Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 09:55 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Russia

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 27 August 2008
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Russia, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa489c.html [accessed 19 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.

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor2896
Working children, 5-14 years (%):
Working boys, 5-14 years (%):
Working girls, 5-14 years (%):
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:16
Compulsory education age:15 or 16
Free public education:Yes
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:129
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:92
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%):
ILO-IPEC participating country:Associated

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In urban areas, children can be found working primarily in the informal sector in retail services, selling goods on the street, washing cars, repairing automobiles, making deliveries, collecting trash, and begging.2897 In rural areas children work primarily in agriculture.2898 Children from neighboring countries, in addition to Russian children, are engaged in exploitive work in Russia.2899

Among street children, boys are usually involved in hard physical labor, while girls are more likely to be engaged in prostitution.2900 However, child prostitution involving boys does take place, particularly involving homeless and orphaned children.2901 Homeless and orphaned children are also at risk of other forms of exploitation or becoming engaged in criminal activities.2902 Some children involved in prostitution also work in shops, cafes, and filling stations.2903 Child sex tourism remains a concern.2904 St. Petersburg and Moscow are both destination sites for child sex tourism,2905 and the northwestern border areas of Russia are popular destinations for sex tourists from wealthier Western European nations.2906 Russian children, primarily girls, are trafficked both internationally and domestically for commercial sexual exploitation.2907 Domestic trafficking of children from rural areas to urban centers and from one region to another occurs.2908 Moscow and St. Petersburg are reported as destination cities for children trafficked internally, and for children trafficked from Moldova and Ukraine for sexual exploitation and forced begging.2909 Russia is a major producer and distributor of internet pornography.2910 There has been a ten-fold increase in prosecutions for child pornography in the past 5 years, but it remains a significant problem.2911

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age of employment at 16 years, with some exceptions.2912 Children who have either completed their basic general education or have left the general educational system may work at age 15. With parental consent, children at least 14 years may perform light work that is not harmful to their health or education, and children younger than 14 may participate in the creation and/or performance of art works that are not harmful to their health and moral development.2913 The working time for employees younger than 16 years should not exceed 24 hours per week, or exceed 36 hours per week for employees between 16 and 18 years.2914 Workers younger than 16 years may not work longer than 5 hours per shift, and for workers between 16 and 18 years, a shift may not exceed 7 hours.2915 Children under 18 years are prohibited from engaging in night work, unhealthy or dangerous work, underground work, or work that may be harmful to their moral development.2916 Employers must medically screen any prospective employees younger than 18 years. Once hired, these employees must also pass annual medical surveys provided at the expense of the employer.2917

Forced child labor is punishable by imprisonment from 3 to 5 years. Acts directed towards organizing prostitution that involve minors are punishable by imprisonment of up to 6 years with no minimum sentence. If the minor is under 14 years, the term of imprisonment is 3 to 10 years. 2918 Involving a minor in prostitution, or compelling a minor to continue to engage in prostitution is punishable by 3 to 8 years of imprisonment.2919 Sexual intercourse, sodomy, or lesbian acts committed with a person less than 16 years is punishable by up to 4 years of imprisonment.2920 In addition, the creation and circulation of pornography that knowingly depicts minors is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 6 years. The term of imprisonment is 3 to 8 years if the minor is under 14.2921 Trafficking of a known minor is punishable by a sentence of 3 to 10 years of imprisonment if committed by a single individual. The sentence for an organized group that engages in any form of trafficking is 8 to 15 years.2922 The minimum age for both voluntary and compulsory military recruitment is 18 years.2923

The Federal Labor and Employment Service (FLES) is responsible for monitoring child labor violations.2924 Between 2006 and the first half of 2007, there were 8,529 child labor violations found by the FLES in 3,584 inspections. Approximately USD 15,400 in administrative fines were issued to employers.2925 According to USDOS, however, the Government failed to enforce child labor laws effectively.2926 There have been reports that Government officials have been complicit in trafficking.2927 Russia does not track the number of trafficking prosecutions, convictions, and sentences.2928

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

In 2007, the Ministry of the Interior created a Federal-level Counter Human Trafficking Unit to increase coordination of enforcement on anti-trafficking efforts.2929 The Duma Working Group on Trafficking developed a series of action plans, including a plan in 2007 that called for greater attention to child trafficking and child pornography legislation.2930 The Public Chamber, a consultative Government body tasked with reviewing draft legislation and monitoring Federal bodies, provided grants to 3 NGOs in early 2007 to provide rehabilitation assistance to trafficking victims.2931 The St. Petersburg government has formed a working group that meets regularly to address trafficking and child sexual exploitation, and has established shelters for minors in each city district.2932 The Government of Finland is supporting a USD 450,000 project to assist working street children in St. Petersburg.2933 UNICEF is working with the Government to assist children living and working in the streets.2934


