Burkina Faso - Labor



In 1999, there were five million workers in the labor force. A large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for temporary employment. In 2000, approximately 90% of workers were agricultural, the majority engaging in subsistence farming.

In 2002, there were four major labor confederations and 12 autonomous trade unions. Although small, the unions represent the majority of government employees and a large percentage of private-sector salaried employees. Essential workers such as police officers may not unionize. Workers may use strikes to achieve their labor goals.

The minimum age for employment is 14 years, although due to the economy and vast number of agricultural workers, child labor remains a huge problem. There was a standard workweek of 40 hours and a minimum monthly wage of $40 in 2002. However, the minimum wage does not apply to those in subsistence agriculture. There are also public safety and health laws, which also exclude subsistence agriculture. Nevertheless, a lack of resources means that these standards are seldom enforced anywhere.

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