Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September 2014, 13:37 GMT

2002 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Czech Republic

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 18 April 2003
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2002 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Czech Republic, 18 April 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d7488ac.html [accessed 17 September 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 Government of the Czech Republic adopted a National Plan Combating Commercial Sexual Abuse in July 2000.1084 The plan addresses instances of sexual exploitation of children and features rehabilitation of victims of sexual crimes.1085 In 1998, the Government Council for Human Rights was established as the consulting and coordinating body of the government for human rights protection, including protection of the rights of the child.1086

In 2001, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime funded a government project on trafficking in persons that aims to strengthen the government's criminal justice response as well as protection and support to victims of trafficking.1087 In cooperation with the government, the IOM brings together officials from several countries to share methods to combat trafficking.1088 In 2001, the IOM cooperated with the government to introduce an informational program into secondary schools curriculum, where teachers discuss trafficking issues with students in order to raise awareness about potential vulnerability to the crime.1089

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.1090 Czech girls were trafficked for the purpose of prostitution to Germany and other European countries, and girls from the former Soviet Union, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East are trafficked to the Czech Republic for sexual exploitation. Trafficking of Czech girls also occurs internally.1091

Education is compulsory and free for citizens.1092 Compulsory school attendance lasts nine years in accordance with an amendment of the Education Act No. 138/1995.1093 In 1998, the gross primary enrollment rate was 103.5 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 89.8 percent.1094 Ethnic Roma children attend school less regularly, and disproportionately attend "special schools" for mentally disabled or socially maladjusted individuals.1095

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Labor Code sets the minimum age for employment at 15 years and requires that youth between the ages of 15 and 18 years receive special care and protection.1096 Overtime and night work is prohibited for minors, except for children over 16 years of age, who may work for one hour past the normal daytime hours.1097 Forced labor or service is prohibited in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.1098 In 2000, legislation was enacted that excluded minors from military services.1099 In that same year, a Law on Social Protection of Children came into force that enhances protection of children in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.1100

The Criminal Code makes the trafficking of women and children for sexual purposes a criminal offense and prison sentences for trafficking a minor range from three to eight years.1101 The Criminal Code also prohibits procurement of a child under age 18 years for sexual relations; the imprisonment term for violators is 5 to 12 years for offenses against children under age 15.1102 In July 2002 amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Act came into force that harmonize Czech law with that of the European Union and incorporate the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child addressing trafficking in children, child prostitution and child pornography into Czech law.1103

Enforcement of child labor laws is carried out through workplace inspections and monitored jointly by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. The law requires labor offices throughout the country to carry out thousands of inspections and investigations a year. In 2002, an official with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs reported that there have been no registered violations of child labor laws or working conditions of minors in the last 12 years.1104 The government is making an effort to increase enforcement of legislation regarding child sexual exploitation. In June 2002, Czech police conducted a raid on the Krasna Lipa brothel in northern Bohemia; of 12 women found, two were 17 years old. Five men were arrested and face up to eight years on charges of procuring and trafficking of women.1105

The Government of the Czech Republic has not ratified ILO Convention 138, but ratified ILO Convention 182 on June 19, 2001.1106


1084 U.S. Embassy – Prague, unclassified telegram no. 2689, October 2002.

1085 The plan addresses child sexual abuse, trafficking in children and dissemination of child pornography. The Interior Ministry is assigned the lead role of coordination of efforts. See Ibid. Czech officials cooperate extensively with other Central and Eastern European Countries, European Union member and the United States to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases. In 1995, a Unit on Trafficking was established in the Czech Police Organized Crime Division that works with other countries to enforce laws. See U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2001: Czech Republic, Washington, D.C., March 4, 2002, 1420-22, Section 6f [cited December 26, 2002]; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2001/eur/8243.htm.

1086 Government of the Czech Republic, Review Report on Follow-up to the World Summit for Children, 2000, UNICEF, 4-5 [cited August 30, 2002]; available from http://www.unicef.org.specialsession/how_country/index.html. The composition of the Council includes deputy ministers of ministries with influence on the respect of human rights, and representatives of NGOs and members of the public who are active in the human rights field. See ILO, e.quality@work: An Information Base on Equal Employment Opportunities for Women and Men: Summary Sheet, [online] [cited October 8, 2002]; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/gems/eeo/law/czech/ i_gc.htm.

