Data Dashboards

Trinidad and Tobago
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 provided for 2006 and does cover the full statistical definition. 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: 0.799 (2018)

Mean School Years: 11.0 years (2018)

Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: 18.1% (2018)

Working Poverty Rate: 0.0% (2020)

Government Efforts
Key Ratifications
  • ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Not Ratified
  • ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2003
  • UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Ratified 2007
Social Protection Coverage

General (at least one): No data

Unemployed: No data

Pension: 98.4% (2009)

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 Trinidad and Tobago, data on the percentage of child labourers is provided for 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 5-17 in child labour by sex. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is not provided. 

 

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 Trinidad and Tobago, the latest estimates show that 0.1 percent of children aged 5-14 were engaged in hazardous work in 2000. The measure provided for 2000 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. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is not provided. 

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)). 

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 15-17 in hazardous labour by sex. 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 2006 estimates, the average number of hours worked per week by children aged 5-14 in Trinidad and Tobago was 6.6 hours. The average number of hours worked has decreased from 8.8 hours in 2000.

The chart displays differences in the number of hours that children aged 5-14 work in economic activities by sex. The sample includes all children of this age group. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is not provided. 

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 2006, the latest year with available data, children in economic activity only, meaning they are not in school, worked an average of 8.0 hours per week. This number has decreased since 2000, when the average number of hours worked by this age group was 31.4. 

The chart displays differences in the number of hours worked by children aged 5-14 who are not in school, by sex. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is not provided. 

Weekly Hours Household Chores, Children Aged 5-14 (Source: ILO)

Researchers recognize that children involved in economic activities are not the only children working. The ICLS recommended definition of child labour includes children aged 5-14 performing household chores for at least 21 hours per week. 

Children aged 5-14, on average, are found to work on household chores 3.5 hours per week according to the 2006 estimate. This estimate represents a decrease in hours worked across all age groups since the last estimate in 2000, which found that children aged 5-14 in Trinidad and Tobago worked an average of 4.4 hours per week.

The chart displays differences in the number of hours children aged 5-14 work on household chores by sex. Complete disaggregated data to compare groups is not provided. 

 

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 Trinidad and Tobago.

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 Trinidad and Tobago.

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 Trinidad and Tobago between 1990 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 Trinidad and Tobago is 0.799. 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 Trinidad and Tobago 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, Trinidad and Tobago 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.

 

Rates of Non-fatal Occupational Injuries (Source: ILO)

Occupational injury and fatality data can also be crucial in prevention and response efforts. 

As the ILO explains:

“Data on occupational injuries are essential for planning preventive measures. For instance, workers in occupations and activities of highest risk can be targeted more effectively for inspection visits, development of regulations and procedures, and also for safety campaigns.”

There are serious gaps in existing data coverage, particularly among groups that may be highly vulnerable to labour exploitation. For example, few countries provide information on injuries disaggregated between migrant and non-migrant workers.

 

Rates of Fatal Occupational Injuries (Source: ILO)

Data on occupational health and safety may reveal conditions of exploitation, even if exploitation may lead to under-reporting of workplace injuries and safety breaches. At present, the ILO collects data on occupational injuries, both fatal and non-fatal, disaggregating by sex and migrant status.

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 Trinidad and Tobago.

Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.

Official Definitions
Legally Defining 8.7
Forced Labour

Trafficking in Persons Act, 2011

3. In this Act unless the context otherwise requires—
“forced labour” means labour or services obtained or maintained through force, threat of force, or other means of coercion or physical restraint;

Child Labour

Miscellaneous Provisions (Minimum Age for Admission to Employment) Act, 2007

2. (1) Subject to this Act, a person under the age of sixteen shall not be admitted to employment. (2) Subsection (1) applies for the purposes of any rule of law and in the absence of a definition or of any indication of a contrary intention for the construction of “child”, “young person” and similar expressions in any other— (a) written law whether passed or made before, on or after the date on which this Act comes into operation; and (b) instrument of whatever nature, not being a statutory instrument, made on or after that date.

