Last Updated: Monday, 23 May 2016, 07:53 GMT

2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Algeria

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 - Algeria, 10 September 2009, available at: [accessed 24 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.

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor
Population, children, 5-14 years:
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 (%), 2007:109.7
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2007:95.4
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2006:96.0
ILO Convention 138:4/30/1984
ILO Convention 182:2/9/2001
ILO-IPEC participating country:No

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children in Algeria work in agriculture, construction, small workshops, and informal street vending. Children also work as domestic servants; there are conflicting reports on whether some child domestic servants are the victims of trafficking.

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. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare may also grant permission for children under 16 years to work in certain fixed-term temporary jobs. The minimum age law, however, applies only to employment based on a contract and does not apply to children who are self-employed.

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. Night work is prohibited for youth under 19 years of age. Violations of provisions regarding employment of children are punishable by fines that may be doubled for repeat offenses. Repeated violations involving hiring underage children are punishable by imprisonment from 15 days to 2 months.

Algerian law prohibits forced labor. The law provides for imprisonment of 5 to 10 years and fines for the corruption and debauchery of minors younger than 19 years. The law also provides for 5 to 10 years of imprisonment and fines for involvement in the prostitution of minors. Activities such as providing or financing establishments in which prostitution is carried out are punishable by 2 to 5 years of imprisonment and fines as well as closure of the establishment concerned. The creation or distribution of pornography is prohibited by law, which provides for 2 months to 2 years of imprisonment and fines for offenses. Algerian law also punishes the possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs. CEACR has noted, however, that there are no provisions in Algerian law against the use of children in these activities. The minimum age for conscription into military service is 19 years; the minimum age for voluntary recruitment is unclear.

The Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing child labor laws, and USDOS reports that the ministry conducts some surprise inspections of public sector enterprises but does not enforce laws consistently in the agricultural or private sectors. USDOS indicates that insufficient human resources for enforcement are a problem. The Ministry of Interior, through the national and border police, and the Ministry of Defense, through the gendarmerie police force, have law enforcement responsibilities relating to trafficking. The Government had not prosecuted any trafficking cases as of the writing of this report. USDOS reports that laws against prostitution are enforced.

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.

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