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
- Child labour: No ILO/UNICEF data
- Forced labour: No nationally representative data
- Human trafficking: No nationally representative data
Human Development Index Score: 0.725 (2019)
Mean School Years: 11.2 years (2019)
Vulnerable Employment: 53.3% (2018)
Working Poverty Rate: No data available
- ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Not Ratified
- ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Not Ratified
- UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Not Ratified
No national strategies
Social Protection Coverage
General (at least one): No data
Unemployed: No data
Pension: 1.0% (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.
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 Tonga for the year 2019. Gender disaggregated data is provided for 2019.
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 Tonga for the year 2019. Gender disaggregated data is provided for 2019.
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 Tonga.
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 Tonga.
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 Tonga 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 Tonga is 0.725. 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 Tonga 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, Tonga showed a decrease in the proportion of workers in vulnerable employment as compared to those in secure employment.
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.
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.”
There is not sufficient data available pertaining to vulnerable groups in Tonga.
Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.
(1) In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears –
―exploitation includes all forms of sexual exploitation (including sexual servitude and exploitation of another person’s prostitution), forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude and the removal of organs;”
Worst Forms of Child Labour
(1) In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears –
―child means a person under the age of 18 years;”
(1) In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears –
―trafficking in persons means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person for the purpose of exploitation;”
“2 Slavery prohibited
No person shall serve another against his will except he be undergoing punishment by law and any slave who may escape from a foreign country to Tonga (unless he be escaping from justice being guilty of homicide or larceny or any great crime or involved in debt) shall be free from the moment he sets foot on Tongan soil for no person shall be in servitude under the protection of the flag of Tonga”
National Action Plans, National Strategies
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
“73 Protection of trafficked persons
(1) A trafficked person is not liable to criminal prosecution for –
(a) the act of trafficking in persons or being a party to an offence of trafficking in persons;
(b) the person’s illegal entry into the Kingdom, in connection with the act of trafficking in person if the Kingdom is the receiving country;
(c) the person’s period of unlawful residence in the Kingdom after being trafficked, if the Kingdom is the receiving country; or
(d) the person’s procurement or possession of any fraudulent travel or identity documents that the person obtained, or with which the person was supplied, for the purpose of entering the receiving country in connection with the act of trafficking in persons.
(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent the removal of a trafficked person in accordance with the Immigration Act.”
Policies for Assistance, General
“70 Exploitation of people not legally entitled to work
(1) Any employer who allows an unlawful employee to undertake employment in the employer’s service shall not take an action with the intention of preventing or hindering the employee from –
(a) leaving the Kingdom;
(b) ascertaining or seeking that person’s entitlement under the laws of the Kingdom; or
(c) disclosing to any person the circumstances of that person’s employment by the employer.
(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the following are examples of actions of the kind mentioned in that subsection –
(a) taking or retaining possession or control of a person’s passport, any other travel or identity document, or travel tickets;
(b) preventing or hindering a person from –
(i) having access to a telephone;
(ii) using a telephone;
(iii) using a telephone privately;
(iv) leaving premises;
(v) leaving premises unaccompanied; or
(c) preventing or hindering an authorised officer from entering or having access to any place or premises to which the person is entitled to have access under any law.
(3) Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.
71 Consent of trafficked person
For sections 68 and 69 it is not a defence –
(a) that the trafficked person consented to the intended exploitation; or
(b) that the intended exploitation did not occur.”
Penalties, Human Trafficking
“68 Offence of trafficking in persons
(1) Any person who engages in trafficking in a person or is involved in the arranging of trafficking in a person, knowing that the person’s entry into the Kingdom or any other state is or was arranged by specified means commits an offence under this section.
(2) Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment not exceeding 15 years.
69 Offence of trafficking in children
(1) Any person who intentionally engages in trafficking in a person who is a child or is involved in the arranging of trafficking in a person who is a child, regardless of whether the child’s entry into the Kingdom or any other state is or was arranged by specified means, commits an offence.
(2) Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.”
“72 Fraudulent travel documents for people or child trafficking
(1) Any person who knowingly, in order to obtain a material benefit from people or child trafficking –
(a) produces a fraudulent travel or identity document; or
(b) procures, provides or possess a fraudulent travel or identity document,
commits an offence under this section.
(2) Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.”
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.