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Algeria

2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Minimal Advancement

In 2014, Algeria made a minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government approved an amendment to the Penal Code that fully prohibits child pornography, and funded awareness campaigns to sensitize the population on child labor. However, children in Algeria are engaged in child labor, including in street work and domestic work. Algerian law does not clearly establish 18 as the minimum age for hazardous work, and prohibitions against hazardous occupations and activities are not specific enough to facilitate enforcement. The law does not prohibit the use of children in illicit activities and the Government does not make data on law enforcement efforts publicly available.

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I. Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of Child Labor

Children in Algeria are engaged in child labor, including in street work and domestic work.(1-5) Table1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in Algeria. Data on some of these indicators are not available from the sources used in this report.

Table 1. Statistics on Children's Work and Education

Working children, ages 5 to 14 (% and population):

Unavailable

School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%):

Unavailable

Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%):

Unavailable

Primary completion rate (%):

100.2

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2012, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(6)
Data were unavailable from Understanding Children's Work Project's analysis, 2015.(7)

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children's work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children's Work by Sector and Activity

Sector/Industry

Activity

Agriculture

Farming, activities unknown (1-4)

Industry

Construction, activities unknown (2, 3, 8)

Services

Street work, including vending, collecting plastics, and begging (1, 2, 5, 9, 10)

Domestic work (1-4)

Working in small workshops, including mechanics shops* (11)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Commercial sexual exploitation,* sometimes as a result of human trafficking* (12, 13)

* Evidence of this activity is limited and/or the extent of the problem is unknown.
‡ Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a) — (c) of ILO C. 182.

Evidence suggests that children, primarily sub-Saharan migrants, are trafficked into prostitution in bars and informal brothels.(12, 14)



II. Legal Framework for the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Algeria has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor

Convention

Ratification

ILO C. 138, Minimum Age

ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor

UN CRC

UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict

UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

The Government has established laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor

Standard

Yes/No

Age

Related Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

16

Article 15 of the Labor Code (15)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

16

Article 15 of the Labor Code (15)

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children

Yes

 

Article 15 of the Labor Code (15)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Article 303 of the Penal Code (16)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Articles 303 and 319 of the Penal Code (16, 17)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Articles 319, 333, 343, and 344 of the Penal Code (17, 18)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

No

 

 

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment

Yes

19

Article 3 of Law No. 14-06 (19)

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service

Yes

17

Presidential Decree No. 08-134 (20, 21)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

16

Article 12 of Law No. 08-04 (22)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 13 of Law No. 08-04 (22)

The Labor Code prohibits children younger than age 16 from being employed in work harmful to their health, safety, or morals.(15) However, this prohibition on hazardous occupations or activities is not specific enough to facilitate enforcement because it does not include a list of prohibited types of work. Furthermore, the Labor Code does not protect children age 16 and 17 from hazardous work.(15, 23)

In February 2014, the Government adopted a new law to amend and supplement the Penal Code. The amendment fully prohibits child pornography and criminalizes the buying and selling of minors under age 18.(17, 24)

Research found no indication that Algerian law prohibits the use of children in illegal activities.(25)



III. Enforcement of Laws on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Security's General Labor Inspectorate

Investigate labor violations, including those involving child labor; authorized to hand out written notices and issue tickets.(2, 11, 26) Demand that safety and health problems be addressed if workers' health and safety are at risk.(26)

Ministry of Interior's National Police

Enforce criminal laws related to child labor violations, including child trafficking.(2)

Ministry of Defense's Gendarmerie Police Force

Enforce criminal laws related to child labor violations, including child trafficking.(2)

Ministry of Justice's Office of Criminal Affairs and Amnesty Procedures

Prosecute child exploitation cases, including noncompliance with labor laws.(24)

Law enforcement agencies in Algeria took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms.

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2014, there were 27 Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Security inspection offices throughout the country. Some cover one governorate (wilaya), while others cover more than one.(2, 11) According to the Government, the Labor Inspectorate had more than 600 operational inspectors as of February 2014.(11) There are more inspectors in urban areas than in rural areas, although past reports indicate higher levels of child labor in rural areas.(11, 27) According to the Government, General Labor Inspectorate officials received training on laws and law enforcement during the reporting period.(24)

The Government indicated that inspections were carried out during 2014, but this information is not publicly available.(24) Therefore, no information is available on the number or quality of inspections, whether they are announced or unannounced, child labor violations found, and citations or penalties issued. Labor inspectors are authorized to conduct regular inspections or special visits to investigate general labor conditions or a specific issue.(24, 26) The Gendarmerie and Police both have hotlines to receive complaints on child labor; however, research did not find the number of complaints related to child labor that were received during the reporting period.(9)

