Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Slovak Republic

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 - Slovak Republic, 7 June 2002, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
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 Slovak Republic established a Commission on the Rights of the Child and created departments within its Ministries of Education and Social Affairs to protect children's rights.[2304] In collaboration with UNESCO, the government has developed an Education for All Plan,[2305] sponsored a media campaign to encourage school attendance, and developed a pre-school program to teach Roma children the Slovak language.[2306]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in the Slovak Republic are unavailable.[2307] Some children from Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Turkey are known to be trafficked through the Slovak Republic into Germany for purposes of prostitution.[2308]

Education is free and compulsory for nine years or until the age of 15.[2309] In 1996, the gross primary enrollment rate was 101.8 percent.[2310] Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for the Slovak Republic. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.[2311] Although official statistics are unavailable, it is believed that fewer Roma than Slovak children attend primary school.[2312] Roma children are also disproportionately placed in special schools for the mentally retarded, often because they lack sufficient knowledge of the Slovak language.[2313]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Labor Code sets the minimum age for employment at 15 years. Children under the age of 15 may perform light work in cultural or artistic performances, sports events, and advertising activities as long as the work does not affect their health, safety, further development or full-time schooling. Permission to work in these areas must be obtained from the labor inspectorate with the agreement of a health protection body.[2314] Children under the age of 16 may not work underground or perform work that is inappropriate for their age or is detrimental to their health.[2315] Children under 16 may not work more than 30 hours per week, and children over age 16 are limited to 37.5 hours per week.[2316]

Articles 204 and 246 of the Criminal Code prohibit the sale and trafficking of women, and these crimes can be penalized more severely when the victim is under the age of 18. Under Article 204, a person convicted of selling a child under the age of 15 for the purpose of prostitution can receive a penalty of 12 years imprisonment.[2317] Article 18 of the Constitution prohibits forced labor.[2318]

The inspection section of the Ministry of Labor enforces the country's child labor laws.[2319] Child labor complaints are first received and investigated by the Ministry's district inspection units. If a violation of a child labor law is found to have occurred, the case is turned over to the national inspection unit. The government provides specific training to its inspectors on child labor laws and has published and distributed fliers explaining child labor laws and dangers and risks involved in employing minors.[2320]

The Slovak Republic ratified ILO Convention 138 on September 29, 1997, and ILO Convention 182 on December 20, 1999.[2321]

[2304] U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 2752, September 2001 [hereinafter unclassified telegram 2752].

[2305] UNESCO, The Education for All (EFA) 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Slovakia, at

[2306] Unclassified telegram 2752.

[2307] World Development Indicators 2001 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2001) [hereinafter World Development Indicators 2001] [CD-ROM].

[2308] Human Rights Report – Slovakia, Protection Project Database [hereinafter Human Rights Report – Slovakia], at, on 2/20/02.

[2309] County Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Slovak Republic(U.S. Department of State: Washington, D.C., 2001) [hereinafter County Reports 2000], Section 5, at

[2310] World Development Indicators 2001.

[2311] For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see Introduction to this report.

[2312] Unclassified telegram 2752.

[2313] The Roma constitute the second largest ethnic minority in the Slovak Republic. See County Reports 2000 at 5.

[2314] Government of the Slovak Republic, Labor Code Act, Part 1, Article 11, 2001, at

[2315] Ibid. at Part 7, Article 175.

[2316] Ibid. at Part 3, Article 85.

[2317] Article 205 of the Criminal Code prohibits the distribution, production, presentation, and transmission of indecent material, including pornographic material that depicts sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 15. See Human Rights Report – Slovakia.

[2318] Constitution of the Slovak Republic, Article 18, 1992.

[2319] Unclassified telegram 2752.

[2320] Ibid.

[2321] ILO, ILOLEX database, "Ratifications of ILO Conventions," at 1567/English.

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