Last Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014, 10:41 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Russia

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 31 August 2007
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Russia, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d7494c50.html [accessed 19 September 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 Labor
Percent of children ages 5-14 estimated as working:Unavailable
Minimum age for admission to work:163516
Age to which education is compulsory:15 or 163517
Free public education:Yes3518
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2005:129%3519
Net primary enrollment rate in 2005:92%3520
Percent of children 5-14 attending school:Unavailable
Percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:Unavailable
Ratified Convention 138:5/3/19793521
Ratified Convention 182:3/25/20033522
ILO-IPEC participating country:Yes3523

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In Russian urban areas, children can be found working primarily in the informal sector in retail services, selling goods on the street, washing cars, repairing automobiles, making deliveries, collecting trash, and begging.3524 In rural areas, it is more common to see children working in agriculture.3525 Child work in Russia encompasses not only Russian children, but often children from neighboring countries.3526 Among street children, boys are usually involved in hard physical labor, while girls are more likely to work in trade and prostitution.3527 However, child prostitution involving boys does exist, particularly among homeless and orphaned children.3528 Boys start working at an earlier age than girls do.3529 Homeless and orphaned children on the streets are engaged in prostitution as a means to survive.3530 Some children involved in prostitution are also engaged in day work in some other sector.3531 Child sex tourism remains a concern.3532 Some children are brought to Russia for the purpose of exploitation.3533 The northwestern border areas of Russia are popular destinations for tourists from wealthier Western European nations, particularly Finland.3534 While St. Petersburg and Moscow are both destination sites for child sex tourism,3535 St. Petersburg appears to be much more significant of a destination than Moscow.3536 Russian children, primarily girls, are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.3537 Domestic trafficking of children from rural areas to urban centers and from one region to another also occurs.3538 Russia is a major producer and distributor of internet pornography.3539 There has been a ten fold increase in prosecutions for child pornography in the past five years, but it remains a significant problem.3540

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age of employment at 16 years, with some exceptions.3541 Children who have either completed their basic general education or have left the general educational system may work at 15. Children at least 14 years may, with parental consent, perform light work that is not harmful to their health or education. Children younger than 14 may, with parental consent, participate in the creation and/or performance of art works that are not harmful to their health and moral development.3542 The normal working time for employees younger than 16 is 24 hours per week, and 36 hours per week for employees between 16 and 18.3543 Workers younger than 16 may work longer than 5 hours per shift, and for workers between 16 and 18, a shift may not exceed 7 hours.3544 Children under 18 are prohibited from engaging in night work, unhealthy or dangerous work, underground work, or work that may be injurious to their moral development.3545 Employers must medically screen any prospective employees younger than 18; once hired, these employees must also pass annual medical surveys provided at the expense of the employer.3546

Forced child labor is punishable by imprisonment from 3 to 10 years, rape of a minor is punishable by up to 4 to 10 years' imprisonment, soliciting a minor for prostitution is punishable by up to 4 years' imprisonment, and recruiting a minor into prostitution by up to 3 to 8 years' imprisonment.3547 Operating a prostitution business with known minors under 16 is punishable by up to 6 years of imprisonment. If the child is under 14, the sentence may be from 3 to 10 years of imprisonment.3548 Sexual relations with a person under 16 is forbidden and punishable by up to 4 years of imprisonment.3549 Also prohibited is the making and circulating of pornography depicting known minors; it is punishable by imprisonment for up to 8 years, depending on the age of the child.3550 Trafficking of a known minor is punishable by a sentence of 3 to 10 years of imprisonment if committed by an individual, and 8 to 15 years if committed by an organized group.3551 The minimum age for military conscription is 18 years.3552

The Federal Labor Inspectorate is responsible for state supervision and control over the observance of the labor code.3553 According to the U.S. Department of State, however, the government failed to enforce child labor laws effectively; there were approximately 8,300 cases of child labor violations reported in 2004, the most recent date for which such information is available.3554 There have been reports of trafficking-related complicity among Russian officials.3555

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

The Ministry of the Interior and anti-trafficking NGOs completed a trafficking manual that has been used by several police units to assist officers with investigations.3556


3516 Government of the Russia, Labor Code of the Russian Federation, (February 1, 2002), Article 63; available from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/60535/65252/E01RUS01.htm.

