Last Updated: Friday, 24 October 2014, 15:39 GMT

2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Algeria

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 29 August 2006
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Algeria, 29 August 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d748d747.html [accessed 26 October 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     4/30/1984
Ratified Convention 182     2/09/2001
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 age 15 in Algeria are unavailable.116 In 2004, the Ministry of Labor's National Labor Institute conducted a survey on child labor with technical assistance from the ILO. Preliminary survey results indicated that low family income and unemployed parents are two primary factors contributing to child employment in Algeria.117 Children are found working a variety of hours in small workshops, on family farms, and in informal trade.118 Child labor is one of many problems associated with poverty. In 1995, the most recent year for which data are available, less than 2 percent of the population in Algeria were living on less than USD 1 a day.119

Commercial sexual exploitation of children occurs in Algeria, but the extent of the problem in not clear. Algeria is a transit country for trafficking of children from Central and Western Africa to Europe for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation.120

Under the Ordinance of April 16, 1976, education is compulsory in Algeria between the ages of 6 and 16 and free at all levels.121 In 2002, the gross primary enrollment rate was 109 percent and the net primary school enrollment rate was 95 percent.122 Gross and net enrollments ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and therefore do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance. Primary school attendance statistics are not available for Algeria.123 As of 2001, 97 percent of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5.124 In rural areas, girls are slightly more likely to drop out than boys due to financial reasons.125

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Algerian Labor Code sets the minimum age for employment at 16, unless participating in an apprenticeship.126 To participate in an apprenticeship, minors must have the permission of a legal guardian, and they cannot participate in dangerous, unhealthy, or harmful work or work that may jeopardize their morality.127 Article 28 of the Labor Code prohibits night work for youth under the age of 19.128 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.129

The worst forms of child labor may be prosecuted under different statutes in Algeria. The Penal Code prohibits compulsory labor, including forced or bonded labor by children.130 Ordinance 75-47 of June 1975 and Law No. 82-04 of February 1982 prohibit the corruption and debauchery of minors younger than age 19,131 while Article 343 and 344 of the penal code prohibit the use and recruitment of minors in prostitution.132 Although there is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons, the Penal Code prohibits the removal, arbitrary detention, and kidnapping of a person.133 In addition, the laws against immigration, prostitution, and forced labor are used to enforce anti-trafficking standards.134 Ordinance 74103 of November 1974 establishes 19 as the minimum age for recruitment into military service.135

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. The Department of State reports that the Ministry of Labor supposedly enforces minimum age laws through surprise inspections to public sector enterprises, but that it does not enforce the law in the agricultural or private sectors.136

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

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.137


116 This statistic is not available from the data sources that are used in this report. Please see the "Data Sources and Definitions" section of this report for information about sources used. Reliable data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms, such as the use of children in the illegal drug trade, prostitution, pornography, and trafficking. As a result, statistics and information on children's work in general are reported in this section. Such statistics and information may or may not include the worst forms of child labor. For more information on the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the "Data Sources and Definitions" section.

117 U.S. Embassy – Algiers official, email communication to USDOL official, June 1, 2005.

118 U.S. Department of State, Country Report on Human Rights Practices – 2004: Algeria, Washington, D.C., February 28, 2005 2004; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41718.htm.

119 World Bank, World Development Indicators 2005 [CD-ROM], Washington, D.C., 2005.

120 U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons: Algeria, Washington, D.C., June, 2005; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2005/46613.htm.

121 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. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Algeria, Section 5.

122 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=51 (Gross and Net Enrollment Ratios, Primary; accessed December 2005). For an explanation of gross primary enrollment rates that are greater than 100 percent, please see the definition of gross primary enrollment rates in the "Data Sources and Definitions" section of this report.

123 This statistic is not available from the data sources that are used in this report. Please see the "Data Sources and Definitions" section for information about sources used.

124 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=55 (School life expectancy, % of repeaters, survival rates; accessed December 2005).

125 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Algeria, Section 5.

126 Labor Code, Article 15; available from http://trans.voila.fr/ano?anolg=65544&anourl=http%3A//www.lexalgeria.net.

127 Ibid.

128 Ibid., Article 28.

129 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Report of States Parties: Algeria, Section 94e.

130 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Algeria, Section 6c.

131 Code Penal, Article 342; available from http://www.lexalgeria.net/penal3.htm.

132 Ibid.

133 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Report of States Parties: Algeria, Section 232.

134 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Algeria, Section 5.

135 Algeria Criminal Code, Section 2, Article 74.

136 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Algeria.

137 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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