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Convention 138

Convention 138

Convention 182

After the Ratification

Article 2 (3) of the ILO Minimum Age Convention stipulates that the minimum age for admission to employment shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling. The Soviet Union ratified the Convention in 1979 3 by establishing the minimum age at 16 years, and this norm was reflected in the previous Labour Code.

In reality, however, expert surveys and analyses of official departmental documents suggest that the age of 14 years is widely viewed as the minimum age of admission to employment. In the absence of a consistent official position on child labour, early employment is increasingly perceived as an acceptable, and even desirable, solution to the problem of socially unprotected children. The community is beginning to see early employment as an answer rather than a problem, and is becoming less and less sensitive to the exploitation of children.

Nearly all experts acknowledge the fact that family and school are the childХs main support systems and, more broadly, the defenders of his/her rights. When families are weakened by protracted unemployment, discord or parental alcoholism, it is the duty of the school to support their children. Pushed into early employment, children can no longer use this support system, which has disastrous implications for their situation and their rights.

Minimum ages according to Convention No. 138
General minimum age Light work Hazardous work
In general
Not less than age of completion of compulsory schooling, and in any case not less than 15 years 13 years 18 years (16 years under certain strict conditions)
Where the economy and educational facilities are insufficiently developed
Not less than 14 years for an initial period 12 years 18 years (16 years under certain strict conditions)

Ratification in the CIS

Minimum age for employment or work 15 years

  • Georgia (23.09.1996)

Minimum age for employment or work 16 years

  • Azerbaijan (19.05.1992)
  • Belarus (03.05.1979)
  • Kazakhstan (18.05.2001)
  • Kyrgyzstan (31.03.1992)
  • Russian Federation (03.05.1979)
  • Tajikistan (26.11.1993)

In Child Labour section

12 June - World Day Against Child Labour


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Last update:13.02.2008 ^ top