Eritrea - Working conditions

Eritrea's workforce consists of unskilled workers, over 80 percent of whom are involved in agriculture. The

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Eritrea N/A N/A N/A N/A 175
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
Egypt 516 731 890 971 1,146
Djibouti N/A N/A N/A N/A 742
SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.

country suffers from a shortage of skilled or educated labor. There are no unemployment statistics, but one must conclude that, given the state of the economy, it must be high. Unions are legal and The National Federation of Eritrean Workers consists of 129 unions representing over 23,000 workers, and public and private company employees. The labor code prohibits child labor, discrimination against women, and anti-union regulations. Regulations permit the right to strike and endorse equal pay for equal work for women. However, in the absence of mechanisms for enforcement, the labor laws exist in principle rather than in practice. About half of children work and women face discrimination. The working week is 44.5 hours, but many work less than that due to limited employment opportunities. There is no minimum wage, and the market determines wages.

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