Last Updated: Friday, 25 July 2014, 12:52 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Kazakhstan

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 - Kazakhstan, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa479c.html [accessed 26 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 Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor1836
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 (%), 2005:105
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:91
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%):
ILO-IPEC participating country:Associated

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Most working children in rural areas of Kazakhstan are involved in agriculture.1837 Many children from Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic migrate to south Kazakhstan with their families during the harvest season to work in the cotton and tobacco industries.1838 Children working in the cotton and tobacco industry suffer from little rest time, malnutrition, and limited access to health care.1839 In urban areas, the country's increasingly formalized labor market has led to a decrease in many forms of child work. However, children are still found begging, loading freight, delivering goods in markets, washing cars, and working at gas stations.1840 Many Tajik refugee children are found begging in markets, on public transportation, and in the streets.1841

Reports also indicate a rise in the number of children exploited in prostitution and pornography in urban areas. Police estimate that one-third of all street prostitutes in Kazakhstan are minors.1842 There have been reports of children being forced into prostitution by their parents.1843 Children who work as domestic servants are often outside the view of law enforcement officials and thus are vulnerable to exploitation.1844 The trafficking of children is a problem in Kazakhstan.1845 Abandoned or orphaned children are especially vulnerable to child trafficking and sexual exploitation.1846

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

A new Labor Code was adopted in May 2007.1847 The law sets the minimum age for employment at 16 years.1848 However, children may work at 15 years with parental consent, if they have completed their compulsory education.1849 Children 14 years or older may perform light work with parental consent, if the work does not interfere with school attendance or pose a health threat.1850 Children ages 16 and 17 may only work up to 36 hours per week, and children ages 14 and 15 may work no more than 24 hours per week.1851 Children under 18 years are prohibited from working overtime, at night, under hazardous conditions, or in occupations that might be harmful to their health and moral development, such as gambling, night clubs, or the transport and sale of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, narcotics, and psychotropic substances.1852 Children under 18 years must receive an annual medical examination in order to work.1853 The state labor authority and state healthcare authority jointly develop a list of hazardous occupations.1854

The law prohibits forced labor, except under a court mandate or in a state of emergency.1855 The minimum age for compulsory military service is 18 years.1856 The law prohibits the involvement of minors in the creation and advertisement of erotic products.1857 Involving a minor in the production or distribution of pornographic materials is punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment.1858 Procuring a minor to engage in prostitution, begging, or gambling is illegal and punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment.1859 Using violence or threats to involve a minor in prostitution is punishable by 5 to 7 years imprisonment.1860 The keeping of brothels for prostitution and pimping is outlawed and punishable by 2 to 5 years of imprisonment.1861 The law imposes a 10-year prison sentence if a minor is involved in trafficking and a 12-year sentence if persons are trafficked abroad.1862 If the trafficking results in the death of the child, then the law imposes a sentence of 12 to 15 years imprisonment.1863 Recruiting a child for exploitation through deception is against the law and is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment, and abducting a child for the purpose of exploitation is punishable by imprisonment of between 10 and 15 years.1864 Under the law, victims are given amnesty for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked, and victims are provided with temporary protection from deportation.1865

The Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing child labor laws and imposing fines for administrative offenses. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for investigating criminal child labor offenses.1866 The Ministry of Labor has 400 labor inspectors covering all of the country's 16 districts. They are empowered to levy fines for labor violations and refer criminal cases to law enforcement authorities.1867 The Ministry of Justice coordinates the Government's anti-trafficking efforts through an interagency trafficking working group.1868 Mandatory licensing laws for tourist agencies are enforced by the Procurator's Office, and inspections are conducted on tourist and labor recruitment agencies to uncover agencies involved in trafficking.1869 In 2007, 112 victims of trafficking were registered by police. Of these, 85 were foreigners and 27 were Kazakhstanis.1870 In 2007, the Government prosecuted 16 cases under the law's anti-trafficking articles. As a result, 19 traffickers were convicted and received sentences of up to 7 years in prison.1871 USDOS reports that endemic corruption and bribery of law enforcement officials still hamper anti-trafficking efforts.1872

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

The Government of Kazakhstan has in place a National Plan to Combat Trafficking covering the years 2006 through 2008.1873 The Children of Kazakhstan National Program (2007-2011) is also being implemented. The Government has dedicated USD 84 million from the State budget to support the program, including its goal of developing a comprehensive national child protection strategy.1874

The Government of Kazakhstan is participating in a USAID-funded USD 241,545 IOM project that will build local and administrative capacity to combat trafficking in persons and support awareness-raising among vulnerable groups. The Government is also participating in a USDOS-funded USD 475,000 project with IOM to develop a trafficking in persons training center, improve advocacy and outreach, and strengthen cooperation between Kazakhstani law enforcement and their destination country counterparts.1875 Public and private media have been required to broadcast Government-sponsored anti-trafficking public service announcements.1876 The Ministry of Education has stated that anti-trafficking components are included in the curriculum of all high schools and colleges.1877 The Ministry of Justice maintains a telephone hotline for trafficking victims to receive information and report crimes.1878

The Government of Kazakhstan participated in a USDOL-funded 3-year USD 2.5 million ILOIPEC project that built the capacity of national institutions to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and shared information and experiences in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.1879


1836 For statistical data not cited here, see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILO-IPEC 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 Kazakhstan, Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, (May 15, 2007), article 30, 1; available from http://www.oit.org/dyn/natlex/docs/MONOGRAPH/76433/82753/F982631364/Microsoft%20Word%20%20ENG%20KAZ.76433.pdf, Government of Kazakhstan, Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, (May 15,), article 30, 1; available from http://www.oit.org/dyn/natlex/docs/MONOGRAPH/76433/82753/F982631364/Microsoft%20Word%20%20ENG%20KAZ.76433.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, "Kazakhstan," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2007, Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100615.htm. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of States parties due in 1996: Kazakhstan, CRC/C/41/Add.13, prepared by the Republic of Kazakhstan, pursuant to Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, September 24, 2002, para 257 and 267; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/.