1087 The UNODC's International Center for Crime Prevention is overseeing the project. See United Nations Information Service, Press Briefing on UN Vienna Offices' Contribution to General Assembly Special Session on Children, [online] May 8, 2002 [cited September 4, 2002]; available from http://www.unis.unvienna.org/en/events/2002/ summary08may02.htm.

1088 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Czech Republic, 1420-22, Section 6f.

1089 As part of the anti-trafficking program, an educational video was co-produced by IOM and Czech Television, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of the Interior. NEWW/WEW Information Campaign/ Czech Republic – IOM info campaign, [list serve online] March 8, 2001 [cited November 14, 2002]; available from http://lists.partners-intl.net/pipermail/women-east-west/2001-March/000819.html.

1090 European Parliament, Trafficking in Women, working paper, Brussels, March 2000, 65, 66. See also Ray Furlong, "Czech Challenge to Child Prostitution," BBC News (July 22, 2000), [cited November 14, 2002]; available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_846000/846226.stm. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Czech Republic, 1414-22, Sections 5 and 6f.

1091 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Czech Republic, 1420-22, Section 6f.

1092 Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, Article 33, [cited October 8, 2002]; available from http://www.psp.cz/cgi-bin/eng/docs/laws/listina.html.

1093 Government of the Czech Republic, Review Report on Follow-up to the World Summit, 4, 5. See also UNESCO, World Data on Education- 2001: Czech Republic Country Report, International Bureau of Education, [online] April 2000 [cited August 26, 2002]; available from http://nt5.scbbs.com/cgi-bin/ om_isapi.dll?clientID=400834&infobase=iwde.nfo&softpage=PL_frame.

1094 World Bank, World Development Indicators 2002 [CD-ROM], Washington, D.C., 2002. In the 2000-01 school year, 1,056,860 children attended elementary school. See U.S. Embassy – Prague, unclassified telegram no. 2689.

1095 According to unofficial government estimates, 60 percent or more of pupils placed in special schools are Roma, although Roma constitute less than 3 percent of the population. Language and cultural barrier frequently impede the integration of Roma children into the education system; less than 20 percent of the Roma population complete ninth grade. See U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Czech Republic, 1414-20, Section 5.

1096 The minimum age is established in Section 11 of the 1965 Labor Code. The exception to the minimum age law applies to special schools for children with disabilities, whose graduates may be employed at age 14. Additional protections for children are established under Sections 165, 166, and 167 of the Labor Code. See the Labour Code No. 65/1965, [cited September 6, 2002]; available from http://www.czech.cz/index.php?section=6&menu=4. Supplementary Decree no. 261/1997 lists workplaces in which minors must not work and conditions that must be met when exceptions are permitted because such work is necessary for a minor's apprenticeship and job training. See U.S. Embassy – Prague, unclassified telegram no. 2689.

1097 Labour Code No. 65/1965, Section 166.

1098 Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, Article 9.

1099 U.S. Embassy – Prague, unclassified telegram no. 2689.

1100 The law also strengthens protection for children against pornography, violence, gambling, and sexual abuse. See Ibid.

1101 Criminal Code, Article 246, as cited by Interpol, "Legislation of Interpol member states on sexual offenses against children" [cited September 19, 2002]; available from http://www.interpol.int/Publi/Children/SexualAbuse/ NationalLaws/csaCzechRepublic.asp.

1102 If such an offense is committed against a person between the ages of 15 and 18, the penalty is two to eight years imprisonment. See Ibid., Articles 204 and 05.

1103 U.S. Embassy – Prague, unclassified telegram no. 2689.

1104 Ibid.

1105 See U.S. Embassy – Prague, unclassified telegram no. 2180, August 2002.

1106 ILO, Ratifications by Country, in ILOLEX, [database online] [cited September 5, 2002]; available from http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/english/newratframeE.htm.

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