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

Human Development Index Score: 0.738 (2019)

Mean School Years: 9.3 years (2019)


Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: 12.1% (2018)

Working Poverty Rate: 5.8% (2020)

Government Efforts
Key Ratifications
  • ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Ratified 2019
  • ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2006
  • UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Accession 2007
Social Protection Coverage

General (at least one): No data

Unemployed: No data

Pension: No data

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.

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 Suriname, the latest estimates show that 0.1 percent of children aged 5-14 were engaged in hazardous work in 2006. The measure provided for 2006 does not cover the full definition of hazardous work, but uses a reduced definition. 

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. 

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 2010 estimates, the average number of hours worked per week by children aged 5-14 in Suriname was 3.7 hours. The average number of hours worked has decreased from 7.4 hours in 2006.

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 2006 and 2010.


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 2010, the latest year with available data, children in economic activity only, meaning they are not in school, worked an average of 3.1 hours per week. This number has decreased since 2006, when the average number of hours worked by this age group was 15.2. 

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 provided for 2006 and 2010. 

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 2.8 hours per week according to the 2010 estimate. This estimate represents a decrease in hours worked across all age groups since the last estimate in 2006, which found that children aged 5-14 in Suriname worked an average of 4.5 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 2006 and 2010. 


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 Suriname 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 Suriname 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 Suriname.

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 Suriname.

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 Suriname between 2005 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 Suriname is 0.724. 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 Suriname 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, Suriname 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 Suriname.

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 Suriname, 1987

“Article 15
No one shall be obliged to do forced or compulsory labor.”

Child Labour

Arbeidswet (Labour Act No. 163), 1963

“Artikel 1
In deze wet wordt verstaan onder:
g. jeugdige personen:
personen die de leeftijd van 14 jaar, doch nog niet die van 18 jaar hebben bereikt;
h. kinderen:
1. in het algemeen: personen die de leeftijd van 14 jaar nog niet hebben
2. aan boord van vissersvaartuigen in de zin van het “”Zeevisserij decreet
1980″”: personen die de leeftijd van 15 jaar nog niet hebben bereikt.”

Artikel 17
1. Het is verboden kinderen, al dan niet tegen loon of vergoeding, arbeid te doen verrichten.
2. Het is tevens verboden kinderen buiten een onderneming werkzaamheden te doen verrichten behalve:

a. in het gezin waarin het kind wordt opgevoed, in scholen, werkplaatsen, crèches, opvoedingsgestichten e.d. inrichtingen, mits deze werkzaamheden een opvoedkundig karakter dragen en niet in de eerste plaats gericht zijn op het behalen van geldelijk voordeel;
b. in de landbouw, tuinbouw en veehouderij ten behoeve van het gezin waarin het kind wordt opgevoed, voorzover deze werkzaamheden niet geschieden in fabrieken of in werkplaatsen of met toestellen waarvan het vermogen groter is dan twee paardekracht.”

Worst Forms of Child Labour

Staatsbesluit, Hazardous Labour for Young Persons Decree (SB 2010 no 175)

Arbeidswet (Labour Act No. 163), 1963

“Artikel 18
Door kinderen die de leerplichtige leeftijd hebben overschreden mogen bij staatsbesluit te omschrijven werkzaamheden worden verricht, mits deze werkzaamheden:

a. noodzakelijk zijn voor het leren van een beroep of uit de aard der zaak door
kinderen plegen te worden verricht;
b. lichamelijk of geestelijk niet te hoge eisen stellen; c. geen gevaarlijk karakter dragen.”

Artikel 20
1. Het is verboden jeugdige personen, al dan niet tegen loon of vergoeding, nachtarbeid of arbeid gevaarlijk voor de gezondheid de zedelijkheid of het leven te doen verrichten.
2. Bij staatsbesluit wordt omschreven welke arbeid als gevaarlijk wordt be- schouwd.
3. Voor de toepassing van het bepaalde in deze afdeling, wordt onder “”nacht”” verstaan: de tijd tussen 7 uur des namiddags en 6 uur des voormiddags.

Artikel 20a
1. Het is verboden een werknemer arbeid te doen verrichten:

a. door geweld of bedreiging daarmee;
b. door bedreiging met straf;
c. door enige andere vorm van dwang of bedreiging daarmee.

2. Het bepaalde in het voorgaande lid, onder de letters b en c is niet van toepassing in geval van oorlog of andere dergelijke rampen of dreiging daarvan, waarbij het leven of de normale bestaansvoorwaarden van de gehele bevolking of een deel daarvan in gevaar gebracht worden of in gevaar gebracht kunnen worden.