1837 ILO-IPEC, CAR Capacity Building Project: Regional Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, Project Document, RER/04/P54/USA, Geneva, September 2004, 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports2007: Kazakhstan," section 6d. See also ILO-IPEC, Child Labour in Tobacco and Cotton Growing in Kazakhstan: Rapid Assessment Report, Almaty, 2006.

1838 U.S. Embassy – Astana, reporting, December 3, 2007. See also ILO-IPEC, Child Labour in Tobacco and Cotton Growing in Kazakhstan: Rapid Assessment Report, vii.

1839 ILO-IPEC, Child Labour in Tobacco and Cotton Growing in Kazakhstan: Rapid Assessment Report, ix.

1840 ILO-IPEC, CAR Capacity Building Project, Project Document, 5-7. See also U.S. Embassy – Almaty, reporting, August 22, 2004. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Kazakhstan," section 6d. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention, August 4, 2006, para 499; available from http://tb.ohchr.org/default.aspx.

1841 Zuhra Turganbaj, Gulzan Alimbekova, Gulzi Zabieva, and Gulnara Karakulova, Analysis of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) and Institutions Combating CSEC in Kazakhstan, ECPAT International, Almaty, 2004, 13.

1842 Liz Kelly, Fertile Fields: Trafficking in Persons in Central Asia, International Organization for Migration, April 2005, 61.

1843 Turganbaj, Alimbekova, Zabieva, and Karakulova, Analysis of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) and Institutions Combating CSEC in Kazakhstan, 38.

1844 ILO-IPEC, CAR Capacity Building Project, Project Document, 8.

1845 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Kazakhstan," section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Astana., reporting, March 7, 2008.

1846 Turganbaj, Alimbekova, Zabieva, and Karakulova, Analysis of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) and Institutions Combating CSEC in Kazakhstan, 8.

1847 ILO-IPEC, CAR Capacity Building Project: Regional Program on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, Technical Progress Report, August 31, 2007, 3.

1848 Government of Kazakhstan, Labor Code, article 30.

1849 Ibid.

1850 Ibid.

1851 Ibid., article 181.

1852 Ibid., article 179 and 183.

1853 Ibid., article 180.

1854 Ibid., article 179.

1855 Government of Kazakhstan, Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan., (1995), Article 24.

1856 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Kazakhstan," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=909.

1857 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of Kazakhstan, CRC/C/41/Add.13, para 355.

1858 Turganbaj, Alimbekova, Zabieva, and Karakulova, Analysis of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) and Institutions Combating CSEC in Kazakhstan, 29.

1859 Criminal Code of the Kazakh Republic as cited by The Protection Project, Kazakhstan, March, 2002.

1860 Turganbaj, Alimbekova, Zabieva, and Karakulova, Analysis of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) and Institutions Combating CSEC in Kazakhstan, 26.

1861 The Protection Project, Kazakhstan. See also Turganbaj, Alimbekova, Zabieva, and Karakulova, Analysis of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) and Institutions Combating CSEC in Kazakhstan, 27.

1862 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Kazakhstan," section 5.

1863 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention, para 304.

1864 Turganbaj, Alimbekova, Zabieva, and Karakulova, Analysis of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) and Institutions Combating CSEC in Kazakhstan, 28.

1865 U.S. Department of State, "Kazakhstan (Tier 2 Watch List)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/.

1866 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Kazakhstan," section 6d.

1867 U.S. Embassy – Almaty, reporting, August 22, 2004.

1868 U.S. Embassy – Astana, reporting, March 7, 2008.

1869 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Kazakhstan," section 5.

1870 U.S. Embassy – Astana, reporting, March 7, 2008.

1871 Ibid.

1872 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Kazakhstan." See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Kazakhstan," section 5.

1873 U.S. Department of State, "Kazakhstan," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78820.htm.

1874 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Summary Record of the 1241st Meeting, May 30, 2007, 2; available from http://tb.ohchr.org/default.aspx. See also ILO-IPEC, CAR Capacity Building Project, Technical Progress Report, August 31, 2007, 2.

1875 U.S. Department of State, USG Funds Obligated in FY 2007, [online] February 2008 [cited March 14, 2008]; available from http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/101403.pdf. See also USAID, USAID Programs in Kazakhstan in 2007; available from http://centralasia.usaid.gov/page.php?page=article-73.

1876 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Kazakhstan," section 5.

1877 Ibid.

1878 Ibid.

1879 ILO-IPEC, CAR Capacity Building Project, Project Document, vii.

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