of organs or body parts or service in armed conflicts shall be punished by imprisonment of from three to twelve years.
2. When the offence referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article is committed against a juvenile, the offender shall be punished by the penalty prescribed for that offence even if there was no use of force, threat or any of the other mentioned methods of perpetration.
3. If the offence referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article is committed against a juvenile, the offender shall be punished by imprisonment of a minimum of five years.
4. If the offence referred to in paragraphs 1 and 3 of this Article resulted in serious bodily injury of a person, the offender shall be punished by imprisonment of from five to fifteen years.
5. If the offence referred to in paragraphs 1 and 3 of this Article resulted in the death of one or more persons, the offender shall be punished by imprisonment of a minimum of ten years.
6. Whoever habitually engages in offences referred to in paragraphs 1 to 3 of this Article or if the offence is committed by a group shall be punished by imprisonment of a minimum of five years.
7. If the offence referred to in paragraphs 1 to 3 of this Article is committed by an organised group, the offender shall be punished by imprisonment of a minimum of ten years.
8. Whoever knows or should know that a person is a victim of trafficking, and abuses his/her position or allow to another to abuse his/her position for the exploitation referred to in paragraph 1 this Article, shall be punished by imprisonment from six months to five years.
9. If the offence referred to in paragraph 8 of this Article is committed against a juvenile, the offender shall be punished by imprisonment of from six months to five years.
10. The agreement of persons to be exploited or placed in slavery or servitude referred to in paragraph 1 this Article shall not affect the existence of the criminal offence referred to in paragraphs 1, 2 and 6 of this Article.

Penalties, Slavery

Krivičnom Zakon Republike Srbije (Penal Code of the Republic of Serbia) 2005
Holding in Slavery and Transportation of Enslaved Persons
Article 390

1. Whoever in violation of international law enslaves another person or places a person in servitude, or holds a person in slavery or servitude, or buys, sells, hands over to another or mediates in buying, selling and handing over of such person or induces another to sell his freedom or freedom of persons under his support or care, shall be punished by imprisonment of from one to ten years.
2. Whoever transports persons in slavery or servitude from one country to another shall be punished by imprisonment of six months to five years.
3. Whoever commits the offence referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article against a juvenile shall be punished by imprisonment of five to fifteen years.

Programs and Agencies for Enforcement (Source: U.S. Department of Labor)

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 Protections: 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.

Social Protections: Unemployed
Social Protections: Pension
Social Protections: Vulnerable Groups
Social Protections: Poor
Social Protections: Children
Social Protections: Disabled

Delta 8.7 has received no Official Response to this dashboard from Serbia. If you are a representative of Serbia and wish to submit an Official Response, please contact us at info@delta87.org.