Children Act, 2012

3. (1) In this Act—
“child” mean a person under the age of eighteen
years;

PART XIV EMPLOYMENT OF YOUNG PERSONS
103. In this Part–
“employ” and “employment” include employment in any labour exercised by way of trade or for the purposes of gain, whether the gain be to the child or to any other person;
105. Subject to section 106, a child under the age of sixteen years shall not be employed or work in any public or private undertaking, or in any branch thereof, other than an undertaking, owned and controlled by members of the same family; and any person who employs any such child, commits an offence

106. Section 105 shall not apply to work done by– (a) a child in school for general, vocational or technical education or in other training institutions; or (b) a child at least fourteen years of age in undertakings, provided that the work is carried out in accordance with conditions prescribed by the Minister with responsibility for education after consultation with the organisations of employers and workers concerned and the work is an integral part of– (i) a course of education or training for which a school or training institution is primarily responsible; (ii) a programme of training mainly or entirely in an undertaking which programme has been approved by the Minister with responsibility for education; or (iii) a programme of guidance or orientation designed to facilitate a choice of an occupation or apprenticeship of any line of training, formal or informal.

Recruiting of Workers Act, 1939

Employmnet of Juveniles
6. No juvenile between the ages of fourteen and eighteen shall be recruited except with the consent of his parents or guardian and provided the conditions of employment are stated in writing and approved by the Magistrate of the district in which he is recruited or to be employed and the Magistrate must satisfy himself that the work is suitable and that the welfare of the juvenile is sufficiently safeguarded.

Worst Forms of Child Labour

Trafficking in Persons Act, 2011

3. In this Act unless the context otherwise requires—
“child” means a person below the age of eighteen years;

Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Persons Act, 2011

3. In this Act unless the context otherwise requires—
“Trafficking in persons” means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, the abuse of power, the abuse of a position of vulnerability or the giving or receiving of payment or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation;
“trafficking in children” means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation, irrespective of the means used so long as the purpose is the exploitation of the child

Slavery

Trafficking in Persons Act, 2011

3. In this Act unless the context otherwise requires—
“practices similar to slavery” includes debt bondage, serfdom, forced or servile marriages and delivery of children for exploitation;
“slavery” means the status or condition of a person over whom any or all the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised;

International Commitments
International Ratifications

ILO Forced Labour Convention, C029, Ratification 1963

ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, C105, Ratification 1963

ILO Minimum Age Convention, C138, Ratification 2004 (minimium age specified: 16 years)

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

Slavery Convention 1926 and amended by the Protocol of 1953, Succession 1966

UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, Succession 1966

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Ratification 1991

UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Not signed

UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, Not signed

National Action Plans, National Strategies

National Strategy for Child Rights

Seeks to strengthen mechanisms and structures for protecting children’s rights.

National Youth Policy

Seeks to incorporate youth as partners in national development and prioritize youth issues in national policies.

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

Aims to increase regional cooperation on eradicating child labor by 2020 through signatories’ efforts to strengthen monitoring and coordination mechanisms, government programs, and South-South exchanges. Reaffirms commitments made in the Brasilia Declaration from the Third Global Conference on Child Labor (October 2013), and signed by Trinidad and Tobago at the ILO’s 18th Regional Meeting of the Americas in Lima, Peru (October 2014)

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, General

Children Act, 2012

Children’s Authority Act, 2000

Foreign Labour Contracts Ordinance, 1900

Sexual Offences Act, 1986

Policies for Assistance, Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Persons Act, 2011

Part VI assistance to and protection of victims of trafficking

Further compensation for victims. 30
Victim may offer a defence
31. Where a victim has been compelled to engage in unlawful activities as a direct result of being trafficked and he has committed any immigration-related offence, or any other criminal offence for which he is being prosecuted, he may offer as a defence, evidence of having been compelled as a victim of trafficking to engage in such unlawful activities.

Penalties
Penalties, Child Labour

Children Act, 2012

Begging
5. (1) A person who—
(a) causes or procures any child; or (b) having responsibility for a child, allows that child, to be in any street, premises, or other place for the purpose of begging, without the written approval of the Authority, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of three thousand dollars and to imprisonment for six months.

