Child Labor Laws

A little background info.

Child labor laws, were enacted to ensure that when young people work, the work is safe and does not jeopardize their health, well-being or educational opportunities. As industrialization moved workers from farms and home workshops into urban areas and factory work, children were often preferred, because factory owners viewed them as more manageable, cheaper, and less likely to strike. In the early decades of the twentieth century, the numbers of child laborers in the U.S. peaked. Child labor began to decline as the labor and reform movements grew and labor standards in general began improving.

Different Places Different Laws


Minors under the age of 16 may work no more than:
  • 4 hours on a school day
  • 8 hours on a nonschool day
  • 40 hours during a nonschool week
Minors under the age of 16 may :
  • Not work before 6 a.m.
  • Not work after 9 p.m.

Georgia state law requires any worker who is age 14, but under age 18, to obtain an employment certificate from his or her school. Georgia state law also forbids minors to work in establishments where alcoholic drinks are served, although it does allow minors to work where drinks are sold for off-premises consumption.


Minors under the age of 18 are barred from hazardous occupations.

These include:

• Manufacture of brick, tile, and clay products

• Demolition, roofing, and excavation

• Mining, logging, and sawmill work

• Occupations in slaughtering, meatpacking, or rendering

• Certain hazardous agricultural work

• Occupations involving exposure to radioactive substances or ionizing radiation


Children are used by the ASWJ militia and by al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization that is the main perpetrator of the abduction and use child soldiers in Somalia. Somalia lacks nearly all elements necessary to address the worst forms of child labor. The newly elected Parliament did not pass any laws related to child labor or child soldiers in the months before the end of the reporting period. The Provisional Constitution does not establish a minimum age for employment, and the new government has not passed laws establishing a minimum age for employment or a list of hazardous activities.


The minimum age for working in China is sixteen. Despite the legislative requirements, the practice of child labor is believed to be “a persistent problem within China” by some China watchers. The overall extent of child labor in China is unclear due to the government categorizing data on the matter as “highly secret.” A report on child labor in China found that “child labors generally work in low-skill service sectors as well as small workshops and businesses, including textile, toy, and shoe manufacturing enterprises.”