Artikel 21
1. Bij Staatsbesluit kan het verrichten van bepaalde soorten van nachtarbeid of nachtarbeid onder bepaalde omstandigheden door jeugdige personen, voor bepaalde aan te wijzen ondernemingen, onder daarbij te stellen voorwaarden worden toegestaan.
2. Op verzoek van het hoofd of de bestuurder van een onderneming kan door of vanwege het Hoofd der Arbeidsinspektie van geval tot geval, onder daarbij te stellen voorwaarden, ontheffing worden verleend van het bij of krachtens artikel 20, bepaalde.”


International Commitments
International Ratifications

ILO Forced Labour Convention, C029, Ratified 1981

Protocol for the ILO Forced Labour Convention, P029, Ratified 2019

ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, C105, Ratified 1976

ILO Minimum Age Convention, C138, Ratified 2018 (Minimum age specified: 15 years)

ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182, Ratified 2006

Slavery Convention 1926 and amended by the Protocol of 1953, Not signed

UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, Succession 1979

UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), Accession 2007

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Ratified 1993

UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Signed 2002

UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, Ratified 2012

National Action Plans, National Strategies

Roadmap to Combat Human Trafficking in Suriname (2014-2018)

Declaration of the Regional Initiative: Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labor (2014–2020)

Human Trafficking Awareness Program

National Commission on Combatting Child Labor

Coordinates and monitors efforts to combat child labor. Serves as the leading body in drafting child labor policies, conducting research on child labor, and conducting research on the social economic circumstances of children involved in child labor. (4) In 2018, began drafting the National Action Plan on the Elimination of Child Labor.

Trafficking in Persons Working Group

Coordinates the government’s anti-human trafficking efforts. Provides care to victims of human trafficking through government-supported NGOs. (24) Comprising nine government agencies. (10) Includes organizations that target the worst forms of child labor, such as the commercial sexual exploitation of children. (24) In 2018, drafted the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Response to Trafficking in Persons and launched a nationwide awareness campaign on human trafficking.

Integrated Child Protection Network

Led by the Ministry of Social Affairs and includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and Police, Office of the First Lady, National Assembly, and NGO stakeholders, with support from UNICEF. (10) In 2018, the Network established a technical commission that meets monthly and is working to address child protection issues, including drafting a referral system between government and social services and a data collection system to record reported cases, in addition to providing training to service providers.

National Action Plan for the Prevention and Response to Trafficking in Persons (2019)

Aims to combat and prevent human trafficking, including through the prevention, protection, and reintegration of victims, and the prosecution of perpetrators of trafficking in persons.


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

Alien’s Act, 1991

No mention of victims.

Penalties, Child Labour

Arbeidswet (Labour Act No. 163), 1963

Artikel 29

Wetboek van Strafrecht voor Suriname (Penal Code), 1910

“Artikel 307
Vrouwenhandel en handel in minderjarigen van het mannelijk geslacht wordt gestraft met gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste vijf jaren.”

Penalties, General

Wetboek van Strafrecht voor Suriname (Penal Code), 1910

“Artikel 334
Hij die voor eigen of vreemde rekening slavenhandel drijft of opzettelijk daaraan middellijk of onmiddellijk deelneemt, wordt gestraft met gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste twaalf jaren.

Artikel 335
Hij die als schipper dienst neemt of dienst doet op een vaartuig, wetende dat het tot het drijven van slavenhandel bestemd is, of het daartoe gebruikende, wordt gestraft met gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste twaalf jaren.
Indien het vervoer de dood van een of meer slaven ten gevolge heeft, wordt de schipper gestraft met gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste vijftien jaren.”

“Artikel 336
Hij die als schepeling dienst neemt op een vaartuig, wetende dat het tot het drijven van slavenhandel bestemd is of gebruikt wordt, of vrijwillig in dienst blijft na die bestemming of dit gebruik te hebben vernomen, wordt gestraft met gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste negen jaren.

Artikel 337
Hij die voor eigen of vreemde rekening middellijk of onmiddellijk medewerkt tot het verhuren, vervrachten of verzekeren van een vaartuig, wetende dat het tot het drijven van slavenhandel bestemd is, wordt gestraft met gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste acht jaren.

Artikel 338
Hij die iemand uit de plaats van diens inwoning of van diens tijdelijk verblijf wegvoert, met het oogmerk om hem wederrechtelijk onder zijn of eens anders macht te brengen of om hem in hulpeloze toestand te verplaatsen, wordt, als schuldig aan mensenroof, gestraft met gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste twaalf jaren.”

“Artikel 293
Artikel 303
Artikel 306”

Data Commitments

A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, Signed 2017

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

Delta 8.7 has received no Official Response to this dashboard from Suriname. If you are a representative of Suriname and wish to submit an Official Response, please contact us here.