(2) A person commits an offence under subsection (1) whether or not the child engaged in or pretended to engage in any singing, playing, dancing, performing, offering anything for sale or otherwise.

(3) Where a person having responsibility for a child is charged with an offence under this section and it is proved that the child was in any street, premises or other place for any such purpose stated in subsection (1), the person charged is presumed to have allowed the child to be in the street, premises or other place for that purpose stated in subsection (1) unless the contrary is proved.

Use of a child to sell, buy or deliver a dangerous drug
37. A person who uses a child or causes a child to be used as a courier, in order to sell, buy or deliver a dangerous drug or a substance having an effect similar to that of a dangerous drug commits an offence and is liable–
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine of fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for ten years; or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars and to imprisonment for twenty years.

110. A parent, guardian or person with responsibility for a child who conduces to the employment of a child under the age of sixteen years through wilful default, or by habitually neglecting to exercise due care, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars.

111. Where the offence of taking a child under sixteen years of age into employment is committed by an agent or workman of the employer, the agent or workman commits an offence as if he were the employer.

112. Where a child under sixteen years of age is taken into employment on the production, by or with the privity of the parent, guardian or person with responsibility for a child, of a false or forged certificate, or on the false representation by his parent, guardian or person with responsibility for him, that he is not under sixteen years of age, the parent, guardian or person with responsibility for the child commits an offence.

Penalties
114. A person who commits an offence under this Part where no penalty is prescribed, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars and to imprisonment for three years.

Recruiting of Workers Act, 1939

Offences
10. Any person who acts in contravention of this Act, or the Regulations made thereunder, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of four thousand dollars and to imprisonment for six months.

Penalties, Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Persons Act, 2011

Part V: Criminal Offences and Related Provisions
Offence of threatening, assaulting or obstructing a police officer or other workers involved in victim assistance and protection
14. A person who threatens, assalts or obstructs a police officer acting in the execution of his duty under this Act, or who threatens, assaults or obstructs a social worker, shelter worker, case management worker or any worker who is involved in the provision of assistance and protection to a victim, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of fifteen thousand dollars and to imprisonment for three years.

Trafficking in persons.
16. A person who, for the purpose of exploitation—
(a) recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives persons into or within Trinidad and Tobago;
(b) recruits, transports or transfers persons from Trinidad and Tobago to another jurisdiction;
(c) receives persons from Trinidad and Tobago into another jurisdiction; or
(d) harbours persons from Trinidad and Tobago in another jurisdiction, by means of—

(i) threats or the use of force or other forms of coercion;
(ii) abduction;
(iii) fraud or deception;
(iv) the abuse of power or the abuse of a position of vulnerability; or
(v) the giving or receiving of payment or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person,
commits the offence of trafficking in persons and is liable on conviction on indictment, to a fine of not less than five hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment of not less than fifteen years.

Trafficking in children 18.

Knowingly receiving financial benefit from trafficking in persons.25
Knowingly receiving financial benefit from trafficking in children.26
Offences of bodies corporate.27
Additional penalties.28

Data Commitments

A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, Not signed

1.ii. Take steps to measure, monitor and share data on prevalence and response to all such forms of exploitation, as appropriate to national circumstances;

Programs and Agencies for Enforcement

Measures to address the drivers of vulnerability to exploitation can be key to effective prevention. A broad range of social protections are thought to reduce the likelihood that an individual will be at risk of exploitation, especially when coverage of those protections extends to the most vulnerable groups.

Social Protection Coverage: General (at Least One)
Social Protection (Source: ILO)

The seminal ILO paper on the economics of forced labour, Profits and Poverty, explains the hypothesis that social protection can mitigate the risks that arise when a household is vulnerable to sudden income shocks, helping to prevent labour exploitation. It also suggests that access to education and skills training can enhance the bargaining power of workers and prevent children in particular from becoming victims of forced labour. Measures to promote social inclusion and address discrimination against women and girls may also go a long way towards preventing forced labour.

If a country does not appear on a chart, this indicates that there is no recent data available for the particular social protection visualized.

Social Protection Coverage: 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 Trinidad and Tobago. If you are a representative of Trinidad and Tobago and wish to submit an Official Response, please contact us here.