Labor inspectors share child labor reports with the Ministry of Solidarity to ensure follow-up with social welfare services.(9)

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2014, the Government of Algeria did not make information publicly available on the number of investigators responsible for enforcing laws on the worst forms of child labor. Approximately 25 Gendarmerie officers, 25 National Police officers, and 25 Ministry of Justice prosecutors and judges attended three, week-long training sessions on issues related to human trafficking. The training focused on the links and differences between exploitation and trafficking, as well as the fact that trafficking is not necessarily transnational.(13)

The Government of Algeria did not make information publicly available on the number of investigations, prosecutions, and convictions pertaining to the worst forms of child labor.(24)

The Government does not have a formal procedure to refer victims identified by the Gendarmerie and the National Police to the appropriate social welfare services within the Ministry of Solidarity.(13)



IV. Coordination of Government Efforts on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

Table 6. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

Intersectoral Commission Relative to the Prevention of and Fight Against Child Labor

Work to prevent and eliminate child labor by coordinating between government ministries and all other agencies that oversee labor activities.(2, 24) Led by the Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Security, with members from the National Labor Union, NGOs, and the Ministries of Agriculture; Rural Development; Health; Interior; Justice; Youth and Sports; National Solidarity; National Education, Training, and Professional Teaching; and Communication and Culture.(24, 28)

Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee on Trafficking

Manage government efforts to address human trafficking. Led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Director General for Political Affairs and International Security.(2, 29) Members of the committee include representatives from the Gendarmerie and the National Police, as well as of the Ministries of Justice; Health; Labor, Employment, and Social Security; and National Solidarity.(30)

In 2014, both the Intersectoral Commission and the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee met monthly.(9) Although past reports indicate that the Intersectoral Commission organized hundreds of open-door seminars on child labor and education programs, and strengthened the labor inspection services, research found no evidence of such activities during 2014.(31)



V. Government Policies on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government of Algeria has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 7).

Table 7. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Action Plan for Children (2008 — 2015)

Promotes universal access to education and child protection, including a section on child labor.(1, 23)

As of June 2012, the Government had not met its timetable for reporting on the implementation of the National Action Plan for Children. Research found that a lack of funding and technical capacity hinders the policy's implementation.(1)



VI. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

In 2014, the Government of Algeria funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

Combating Child Domestic Labor in Africa and in the Countries of the Mediterranean Union

$1.3 million, Government of France-funded, 4-year regional project implemented by ILO-IPEC to combat child domestic work.(32)

Strengthening the Framework of the Arab Region to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking

$650,000 EU-funded, 3-year regional project to strengthen the capacity of Algeria and other Arab governments to address human trafficking. Trained judges and criminal law enforcement officials on human trafficking issues in 2014.(11, 13, 33)

Child Labor Awareness Campaigns†‡

Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Welfare and Ministry of Education nationwide program that highlights issues involving child labor and sensitized the population against such practices through 3-day awareness campaigns at vocational training centers.(24)

† Program was launched during the reporting period.
‡ Program is funded by the Government of Algeria.

Although the Government of Algeria has implemented programs in domestic work and human trafficking, research found no evidence that it has carried out programs to assist children in agriculture, construction, and street work.



VII. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Algeria (Table 9).

Table 9. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Establish the minimum age for hazardous work as 18 and ensure that hazardous occupations or activities prohibited for children are specific enough to facilitate enforcement.

2009 — 2014

Prohibit the use of children in illicit activities.

2013 — 2014

Enforcement

Ensure that child labor laws are enforced effectively in all geographic areas.

2009 — 2014

Make information regarding child labor law enforcement, including criminal law enforcement, publicly available.

2009 — 2014

Disaggregate the number of child labor-related complaints received by the Gendarmerie and Police hotlines.

2014

Establish a formal referral mechanism between criminal law enforcement agencies and social welfare services.

2014

Coordination

Ensure that the Intersectoral Commission Relative to the Prevention of and Fight Against Child Labor remains active to guarantee proper coordination.

2011 — 2014

Government Policies

Report on the progress of the National Action Plan for Children according to the agreed-upon timetable, and provide adequate funding and capacity building to ensure that objectives are met.

2011 — 2014

Social Programs

Conduct research on the prevalence and nature of child labor to publicly inform policies and programs.

2014

Institute programs to address child labor in agriculture, construction, and street work.

2009 — 2014



1.UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention: Concluding Observations: Algeria. Geneva; July 18, 2012. http://tb.ohchr.org/default.aspx.

2.U.S. Embassy- Algiers. reporting, March 4, 2014.

3.U.S. Department of State. "Algeria," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2013. Washington, DC; March 4, 2014; http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper.

