MAP16 Project activities in Serbia

The project contributes to the promotion of decent work in Serbia by supporting measures to build and apply the critical knowledge needed to inform policy choices to combat child labour and forced labour. In support of this effort, the project develops knowledge, advocacy, capacity-building and global action necessary to eradicate child labour and forced labour.

National context

Serbia is continuously making efforts to eliminate child labor including its worst forms. The Government drafted the Law on the Rights of the Child and Protection of Child Rights and launched the Roadmap to Eliminate Child Labor including its Worst Forms in the Republic of Serbia for 2018-2022. It has been harmonized through consultations with key stakeholders − line Ministries, national councils, social partners and civil society organizations − that took place from August to mid-November 2017.

The proposed measures/policies pertain to specific activities in areas relevant for eliminating child labour. Improvements to the system for the prevention and elimination of child labour have been considered from the perspectives of legislative and strategic frameworks in the judiciary, law enforcement, education, social protection, and employment structures. Emphasis was placed on particularly vulnerable groups of children, especially girls, at risk of child labour.

The Council for Children’s Rights also drafted a Strategy for Protection of Children from Violence and the Ministry of Interior developed the Standard Operating Procedures for Human Trafficking Victims Protections.

According to a MICS survey conducted in 2019 by UNICEF in cooperation with the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia,
  • 16 percent of children aged 5–11 years and 4 percent of children aged 12–14 years were engaged in economic activities for the number of hours that would classify their work as child labour;
  • children from non-urban areas, primarily from the poorest and the second wealth quintile, are most likely to be involved in economic activities, while more children work in the region of Sumadija and Western Serbia than in other regions.
In addition to this research, the ILO conducted the Rapid Assessment on Child Labour in Agriculture in the Republic of Serbia which showed that:
  • 261 children out of the total sample of 498 children were economically active, of whom 255 children worked in the agriculture sector. Out of the number of children working in the agricultural sector, 126 children were involved in child labour.

Project activities

The project activities in Serbia include:
  • improving the institutional framework for monitoring the prevalence of child labour;
  • improvement of the normative framework with the aim of better compliance with international standards on the protection of children at work;
  • strengthening the role of social protection in the prevention and protection of children against child labour;
  • improvement of the enforcement of laws and policies relating to the protection of children against child labour, including its worst forms.


Relevant ministries; employers’ and workers organizations; research organizations and civil society organizations.

Target beneficiaries

The target beneficiaries are child workers and their families. Other indirect beneficiaries are social workers, police officers, labour inspectors and other relevant stakeholders.