2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Croatia

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:15
Compulsory education age:8th grade
Free public education:Yes
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2006:99.0
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2006:90.4
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%):
ILO Convention 138:10/8/1991
ILO Convention 182:7/17/2001
ILO-IPEC participating country:No

* Succession

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children in Croatia work in the entertainment, hospitality, tourism, retail, industrial, agricultural, construction, and media sectors. Roma children are particularly vulnerable to work in the agriculture sector and are exploited through forced begging. With regards to trafficking, Croatia is a source, a transit, and increasingly a destination country for girls trafficked for prostitution.

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment is 15 years; however, children younger than 15 years may participate in artistic endeavors for compensation with a labor inspector's approval, provided that the activity does not threaten their health or morals or interfere with school. Children 15 to 18 years may only work with written permission from a legal guardian and labor inspector, provided that the work is not harmful to the child's health, morality, education, or development. If a labor inspector feels a job being performed by a minor is harming the health of the child, the inspector can order a physical exam and can prohibit the minor from performing the job. Children are prohibited from working overtime, at night, and under dangerous labor conditions. Under Croatian law, anyone forcing minors to beg or perform work inappropriate for their age can be penalized.

Forced and compulsory labor is prohibited. Trafficking in persons is a separate criminal act for which the law stipulates a minimum prison sentence of 5 years when a child or a minor is involved. In December 2008, the Criminal Procedure Act was amended to give additional rights to trafficking victims, including the right to a custodian, protection of personal information, and a private trial for underage victims. The minimum age for conscription into the military is 18 years.

The law prohibits both domestic and international solicitation and prostitution of a minor for sexual purposes, calling for between 3 months and 10 years of imprisonment for violations. The law also stipulates 1 to 5 years of imprisonment for using children for pornographic purposes or distributing child pornography.

The Ministry of Economy, Labor, and Entrepreneurship collaborates with the Ombudsman for Children and the State Labor Inspectorate to enforce minimum age laws. During the reporting period, the inspectorate had 111 inspectors who are responsible for enforcing all labor laws, including child labor. The Ombudsman for Children promotes and protects the interests of children and is obligated to report any findings of exploitation to the State's Attorney's Office.

Current Government Efforts to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government is implementing the 2006-2012 National Program for the Protection of the Best Interests of Children to prevent and protect children from sexual abuse, including commercial sexual exploitation. The program calls for the development of legislation to further protect children from exploitive labor conditions.

During the reporting period, the Government of Croatia implemented its National Program for Suppression of Trafficking in Persons 2005-2008. The Government also operates the Child Trafficking Prevention Program in partnership with local and international organizations. The program has developed teacher training modules on child pornography, sexual exploitation of children, child trafficking, and the worst forms of child labor. Prior to the June 2008 Euro Cup soccer championship, the Government ran a television campaign to raise awareness that individuals engaged in child labor and prostitution may be trafficking victims. The Government continues to provide funds and support for anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns; a national referral system; victim identification; separate shelters for adults and children; and legal, medical, and psychological services for victims as well as educational and vocational training. The Government also runs continued law enforcement training. A USD 700,000 project, funded by the EU, to strengthen the capacity of national institutions to combat trafficking, with a special focus on trafficking in children, ended in June 2008.


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