4.UNICEF. UNICEF Annual Report 2013 - ALGERIA. New York; May 29, 2014. http://www.unicef.org/about/annualreport/files/Algeria_COAR_2013.pdf.

5.Hamatou, R. "Exploitation des enfants a Batna." Liberte, El Achour, December 13, 2012; Algérie. http://www.liberte-algerie.com/algerie-profonde/les-nouveaux-miserables-exploitation-des-enfants-a-batna-190632.

6.UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed January 16, 2015]; http://www.uis.unesco.org/Pages/default.aspx?SPSLanguage=EN. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. For more information, please see the "Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions" section of this report.

7.UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Analysis received January 16, 2015. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children's work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor. For more information on sources used, the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the "Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions" section of this report.

8.UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Consideration of reports submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention: Summary Record: Algeria. Geneva; June 18, 2012. Report No. CRC/C/SR.1715.

9.U.S. Embassy Algiers official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 12, 2015.

10.Massalaki, A. "Algeria and Niger start repatriation of 3,000 illegal migrants." reuters.com [online] December 10, 2014 [cited December 10, 2014]; http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/10/us-niger-algeria-idUSKBN0JO23W20141210.

11.U.S. Embassy- Algiers official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 2, 2014.

12.U.S. Department of State. "Algeria," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2014. Washington, DC; June 2014; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/226845.pdf.

13.U.S. Embassy- Algiers. reporting, March 11, 2015.

14.U.S. Embassy- Algiers official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. May 14, 2014.

15.Government of Algeria. Loi n° 90-11 du 21 avril 1990 Relative aux Relations de Travail, Modifiée et Complétée au 11 janvier 1997, enacted April 21, 1990. http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/9557/64805/F97DZA01.htm.

16.Government of Algeria. Loi n°09-01 du 29 Safar 1430 correspondant au 25 février 2009 modifiant et complétant l.ordonnance n°66-156 du 8 juin 1966 portant code pénal, enacted February 25, 2009. http://www.africanchildforum.org/clr/Legislation%20Per%20Country/algeria/algeria_trafficking_2009_fr.pdf.

17.Government of Algeria. Loi n° 14-01 du 4 Rabie Ethani 1435 correspondant au 4 février 2014 modifiant et complétant l' ordonnance n° 66-156 du 8 juin 1966 portant code pénal, enacted February 4, 2014.

18.Government of Algeria. Ordonnance n° 66-156 du 8 juin 1966 portant code pénal, enacted June 8, 1966.

19.Government of Algeria. Loi n° 14-06 du 13 Chaoual 1435 correspondant au 9 août 2014 relative au service national, enacted August 9, 2014. http://www.elmouwatin.dz/IMG/pdf/loi_14-06.pdf.

20.United Nations Treaty Collection. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict; accessed January 8, 2015; https://treaties.un.org/pages/viewdetails.aspx?src=ind&mtdsg_no=iv-11-b&chapter=4&lang=en#EndDec.

21.Government of Algeria. Décret présidentiel n° 08-134 du 30 Rabie Ethani 1429 correspondant au 6 mai 2008 fixant les conditions de recrutement des officiers de carrière de l' Armée nationale populaire, enacted May 11, 2008.

22.Government of Algeria. Loi d'orientation sur l'education nationale, Loi n° 08-04, enacted January 23, 2008. http://www.africanchildforum.org/clr/Legislation%20Per%20Country/algeria/algeria_education_2008_fr.pdf.

23.ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Algeria (ratification: 1984) Published: 2012; accessed January 11, 2014; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:11003:0::NO:.

24.U.S. Embassy- Algiers. reporting, January 25, 2015.

25.ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Algeria (ratification: 2001) Published: 2011; accessed January 11, 2014; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:11003:0::NO:.

26.ILO Labor Administration and Inspection Program. Structure et organisation du système d'inspection du travail. Geneva; April 4, 2013. http://www.ilo.org/labadmin/info/WCMS_159112/lang--en/index.htm.

27.U.S. Embassy- Algiers. reporting, April 26, 2010.

28.Government of Algeria. Decision no 006 du 16 mars 2003 portant creation, composition et fonctionnement de la commission intersectorielle relative a la prevention et a la lutte contre le travail des enfants, enacted March 16, 2003.

29.U.S. Embassy- Algiers. reporting, February 19, 2014.

30.U.S. Embassy- Algiers. reporting, March 17, 2013.

31.U.S. Department of State official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. June 6, 2012.

32.ILO-IPEC Geneva official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. January 9, 2015.

33.UNODC. Strengthening the Framework of the Arab Region to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking, UNODC, [online] [cited January 27, 2014]; http://www.unodc.org/middleeastandnorthafrica/en/project-profiles/xmex19.html.