Last Updated: Friday, 26 December 2014, 13:50 GMT

2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Czech Republic

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 7 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Czech Republic, 7 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8c9c7f.html [accessed 27 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis 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.

Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Czech police force is taking active measures to prevent the solicitation of sexual activity from children through raids of high-crime areas and increased monitoring. This is part of a government-approved plan to prevent sexual abuse that focuses on crime prevention and rehabilitation of children who have been victims of sexual exploitation.[731] With the support of the Czech Government, the United Nations Center for International Crime Prevention initiated a Global Program against Trafficking in Human Beings in 2001. The program aims to improve law enforcement and criminal justice responses to trafficking; raise awareness and improve inter-agency and inter-country cooperation; and enhance existing research on trafficking.[732]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children below the age of 15 years in the Czech Republic are unavailable. The popular press has cited incidents of child sexual exploitation in recent years, and government reports indicate that child prostitution is a present and growing problem.[733] Czech girls are trafficked for purposes of prostitution to and from the former Soviet Union, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The Czech Republic is also a source country for girls trafficked to Western Europe.[734]

Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 15.[735] In 1996, the gross primary enrollment rate was 104 percent, and in 1995, the net primary enrollment rate was 86.9 percent.[736] Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for the Czech Republic. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.[737] Ethnic Roma children attend school less regularly, and disproportionately attend "special schools" for mentally disabled or socially maladjusted individuals.[738]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Labor Code sets the minimum age for employment at 15 years and requires that youths between the ages of 15 and 18 receive special care and protection.[739] Overtime and night work is prohibited for minors, except for children over 16 years who may work for one hour past the normal daytime hours.[740] Forced labor or service is prohibited in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.[741] The Criminal Code prohibits the trafficking of women and children and establishes a sentence of three to eight years of imprisonment for violations against women and children under age 18. The Criminal Code also prohibits procurement of a child under age 18 for sexual relations; the imprisonment term for violators is five to 12 years for offenses against children under age 15.[742]

Enforcement of child labor laws is carried out through work-place inspections and monitored jointly by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. There have been no registered violations of labor laws involving minors in the last 10 years.[743] The government is making an effort to increase enforcement of legislation regarding child sexual exploitation, but fear of reprisals by organized crime leaders often hinder the process.[744] The Czech government has not ratified ILO Convention 138, but ratified ILO Convention 182 on June 19, 2001.[745]


[731] U.S. Embassy-Prague, unclassified telegram no. 2575, September 2000 [hereinafter unclassified telegram 2575]. See also Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Czech Republic (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2001) [hereinafter Country Reports 2000], Section 6f, at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/eur/733.htm.

[732] Global Programme Against Trafficking in Human Beings, UN Centre for International Crime Program, at http://www.uncjin.org/CICP/Folder/traff.htm on 10/4/01.

[733] In the past few years, the media have produced numerous reports on child sexual exploitation, in particular, pedophilia. Reports by the government indicate that in recent years, the number of prostitutes who are under age 18 has increased. Hundreds of cases are listed every year, though the government believes this to be a fraction of the real number of child prostitutes. See UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention: Initial Reports of States Parties Due in 1994, Addendum, Czech Republic, CRC/C/11Add.11 (Geneva, 1994) [hereinafter Initial Reports of States Parties]. See also Ray Furlong, "Czech Challenge to Child Prostitution," BBC News, July 22, 2000, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_846000/846226.stm; Country Reports 2000 at Sections 5, 6f; and European Parliament, Trafficking in Women, working paper (Brussels, March 2000).

[734] Country Reports 2000 at Section 6f. See also Petr Ibl, Vice-Minister of Interior and Head of the Delegation of the Czech Republic, statement at the Tenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and the Treatment of Offenders, April 14, 2000.

[735] Unclassified telegram 2575.

[736] World Development Indicators 2001.

[737] For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see Introduction to this report.

[738] Country Reports 2000 at Section 5.

[739] The only exception to the minimum age law applies to special schools for children with disabilities, whose graduates may be employed at age 14. The minimum age is established in Article 11 of the 1965 Labor Code. Additional protections for children are established under Articles 165, 166, and 167 of the Labor Code. See unclassified telegram 2575.

[740] Initial Reports of States Parties.

[741] Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, Article 9, at http://www.psp.cz/cgi-bin/eng/docx/laws/listina.html on 10/2/10.

[742] See Criminal Code, Articles 204, 246, The Protection Project Database, at http://www.protectionproject.org.

[743] According to a representative at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Employment Services Department, the law requires labor offices throughout the country to carry out thousands of inspections and investigations a year. During the past 10 years, no child labor violations have been discovered in the formal sector. See unclassified telegram 2575.

[744] In 2000, several trials and convictions of persons involved in sexual exploitation took place. According to government reports, criminal activities and organized crime connected with child prostitution complicate the enforcement process, as affected persons may fear revenge or condemnation by crime gangs and hinder legal proceedings. See Country Reports 2000 at Section 6f and Initial Reports of States Parties.

[745] ILOLEX database: Czech Republic at http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/english/ on 10/2/01.

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