3517 U.S. Department of State, "Russia," 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/2006/78835. See also ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request, Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Russian Federation (ratification: 1979), [online] 2006 [cited October 24, 2006]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/pdconv.pl?host=status01&textbase=iloeng&document=18528&chapter=9&query=%28C029%2C+C105%2C+ C138%2C+C182%29+%40ref+%2B+%28Russian+Federation%29+%40ref+%2B+%23YEAR%3E2000&highlight=&q uerytype=bool&context=0.

3518 U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting October 22, 2002. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Russia," Section 5.

3519 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

3520 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrolment Rate. Primary. Total, accessed December 20,2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

3521 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed October 24, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/ratifce.pl?Russian+Federation.

3522 Ibid.

3523 ILO, IPEC Action Against Child Labour – Highlights 2006, Geneva, October 2006, 29; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20061018_Implementationreport_eng.pdf.

3524 ILO-IPEC, In-depth Analysis of the Situation of Working Street Children in Moscow 2001, Moscow, 2002, 36; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/simpoc/russia/ra/street_m.pdf.

3525 U.S. Embassy – Moscow, Email communication to USDOL official, August 3, 2007.

3526 Ibid.

3527 ILO-IPEC, In-depth Analysis of the Situation of Working Street children in St. Petersburg 2000, St. Petersburg, 2001, 32; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/simpoc/russia/ra/street_s.pdf.

3528 U.S. Embassy – Moscow, Email communication, August 3, 2007.

3529 ILO-IPEC, Analysis of the situation of working children in St. Petersburg.

3530 U.S. Department of State, "Russia," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Washington, DC, March 8, 2006, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61671.htm. See also U.S. Embassy – Moscow, Email communication, August 3, 2007.

3531 ILO-IPEC, Analysis of the Situation of Working Street Children in Moscow, 37.

3532 U.S. Department of State, "Russia," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006, Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65990.htm. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2005: Russia," Section 5.

3533 U.S. Embassy – Moscow, Email communication, August 3, 2007.

3534 Donna M. Hughes, Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation: The Case of the Russian Federation, No. 7, IOM, Geneva, June 2002, 17; available from http://www.iom.int/jahia/webdav/site/myjahiasite/shared/shared/mainsite/published_docs/serial_publicat ions/mrs7.pdf. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Russia accessed October 27, 2006; available from http://www.ecpat.net.

3535 Hughes, Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation, 24.

3536 U.S. Embassy – Moscow, Email communication, August 3, 2007.

3537 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Russia," Section 5.

3538 Hughes, Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation, 17. See also U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting, March 1, 2005.

3539 Hughes, Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation, 23. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Russia," section 5.

3540 U.S. Embassy – Moscow, Email communication, August 3, 2007.

3541 Government of the Russia, Labor Code of the Russian Federation, Article 63.

3542 Ibid.

3543 Ibid., Article 92.

3544 Ibid., Article 94.

3545 Ibid., Articles 96 and 265.

3546 Ibid., Article 266.

3547 Government of Russia, The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, (January 1, 1997), Articles 127, 131, 151, 240; available from http://www.legislationline.org/upload/legislations/d1/a1/0cc1acff8241216090943e97d5b4.htm. See also Government of Russia, Constitution of the Russian Federation, (December 25, 1993), Article 37; available from http://www.legislationline.org/upload/legislations/68/7c/40e7c5194d7db79b900b350d2a20.htm.

3548 Government of Russia, Criminal Code, Article 241.

3549 Ibid., Article 134.

3550 Ibid., Article 242.1.

3551 Ibid., Article 127.1.

3552 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Russian Federation," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=924.

3553 Government of the Russia, Labor Code of the Russian Federation, Article 353.

3554 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Russia," Section 6d.

3555 Ibid., section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Moscow, reporting June 9, 2004.

3556 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Russia."

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