2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Armenia
|Publisher||United States Department of Labor|
|Author||Bureau of International Labor Affairs|
|Publication Date||31 August 2007|
|Cite as||United States Department of Labor, 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Armenia, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d7492046.html [accessed 21 September 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
|Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor|
|Percent of children 5-14 estimated as working:||Unavailable|
|Minimum age of work:||16220|
|Age to which education is compulsory:||14221|
|Free public education:||Yes222|
|Gross primary enrollment rate in 2004:||101%223|
|Net primary enrollment rate in 2004:||94%224|
|Percent of children 5-14 attending school:||Unavailable|
|Percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:||Unavailable|
|Ratified Convention 138:||1/27/2006225|
|Ratified Convention 182:||1/2/2006226|
|ILO-IPEC participating country:||No|
Incidence and Nature of Child Labor
Children in Armenia work in family-run, small business enterprises.227 Children can be observed selling flowers on the streets of Yerevan and working in local marketplaces, usually after school hours.228 There have been reports of increasing numbers of children begging on the streets229 and dropping out of school to work in the informal sector, especially in agriculture.230 Outside the urban areas children have been known to work in fishing.231
Child Labor Laws and Enforcement
The minimum age of employment is 16 years, but the law allows children 14 to 16 to work with written permission from a parent or guardian. Children under 14 are prohibited from working.232 Children 14 to 16 may work up to 24 hours per week, and children 16 to 18 may work a maximum of 36 hours per week.233 Employers must require proof of a medical examination from any employee under 18.234 Children under 18 are prohibited from working overtime, at night, on holidays, or in hazardous conditions.235 Armenian law defines hazardous work to include the production and/or sale of alcohol and tobacco products, as well as activities that may compromise children's health or physical or mental development, or interfere with their education.236
The Armenian Constitution prohibits forced and compulsory labor, including by children.237 The law proscribes trafficking in persons and considers child trafficking an aggravated circumstance, which is punishable with 3 to 15 years imprisonment.238 Sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 is punishable with up to 2 years imprisonment, and involving underage children in prostitution or pornography can result in 5 years imprisonment.239 The law gives responsibility to the government to protect children from criminal activities, prostitution, and begging.240 Armenian males are registered for military conscription at 16, but are not subject to compulsory military service or voluntary recruitment until 18.241
The Armenian State Labor Inspectorate is responsible for ensuring compliance with child labor laws.242 However, the inspectorate has not received or investigated complaints of child labor since its inception in 2005 and does not have any inspectors assigned to child labor.243 According to the U.S. Department of State, local community councils, unemployment offices, and courts have jurisdiction to enforce the laws on minimum working age, but their efforts are uneven.244 There have been no reports of child labor cases being prosecuted in Armenia.245 Although the Armenian government has heightened its attention to the issue of trafficking and is taking steps to more effectively prevent trafficking-related offenses,246 the U.S. Department of State reports that enforcement of anti-trafficking laws is generally weak, and there is evidence of collusion with traffickers by individual government officials. Several trafficking convictions have been overturned by courts or sentences were reduced by re-classifying charges to pimping, which carries lower penalties.247
Current Government Efforts to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor
During the year, the government continued to implement the 2004-2006 National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking.248 The government is collaborating with international organizations and NGOs on a variety of counter-trafficking efforts, including mass-media public awareness campaigns and victim hotlines.249 IOM contributes to the Government of Armenia's counter-trafficking efforts through a project that trains Armenian consular staff to recognize and assist trafficking victims in Armenia.250 The UNDP is working with the government to develop antitrafficking legislation and strengthen victim assistance efforts.251
220 Labor Code of the Republic of Armenia, (November 9, 2004).
221 U.S. Department of State, "Armenia," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006: Armenia, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61635.htm.
223 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrollment Ratio. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.
224 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrollment Ratio. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.
225 ILOLEX, Database of International Labour Standards, January 31, 2007; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.
227 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Armenia." Section 6d.
228 Ibid. See also Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Questionnaire Responses, submitted in response to the U.S. Department of Labor Federal Register Notice (September 25, 2001) "Request for Information on Efforts by Certain Countries to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor", October 24, 2001.
229 National Center for Democracy and Human Rights, NGO Report: Supplementary report to Armenia's second periodic report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Yerevan, January 30, 2004; available from http://www.crin.org/docs/resources/treaties/crc.35/armenia_ngo_report.pdf.
230 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Armenia, Geneva, January 30, 2004, Para. 60; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/6/crc/doc/co/Armenia%20-%20CO2.pdf.
231 "Vostan" Ethno-Cultural Research Center Official, Expert, Interview with USDOL Consultant, June 06, 2006. See also Yerevan State University. "Vostan" NGO Official, Lecturer, Interview with USDOL Consultant, June 02, 2006.
232 Labor Code of the Republic of Armenia.
233 Ibid., Article 140.
234 Ibid., Article 249.
235 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Armenia", Section 6d.
236 U.S. Embassy – Yerevan, reporting, August 18, 2004. See also Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Questionnaire Responses.
237 Government of Armenia, Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, (July 7, 1995); available from http://www.gov.am/enversion/legal_1/legal_sahman_all.html#09. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Armenia." Section 6c.
238 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Armenia.", Section 5.
239 Criminal Code, Articles 141 and 166; available from http://www.legislationline.org/upload/legislations/db/3a/bb9bb21f5c6170dadc5efd70578c.htm. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention: Armenia, United Nations, July 17, 2003, Para. 417; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/898586b1dc7b4043c1256a450044f331/693ad0fbe22529cbc1256dc70027de86/ $FILE/G0343131.pdf.
240 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties: Armenia (2003), Para. 414.
241 Ibid., Para. 51. See also Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, November 17, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=966.
242 Law on the State Labor Inspectorate of the Republic of Armenia of 2005, Article 10.
243 U.S. Embassy – Yerevan, reporting, December 12, 2006.
244 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Armenia," Section 6d.
245 U.S. Embassy – Yerevan, reporting, August 18, 2004.
247 U.S. Department of State, "Armenia (Tier 2 Watch List)," in Trafficking in Persons Report, Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65988.htm.
248 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Armenia."
249 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Armenia." Section 5.
250 IOM, Capacity building for the Consular Personnel in Counter Trafficking: Armenia, October 17, 2006; available from http://www.iom.int/armenia/projects/mfa.htm. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Armenia." Section 5.
251 UNDP Armenia, Supporting formation of informed individuals able to protect their rights, August 30, 2006; available from http://www.undp.am/?page=LatestNews&id=309.