Child Labor Laws

what is is?

Child labor is work that harms children or keeps them from attending school. Around the world and in the U. S., growing gaps between rich and poor in recent decades have forced millions of young children out of school and into work. The International Labor Organization estimates that 215 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 currently work under conditions that are considered illegal, hazardous, or extremely exploitative. Underage children work at all sorts of jobs around the world, usually because they and their families are extremely poor. Large numbers of children work in commercial agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, mining, and domestic service. Some children work in illicit activities like the drug trade and prostitution or other traumatic activities such as serving as soldiers. It involves at least one of the following characteristics:

· Violates a nation’s minimum age laws

· Threatens children’s physical, mental, or emotional well-being

· Involves intolerable abuse, such as child slavery, child trafficking, debt bondage, forced labor, or illicit activities

· Prevents children from going to school

· Uses children to undermine labor standards


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 non-school week

Minors under the age of 16 may :

· Not work before 6 a.m.

· Not work after 9 p.m.

No minor under 16 years of age shall be permitted to work during the hours when public or private schools are in session unless said minor has completed senior high school or has been excused from attendance in school by a county or independent school system board of education in accordance with the general policies and regulations


The Labor Code sets the minimum age for work and for hazardous employment at 18. A child may work as an apprentice at age 14. According to the Labor Code, children between ages 15 and 18 may engage in light work up to 35 hours per week, but the Code does not specify what tasks are considered as “light types of work”.

The Labor Code prohibits the recruitment of children younger than age 18 for work that is harmful to their health or causes physical damage or disability. However, the Government of Afghanistan has not defined hazardous working conditions and occupations prohibited for children.

The Labor Code also does not prescribe penalties for child labor violations. According to the Constitution, children and adults in Afghanistan are entitled to free education up to and including college. Children in Afghanistan are required to attend 6 years of primary school and 3 years of secondary school, approximately through age 15.


Employers who wish to employ person under 18 years of age must obtain the appropriate Child Labor Certificate(s) for each location where persons under 18 years of age are employed.

A Class I Child Labor Certificate is required for the employment of 14 and 15 year old minors. A Class II Child Labor Certificate is required for the employment of 16 and 17 year old minors. An Eligibility to Work form is required for each 14 or 15 year old minor employed.

These forms can be obtained by the minor from their school. The Eligibility to Work form must be kept in the employee's file. Each employer must keep on premises an Employee Information Form, Proof of Age, and Time Records showing the number of hours worked each day, starting and ending times, and break times for each employee 18 years of age and younger. Acceptable Proof of Age: A Copy of a birth certificate, driver's license, or identification card issued by a federal, state, or local government agency provided the ID card includes the employee's name and date of birth. Employers who chose not to use the Employee Information Form must keep a separate file for each employee 18 and younger which includes the following information: The employee's name, address, telephone number, date of birth, date of hire, proof of age, school of attendance, and time records.


Eighteen is the age of majority in China. Under the Minors Protection Law, “minors” are defined as citizens less than eighteen years old. The civil law of China provides that people above eighteen years old and those from sixteen to eighteen who make a living on their own have full civil conduct capacity. People aged from ten to eighteen have limited capacity of civil conduct, and may only engage in civil activities appropriate to the age range and intellect. People under ten years old have no civil conduct capacity. Unless otherwise indicated, “children” or "minors" hereinafter refers to people under the age of eighteen.

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