GOAL | 08 | Decent Work and Economic Growth

Sustainable Development Goal 8 seeks to ensure full and productive employment, and decent work, for men and women by 2030, including the protection of children from harmful child labour.

  • Up-to-date information on the prevalence of child labour measured in line with the global indicator is lacking. According to the 2009 Labour Force Survey (SAKERNAS), one in 14 children aged 5–17 years was engaged in harmful child labour.
  • In 2009, close to half of child labourers aged 5–14 worked in hazardous conditions.

No Poverty

What this goal is about

Sustainable Development Goal 8 seeks to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. To achieve economic growth, it is important to develop a strong and productive workforce and to offer men and women opportunities for decent work and employment. As part of striving towards inclusive economic growth, it is critical to protect children from engaging in harmful child labour.

Globally, 5.7 per cent of people of working age were unemployed in 2015, with youth and women more likely to be unemployed. Indonesia’s unemployment data mirrors the global situation, with an unemployment rate of 6.0 per cent that increases to 6.7 per cent for women. Furthermore, around a quarter of Indonesia’s youth are not in education, employment or training. Globally, 43 per cent of employment was ‘vulnerable employment’. People in vulnerable employment work for themselves without hired employees or are family workers, often working in poor conditions and with little security. In Indonesia, vulnerable employment makes up 31 per cent of total employment; this rate has halved since 1997, which is a promising sign of economic growth.

Harmful child labour undermines economic growth, and has been linked to increases in adult unemployment. Harmful child labour is also a violation of children’s rights, and can hinder their education, health and protection. Not only does harmful child labour pose a direct threat to children today, but it stifles their future potential: it is associated with lower educational attainment and with future jobs that fall outside the criteria for ‘decent work’. In Indonesia, young people who were previously child labourers are almost twice as likely to be in unpaid family work as other youths. Accordingly, Goal 8 includes a target to ensure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour and to end child labour in all its forms by 2025.

Indonesia has a strong legal framework to protect children from harmful child labour. The country has also developed a Roadmap Towards a Child Labour-Free Indonesia by 2022. In 2015, the national child labour programme helped to remove 16,000 children from work, with many of them returning to school. Ongoing financial and human resources are needed to ensure that laws are fully implemented and that Indonesia’s Roadmap is fully achieved.


Decent Work and Economic Growth

Key statistics & figures

Harmful child labour is more prevalent in rural areas compared with urban areas
Percentage of children aged 5–17 engaged in child labour, by selected characteristics, 2009

Source: Indonesia Child Labour Survey 2009

Child labourers are often exposed to a range of work hazards
Number of child labourers exposed to specific work hazards, by age, 2009

Note: The Indonesia Child Labour Survey 2009 did not include all forms of hazardous work – the data only records physical hazards, not moral hazards.

Source: Indonesia Child Labour Survey 2009

Framework for the classification of child labour in Indonesia according to Indonesian labour law and the International Labour Organization, 2012

Source: Understanding Children’s Work Programme 2012

Children’s engagement in harmful child labour increases as they grow older
Percentage of children aged 5–17 engaged in child labour, by selected characteristics, 2009

Source: Indonesia Child Labour Survey 2009