Last Updated: Friday, 26 December 2014, 13:50 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Algeria

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 - Algeria, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa45a3a.html [accessed 28 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 Labor79
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:16
Free public education:Yes
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:112
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:97
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2004:96
ILO-IPEC participating country:No

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children in Algeria work in small workshops, street vending, informal trades, and on family farms.80 Children also work as domestic servants.81 Algerian children may be trafficked internally for forced labor as domestic servants.82

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment in Algeria is 16 years, unless participating in an apprenticeship. The law does not state a minimum age for an apprenticeship.83 The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare may also grant permission for children under 16 years to work in certain fixed-term temporary jobs.84 The law states that "minor workers" must have the permission of a legal guardian, and that they cannot participate in dangerous, unhealthy, or harmful work, or in work that may jeopardize their morality.85 The Government has not, however, clearly defined the term "minor workers." In addition, the minimum age law applies only to employment based on a contract and therefore does not apply to all working children.86 Night work is prohibited for youth under the age of 19 years.87 Violations of labor laws are punishable by fines and, for repeat offenses, imprisonment of between 15 days and two months.88

Algerian law prohibits forced or compulsory labor.89 The law provides for imprisonment of five to 10 years and fines for the corruption and debauchery of minors younger than age 19 years. The law also provides for five to 10 years of imprisonment and fines for involvement in the prostitution of minors.90 The creation or distribution of pornography is prohibited by law, which provides for two months to two years of imprisonment and fines for offenses.91 Although there is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons, the law establishes penalties, including imprisonment from six months to life, for holding and transporting people against their will.92 The law also provides for five to 10 years imprisonment and fines for involvement in trafficking victims into or out of Algeria for purposes of prostitution.93 If such crimes involve minors, the prison term may be increased to 15 years and fines doubled.94 In addition, the Government has stated that laws against illegal immigration are used to enforce anti-trafficking standards.95 The minimum age for recruitment into military service is 19 years.96

The Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing minimum age laws. USDOS reports that the Ministry of Labor enforces minimum age laws through surprise inspections of public sector enterprises, but that it does not enforce the laws consistently in the agricultural or private sectors.97 The Ministry of Interior, through the national and border police, and the Ministry of Defense, through the gendarmerie that operate in rural areas, have law enforcement responsibilities relating to trafficking.98 From April 2006 to March 2007, the Government of Algeria reported no investigations into the trafficking of children for domestic service or improvements in protection services for trafficking victims.99

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

Research has not identified any policies or programs by the Government of Algeria to address exploitive child labor.


79 For statistical data not cited here, see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILOIPEC 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 Algeria, Code du travail, article 15; available from http://lexalgeria.net/titre_iiitravail.htm. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Second Periodic Reports of States Parties due in 2000: Algeria, CRC/C/93/Add.7, prepared by Government of Algeria, pursuant to Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, March 3, 2005, para 94; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/898586b1dc7b4043c1256a450044f331/fef289cbac5d9292c12570180052d60d/$FI LE/G0540613.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, "Algeria," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices2007, Washington, DC, March 11, 2007, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100592.htm.

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

81 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: Algeria, CRC/C/15/Add.269, Geneva, October 12, 2005, para 78; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/898586b1dc7b4043c1256a450044f331/d2316598f6190c4fc12570200049bd8d/$F ILE/G0544259.pdf.

82 U.S. Embassy – Algiers, reporting, December 12, 2007. See also U.S. Department of State, "Algeria (Tier 3 Watch List)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/82902.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports2007: Algeria," section 5.

83 Government of Algeria, Code du travail, article 15.

84 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Periodic Reports of States Parties: Algeria, para 94.

85 Government of Algeria, Code du travail, article 15.

86 ILO, Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (articles 19, 22 and 35 of the Constitution), Third Item on the Agenda: Information and Reports on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations ILO Conference, 92nd session, Geneva, 2005, article 2, paragraph 1 and article 3, paragraph 1; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/pdconv.pl?host=status01&textbase=iloeng&document=8170&chapter=6&query=%28algeria%29+%40ref+%2B +%28%23subject%3D03%29+%40ref&highlight=&querytype=bool&context=0.

87 Government of Algeria, Code du travail, article 28.

88 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Periodic Reports of States Parties: Algeria, para 363. See also U.S. Embassy – Algiers, reporting, December 12, 2007.

89 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Algeria," section 6c.

90 Government of Algeria, Code pénal, articles 342-344; available from http://lexalgeria.free.fr/penal3.htm.

91 Ibid., article 333bis.

92 Ibid., articles 291-294.

93 Ibid., article 344.

94 U.S. Embassy – Algiers, reporting, March 6, 2007.

95 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Algeria," section 5.

96 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Periodic Reports of States Parties: Algeria, para 94. See also Human Rights Watch, Children's Rights/Child Soldiers Ratification Campaign: Algeria, [online] 2006 [cited December 21, 2007]; available from http://www.humanrightswatch.org/campaigns/crp/action/algeria.htm.

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

98 U.S. Embassy – Algiers, reporting, March 1, 2008.

99 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report: 2007."

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