2896 For statistical data not cited here, see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILO-IPEC membership, see the Executive Summary. For minimum age for admission to work, age to which education is compulsory, and free public education, see Government of Russia, Labor Code, (February 1, 2002), article 63; available from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/60535/65252/E01RUS01.htm. See also U.S. Department of State, "Russia," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2007, Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/. See also ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request, Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Russian Federation (ratification: 1979), [online] 2006 [cited March 17, 2008]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/.

2897 ILO-IPEC, In-depth Analysis of the Situation of Working Street Children in Moscow 2001, Moscow, 2002, 36; available from http://www.ilo.ru/publications/childlabour/Moscow_Report_Eng_1.pdf. ILO, Child Labour in Europe and Central Asia: Problem and Response, Geneva, 2003, 10-11.

2898 U.S. Embassy – Moscow official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, August 3, 2007.

2899 Ibid. See also U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting, November 30, 2007.

2900 ILO, Child Labour in Europe and Central Asia: Problem and Response, 10-11. See also ILO-IPEC, Analysis of the Situation of Working Street Children in Moscow, 22.

2901 U.S. Embassy – Moscow official, E-mail communication, August 3, 2007.

2902 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Russia," section 6d. See also U.S. Embassy – Moscow official, E-mail communication, August 3, 2007. See also U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting, November 30, 2007. See also ILO Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention – Concluding Observations: Russian Federation November 23, 2005, 16-17; available from http://www.crin.org/docs/Russian%20Federation%20COs.doc.

2903 ILO-IPEC, Analysis of the Situation of Working Street Children in Moscow, 37.

2904 U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting, November 30, 2007. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Russia," section 5, 6d. See also Donna M. Hughes, Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation: The Case of the Russian Federation, No. 7, IOM, Geneva, June 2002, 24; available from http://www.iom.int/jahia/webdav/site/myjahiasite/shared/shared/mainsite/published_docs/serial_publications/mrs7.p df.

2905 U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting, November 30, 2007.

2906 Hughes, Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation, 17. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Russia, accessed November 21, 2007; available from http://www.ecpat.net.

2907 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Russia," section 5. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Russia. See also U.S. Department of State, "Russia (Tier 2 Watch List)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/82804.htm.

2908 Hughes, Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation, 17. See also U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting, March 1, 2005.

2909 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Person Report – 2007: Russia."

2910 Hughes, Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation, 23. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Russia," section 5.

2911 U.S. Embassy – Moscow official, E-mail communication, August 3, 2007.

2912 Government of Russia, Labor Code article 63.

2913 Ibid.

2914 Ibid., articles 91 and 92.

2915 Ibid., article 94.

2916 Ibid., articles 96 and 265.

2917 Ibid., article 266.

2918 Government of Russia, The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, (January 1, 1997), articles 127 and 241; available from http://www.legislationline.org/upload/legislations/d1/a1/0cc1acff8241216090943e97d5b4.htm. See also Government of Russia, Constitution of the Russian Federation, (December 25, 1993), article 37; available from http://www.legislationline.org/upload/legislations/68/7c/40e7c5194d7db79b900b350d2a20.htm.

2919 Government of Russia, Criminal Code, articles 131, 151, 240.

2920 Ibid., article 134.

2921 Ibid., article 242.1.

2922 Ibid., article 127.1.

2923 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Russian Federation," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=924.

2924 Government of Russia, Labor Code article 353. See also U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting, November 30, 2007.

2925 U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting, November 30, 2007.

2926 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Russia," section 6d.

2927 Ibid., section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting June 9, 2004. See also U. S. Embassy-Moscow, reporting, March 3, 2008.

2928 U. S. Embassy-Moscow, reporting, March 3, 2008.

2929 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Person Report – 2007: Russia."

2930 U. S. Embassy-Moscow, reporting, March 3, 2008.

2931 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Person Report – 2007: Russia."

2932 U.S. Consulate – St. Petersburg, reporting, October 17, 2007. See also U. S. Embassy-Moscow, reporting, March 3, 2008.

2933 ILO-IPEC Geneva official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, December 12, 2007.

2934 UNICEF, For homeless children, hope and help to get off the streets, [online] November 26, 2007 [cited December 11, 2007]; available from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/russia_41947.html.

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