Last Updated: Friday, 22 August 2014, 15:07 GMT

2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Lithuania

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 - Lithuania, 7 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8c9d937.html [accessed 22 August 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 Lithuania initiated the National Program Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of Children in 2000 to support and rehabilitate victims of sexual crimes.[1493] In the same year, the Parliament created the position of Child Ombudsman to centralize advocacy efforts for children's rights.[1494] The government is implementing a National Poverty Reduction Strategy with funding and assistance from the World Bank in order to assist vulnerable populations, including children.[1495] UNICEF is providing advisory support to Lithuanian authorities on education, health care, and children's welfare, and approximately 100 NGOs and foundations throughout the country represent the interests of children.[1496]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 years in Lithuania are unavailable. Children are reported to beg on the streets or perform odd jobs, such as cleaning cars or selling newspapers.[1497] There are reports of children as young as 11 years old working as prostitutes in brothels, and according to UNICEF, between 20 to 50 percent of Lithuanian prostitutes are believed to be minors.[1498] Organized crime figures are reported to use coercive means to lure Lithuanian girls into prostitution abroad, particularly to Western European countries.[1499]

According to the Law on Education, school is free of charge and compulsory from the age of 6 or 7 to 16 years.[1500] In 1996, the gross primary enrollment rate was 98 percent.[1501] Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for Lithuania. While enrollments rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.[1502]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

According to the Law on Employment Contracts, the minimum age for employment is 14 years, but only in certain government-approved categories.[1503] The law also stipulates that children from 14 to 16 years must have the consent of a parent in order to be employed, and work hours may not conflict with school.[1504] The Law on Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child sets the minimum age for all other work at 16 years.[1505] The Law on Labor Protection prohibits children under 18 years old from working in hazardous conditions, night work, or overtime, and mandates shortened work hours for children between 14 and 18 years.[1506]

Law No. I-1418 and the Law on Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child prohibit prostitution by children, and the Criminal Code prohibits trafficking in persons.[1507] Forced labor is prohibited by the Constitution.[1508] Lithuania ratified ILO Convention 138 on June 22, 1998, but has not ratified ILO Convention 182.[1509]


[1493] Valdas Rupsys, State Secretary of the Ministry of Social Security and Labor, letter to Maureen Jaffe, ICLP, September 2000 [hereinafter Rupsys letter] [letter on file].

[1494] Ibid.

[1495] The World Bank is also preparing to implement an Education Project that will improve educational facilities and reduce the costs of schooling, among other aims. See Rupsys letter. See also World Bank, Structural Adjustment Loan Project, at http://www.worldbank.lt/p068706.htm on 10/30/01, and World Bank, Education Project, at http://www.worldbank.lt/p070112.htm on 10/30/01.

[1496] Lithuanian National Committee for UNICEF at http://www.un.lt/UNICEF/index.htm on 10/30/01. See also Initial Reports of States Parties.

[1497] 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, Lithuania, CRC/C/11/Add. 21 (Geneva, November 24, 1998) [hereinafter Initial Reports of States Parties], para. 253.

[1498] UNICEF, "Profiting From Abuse: An Investigation into the Sexual Exploitation of our Children" (New York, 2001), 7, at http://www.unicef.org/pubsgen/profiting/index.html on 01/11/01.

[1499] Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, and Israel are major trafficking destinations, according to figures of women deported from these countries to Lithuania. There are also reports of women trafficked to Lithuanian cities from Belarus, Russia, Latvia, and parts of the Lithuanian countryside. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Lithuania (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/index.cfm?docid=69. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention: Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Lithuania, CRC/C/15/Add. 146 (Geneva, January 26, 2001), para 53. See also Swedish International Development Agency, Looking Back, Thinking Forward: The Fourth Report on the Implementation of the Agenda for Action Adopted at the First World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Stockholm, Sweden, 28 August 1996.

[1500] Republic of Lithuania Law on Education, Articles 13, 19(1), 21(2), at http://www.litlex.lt/litlex/eng/frames/laws/documents/77.htm on 10/29/01.

