2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - West Bank and Gaza Strip (Occupied Territories Subject to the Jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority)

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor
Percent of children ages 5-14 estimated as working:Unavailable
Minimum age for admission to work:154621
Age to which education is compulsory:6-154622
Free public education:Unavailable
Gross primary enrollment rate:Unavailable
Net primary enrollment rate:Unavailable
Percent of children 5-14 attending school:Unavailable
Percentage of Primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:Unavailable
Ratified Convention 138:n/a4623
Ratified Convention 182:n/a4624
ILO-IPEC participating country:No4625

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Many children in West Bank and Gaza Strip work on family farms, in family shops, as street vendors, or in small manufacturing enterprises.4626 There have been reports of Palestinian terrorist groups using minors to assist in attacks, to smuggle weapons, and to act as human shields.4627

Palestinian children working in Israeli settlements face problems concerning security, exploitation, and harassment.4628

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for work in the West Bank and Gaza is unclear. The U.S. Department of State lists the minimum working age to be both 14 and 154629 years old. There are restrictions on the employment of children between the ages of 15 and 18.4630 The restrictions include prohibitions against night work, work under conditions of hard labor, or jobs that require them to travel outside their domicile.4631 Children between the age of 15 and 18 must be cleared by a medical exam before beginning work, and are to receive a check up every 6 months thereafter.4632 Exceptions are made to those children between the ages of 15 and 18 who work for their direct relatives and under their supervision.4633

The law also prohibits the exploitation of children, and states that children shall not be allowed to perform work that might damage their safety, health, or education.4634 The law states that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will strive to provide work to anyone who is capable of performing it, and that work is a right, duty, and honor.4635 According to an official from the labor ministry, the PA has interpreted this law to mean that forced and compulsory labor is prohibited.4636 There is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons.4637 No trafficking incidents have been reported.4638 Prostitution is illegal, and there were no reports of prostitution being openly practiced.4639 The law also requires investigations into allegations of recruiting and exploiting children in armed operations, and those responsible for such activities are to be tried in a court of law.4640 The PA is responsible for enforcement of the law; however, with only 10 child labor inspectors as of September 2005, the most recent date such information is available, the PA has had difficulty in efforts to monitor and protect child workers.4641

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

Research has not identified any policies or programs by the Palestinian Authority to address exploitive child labor.

4621 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005: Israel and the Occupied Territories. Section 6d, Washington, D.C., March 8, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61690.htm., Section 6d, accessed January 26, 2007.

4622 UNESCO, EFA Global Monitoring Report: 2006 Education for All – Life Literacy for Life, Paris, 2005 2005; available from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001416/141639e.pdf.

4623 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed April 24, 2007; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.

4624 Ibid.

4625 ILO, IPEC Action Against Child Labor Highlights 2006, October 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20061019_Implementati….

4626 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006: Israel and the occupied Territories, Washington, D.C., March 6, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78854.htm.

4627 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2006: Israel and the occupied Territories

4628 Ibid. Section 6d.

4629 Ibid. Section 5.

4630 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2005: Israel and the Occupied Territories., Section 6d.

4631 Ibid., Section 6d.

4632 Bill of Labor & Laborers, Palestinian National Authority; available from http://www.pnic.gov.ps/english/law/law10.html., Article (94).

4633 Ibid., Article (99).

4634 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2005: Israel and the Occupied Territories., Section 6c.

4635 Ibid., Section 6c.

4636 Ibid., Section 6c.

4637 Ibid., Section 5.

4638 Ibid., Section 5.

4639 Ibid., Section 5.

4640 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Soldiers Global Report 2004: Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 17, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=959.

4641 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2005: Israel and the Occupied Territories., Section 6d.


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