Last Updated: Thursday, 10 July 2014, 16:05 GMT

2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Algeria

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 22 September 2005
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Algeria, 22 September 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8ca412.html [accessed 11 July 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 Child Labor Measures Adopted by Governments
Ratified Convention 138 4/30/1984X
Ratified Convention 182 2/09/2001X
ILO-IPEC Member 
National Plan for Children 
National Child Labor Action Plan 
Sector Action Plan 

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 are unavailable.[141] Children are found working either in part-time or full-time employment in small workshops, on family farms and in informal trade.[142]

Commercial sexual exploitation is a problem, but the extent of the problem in not clear. Although there were reports in the past that young girls were kidnapped by terrorist groups and forced to work,[143] there were no reported terrorist abductions in 2004.[144]

In 2004, the Ministry of Labor's National Labor Institute conducted a survey on child labor financed by the ILO. Preliminary survey results indicated that low family income and unemployed parents are two primary factors contributing to child employment in Algeria.[145]

Under the Ordinance of April 16, 1976, education is compulsory in Algeria between the ages of 6 and 16 and free at all levels.[146] In 2001, the gross primary enrollment rate was 108.5 percent, while the net primary school enrollment rate was 95.1 percent.[147] Gross and net enrollment ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and therefore do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance. Recent school attendance statistics are not available for Algeria. According to Algeria's FOREM children's center, approximately 500,000 children are school drop-outs, with 1.5 million children repeating grades.[148] Girls are slightly more likely to drop out than boys in rural areas, due to financial reasons.[149]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Labor Code sets the minimum age for employment at 16, and stipulates that minors may not perform dangerous, unhealthy, or harmful work or work that may jeopardize their morality.[150] The Code also prohibits the recruitment of children for employment without the consent of a parent or legal guardian.[151] Article 28 of the Labor Code prohibits night work for children and youth under the age of 19.[152] Article 182 of Ordinance No. 75-31 of April 1975 requires children to request the permission of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare in cases of fixed-term temporary jobs.[153]

The Penal Code prohibits compulsory labor, including forced or bonded labor by children.[154] Article 342 of Ordinance 75-47 of June 1975 and Law No. 82-04 of February 13, 1982 prohibits the corruption and debauchery of minors younger than age 19, while Article 343 and 344 prohibit the use and recruitment of minors in prostitution.[155] The Penal Code prohibits the removal, arbitrary detention and kidnapping of a person, although is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons.[156] Ordinance 74-103 of November 1974 established 19 as the age for recruitment into military service.[157]

The Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing minimum age laws and its Labor Inspection Department is charged with enforcing the law through regular inspections throughout the country.[158] The U.S. Department of State reports that the Ministry has not enforced these laws effectively in the private sector, particularly in agriculture.[159]

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

In 2003, the Government of Algeria formed an inter-ministerial commission charged with identifying strategies for preventing child labor and informing governmental and nongovernmental organizations about its dangers and potential negative impacts on society.[160] The Government of Algeria is collaborating with UNICEF on programs to promote access to universal education, child protection, and economic growth. In the latter area, the government has implemented a national plan for economic development aimed at improving the situation of women and children, especially in rural provinces, where girls face barriers to education.[161]


[141] LABORSTAT, 1A – Total and economically active population, by age group (Thousands) [Database], Geneva, 2004; available from http://laborsta.ilo.org.

[142] U.S. Department of State, Country Report on Human Rights Practices – 2003: Algeria, Washington, D.C., March 31, 2004, Section 6d available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27924.htm.

[143] Ibid., Section 6f.

[144] U.S. Embassy, U.S. Embassy Official, electronic communication to USDOL Official, June 1, 2005.

[145] U.S. Embassy, electronic communication, June 1, 2005.

[146] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Rapports initiaux attendus des Etats parties pour 1995: Algeria, CRC/C/28/Add.4, prepared by Government of Algeria, pursuant to Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, February 23, 1996, Section 104; available from http://unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CRC.C.28.Add.4.FR?opendocument.

[147] World Bank, World Development Indicators [CD-ROM], Washington, D.C., 2004. For an explanation of gross primary enrollment and/or attendance rates that are greater than 100 percent, please see the definitions of gross primary enrollment rate and gross primary attendance rate in the glossary of this report.

[148] The report is based on a survey of 1,000 children ages 10 to 15. U.S. Embassy, electronic communication, June 1, 2005.

[149] Ministry of Education, Indicateurs du systeme educatif: acces a l'education, participation et progres, Ministry of Education, n.d. [cited May 13, 2004]; available from http://www.meducation.edu.dz/men/indsysedu/categorie3/taux_ens_fond.htm. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2003: Algeria, Section 5.

[150] Labor Code, Chapter II, Article 15; available from http://lexalgeria.net/titre_iiitravail.htm. See also, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Report of States Parties: Algeria, Section 155-56.

[151] Algeria Labor Code, Article 15. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Report of States Parties: Algeria, Section 156.

[152] Algeria Labor Code, Chapter III, Section 2, Article 28.

[153] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Report of States Parties: Algeria, Section 7e.

[154] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2003: Algeria, Section 6c.

[155] Code Penal; available from http://www.lexalgeria.net/penal3.htm.

[156] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2003: Algeria, Section 6f. See also Algeria Criminal Code, Article 291.

[157] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Report of States Parties: Algeria, Section 6f.

[158] U.S. Embassy, electronic communication, June 1, 2005.

[159] Inspectors from the Ministry of Labor supposedly enforced made periodic or unannounced inspection visits to public sector enterprises. See U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2003: Algeria.

[160] Government of Algeria, Report filed with the ILO under Article 22 of the ILO Constitution for the period ending June 2003, Algiers, August 26, 2003.

[161] UNICEF, At a glance: Algeria, in UNICEF, n.d. [cited April 9, 2004]; available from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/algeria_statistics.html.

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