[1501] There are no statistics available on net primary school enrollment. See World Development Indicators 2001 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2001) [CD-ROM]. For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see Introduction to this report.

[1502] Republic of Lithuania Law on Education, Articles 13, 19(1), 21(2), at http://www.litlex.lt/litlex/eng/frames/laws/documents/77.htm on 10/29/01.

[1503] Article 58 of the Law on Labor Protection states, however, that children under age 14 may participate in cultural or art festivals, provide communication services, or work in other activities that do not negatively affect health, morals, or studies, with the consent of parents and a doctor. See Law of Employment Contract of the Republic of Lithuania [hereinafter Law of Employment Contract], as cited in Initial Reports of States Parties. See also Law on Labor Protection, October 7, 1993 [hereinafter Law on Labor Protection], Article 58, at http://www.litlex.lt/Litlex/Eng/Frames/Laws/Fr_laws.htm on 10/29/01.

[1504] Law of Employment Contract.

[1505] Republic of Lithuania, Law on Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child [hereinafter Law on Fundamentals of Protection], Chapter VI, Article 39, as cited on NATLEX database at http://www.natlex.ilo.org/ on 11/2/01. In 1996, the government approved Regulation 1055, which includes a list of jobs and conditions that are considered dangerous for children under age 18. Children between ages 14 and 16 may work 24 hours per week, and children between ages 16 and 18 may work 36 hours per week. See Law on Labor Protection at Articles 41, 59, 16 See also Regulation No. 1055 of 11 September 1996, Vedomosti, 1996-10-31. No. 30, 42-48, as cited in NATLEX database at http://www.natlex.ilo.org/scripts/natlexcgi.exe?lang=e1 on 10/29/01.

[1506] Report on the Implementation of the Agenda for Action Adopted at the First World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Stockholm, Sweden, 28 August 1996. See also Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Lithuania (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/index.cfm?docid=69.

Republic of Lithuania Law on Education, Articles 13, 19(1), 21(2), at http://www.litlex.lt/litlex/eng/frames/laws/documents/77.htm on 10/29/01.

There are no statistics available on net primary school enrollment. See World Development Indicators 2001 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2001) [CD-ROM].

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

Republic of Lithuania Law on Education, Articles 13, 19(1), 21(2), at http://www.litlex.lt/litlex/eng/frames/laws/documents/77.htm on 10/29/01.

Article 58 of the Law on Labor Protection states, however, that children under age 14 may participate in cultural or art festivals, provide communication services, or work in other activities that do not negatively affect health, morals, or studies, with the consent of parents and a doctor. See Law of Employment Contract of the Republic of Lithuania [hereinafter Law of Employment Contract], as cited in Initial Reports of States Parties. See also Law on Labor Protection, October 7, 1993 [hereinafter Law on Labor Protection], Article 58, at http://www.litlex.lt/Litlex/Eng/Frames/Laws/Fr_laws.htm on 10/29/01.

Law of Employment Contract.

Republic of Lithuania, Law on Fundamentals of Protection of the Rights of the Child [hereinafter Law on Fundamentals of Protection], Chapter VI, Article 39, as cited on NATLEX database at http://www.natlex.ilo.org/ on 12/12/01. In 1996, the government approved Regulation 1055, which includes a list of jobs and conditions that are considered dangerous for children under age 18. Children between ages 14 and 16 may work 24 hours per week, and children between ages 16 and 18 may work 36 hours per week. See Law on Labor Protection at Articles 41, 59, 16 See also Regulation No. 1055 of 11 September 1996, Vedomosti, 1996-10-31. No. 30, 42-48, as cited in NATLEX database at http://www.natlex.ilo.org/scripts/natlexcgi.exe?lang=e1 on 10/29/01.

[1507] Human Rights Reports on Trafficking of Women and Children, Lithuania, The Protection Project Database, at http://ww.protectionproject.org , and Law on Fundamentals of Protection at Chapter VII, Article 47.

[1508] Constitution of Lithuania, Article 48, October 25, 1992, at http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/law/lh00000_.html on 10/29/01.

[1509] ILOLEX database: Lithuania at http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/english/ on 10/29/01.

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