2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Armenia
|Publisher||United States Department of Labor|
|Author||Bureau of International Labor Affairs|
|Publication Date||10 September 2009|
|Cite as||United States Department of Labor, 2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Armenia, 10 September 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4aba3ef155.html [accessed 5 March 2015]|
|Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor|
|Working children, 5-14 years (%):||–|
|Working boys, 5-14 years (%):||–|
|Working girls, 5-14 years (%):||–|
|Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):|
|Minimum age for work:||15|
|Compulsory education age:||14|
|Free public education:||Yes|
|Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2006:||98|
|Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2006:||82|
|School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):||–|
|Survival rate to grade 5 (%):||–|
|ILO Convention 138:||1/27/2006|
|ILO Convention 182:||1/2/2006|
|ILO-IPEC participating country:||No|
Incidence and Nature of Child Labor
Children in Armenia work primarily in agriculture but also in small enterprises performing work such as car service, the operation of vehicles, construction, and the gathering of waste metal and bottles. Children in Armenia also work in family-run businesses. Children can be observed selling flowers and drawings on the streets of Yerevan and working in local marketplaces, usually after school. There have been reports of increasing numbers of children begging on the streets and dropping out of school to work in the informal sector, especially in agriculture. In rural areas, children work in fishing and as shepherds. Children work in trade and construction in urban areas. Some children work in heavy manual labor as laborers and loaders.
Reports indicate that children are trafficked internally for labor and sexual exploitation. There were two reports of minors being trafficked internally for forced begging and one report of an individual pimping a minor.
Child Labor Laws and Enforcement
The minimum age of employment is 16 years, but the law allows children 14 to 16 years to work with written permission from a parent or guardian. Children under 14 years are prohibited from working. Children under 16 years may work up to 24 hours per week, and children 16 to 18 years may work a maximum of 36 hours per week. Employers should require proof of a medical examination from any employee under 18 years. Children under 18 years are also prohibited from working overtime, at night, or in hazardous conditions and cannot be required to work on holidays. Armenian law prohibits engaging children in the production, use, or sale of alcoholic drinks, narcotics and psychotropic substances, tobacco products, literature and videos with erotic or horror content, or activities that may compromise children's health, physical or mental development, or interfere with their education.
The Armenian Constitution prohibits forced and compulsory labor. Trafficking in persons is prohibited by law, and penalties range from 3 to 15 years imprisonment, depending on aggravating circumstances, such as if the victim is a child. The law distinguishes the crime of trafficking from that of organized prostitution and pimping. Sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 years is punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment or fines, and involving underage children in prostitution or pornography can result in fines, detention, or up to 6 years imprisonment, depending on aggravating circumstances. The law gives responsibility to the Government to protect children from criminal activities, prostitution, and begging. The minimum age for mandatory military service is 18 years. The Armenian State Labor Inspectorate (SLI) is responsible for ensuring compliance with labor laws, including child labor, and employs 140 labor inspectors. However, the SLI reports that it has not received any complaints of child exploitation since its establishment in March 2005 and therefore has not conducted any investigations. The SLI has also not yet been trained on child exploitation issues. Local community councils, unemployment offices, and the courts likewise have jurisdiction to enforce compliance with child labor legislation.
Current Government Efforts to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor
In 2008, UNICEF, with the participation of the Armenian Association of Social Workers and the Government of Armenia, published results from a survey to assess the rate of underage employment in Armenia.
In Armenia's 2009 national budget, the Government allocated funding for anti-trafficking activities for the first time, including more than USD 50,000 to assist in the operation of an NGO-run shelter for trafficking victims. In November 2008, the Government also implemented its first-ever "National Referral Mechanisms," which acts as a system for public officials to refer trafficking victims for assistance and assist law enforcement agencies in finding and punishing suspected traffickers. The Government performed various trafficking prevention activities, including mass-media public awareness and educational campaigns. The OSCE assisted the Government in developing the "National Referral Mechanisms" and developed anti-trafficking training for Armenian law enforcement. The U.S. Government also continues to provide resources for anti-trafficking training to Armenian law enforcement.