Convention No. 138 and Recommendation No. 146
Convention No. 138 provides that all necessary measures must be taken by the government to ensure the effective enforcement of the provisions of the Convention in practice. The political will to provide adequate enforcement is a prerequisite for a coherent and concerted national policy for the elimination of child labour. Measures for effective enforcement include:
• appropriate penalties;
• specification of the persons responsible for complying with national legislation. This can be done in national legislation and regulations or by the competent authority. (The majority of countries hold the employer responsible for violations of child labour laws, but some national legislation holds parents responsible for certain violations.); and
• registers or other documents to be kept by the employer with information (names and ages or dates of birth, duly certified where possible) about workers who are less than 18 years old. The national law, regulations or the competent authority is to prescribe the registers or other documents to be kept.
Recommendation No. 146 emphasizes the working of inspection services:
• strengthening labour inspection and related services by, for example, providing special training for inspectors on detecting abuses in the employment or work of children and young persons, and on correcting such abuses;
• strengthening government services for the improvement and inspection of training offered in enterprises;
• placing emphasis on the role which can be played by inspectors in supplying information and advice on effective means of complying with relevant provisions of the law and in securing enforcement of the law;
• coordinating labour inspection and inspection of training to provide economic efficiency;
• having the labour administration services work in close cooperation with the services responsible for the education, training, welfare and guidance of children and young persons;
and gives special attention to:
• the enforcement of provisions concerning hazardous types of employment or work;
• the prevention of work during the hours when instruction is available where education or training is compulsory; and
• taking measures to facilitate the verification of ages, such as:
maintaining an effective system of birth registration, including issuance of birth certificates;
Lists of young workers
requiring employers to keep and make available to the competent authority registers or other documents which give the names and ages or dates of birth of children and young people who are employed and who receive vocational orientation or training in their enterprises;
Documents for those in the informal sector
issuing licences or other documents to children and young persons who work in the streets, in outside stalls, in public places, in itinerant occupations or in other circumstances which make checking employers' records impracticable and which indicate their eligibility to work.
Box 2.17. National legislation on children in prostitution arid pornography
Republic Act No. 7610, the Philippines
The Philippines has adopted legislation specifically on child prostitution. It provides penalties for those who engage in or promote, facilitate or induce child prostitution. The Act aims at stronger deterrence and special protection against child abuse, exploitation and discrimination. Article III, Child prostitution and other sexual abuse, states that:
"Children whether male or female, who for money, profit or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse."
Penalties are provided for those who engage in or promote, facilitate or induce child prostitution which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• procuring a child prostitute;
• inducing clients of child prostitutes by written or oral advertisements or other similar means;
• taking advantage of influence or relationship to procure a child prostitute;
• threatening or using violence towards a child to engage the child as a prostitute; and
• giving monetary consideration, goods or other pecuniary benefits to a child prostitute.
Child Protection and Adoption Act, Zimbabwe
It is a criminal offence to allow a child to live in or frequent a brothel, to cause a child to be engaged in prostitution or immoral acts, to seduce a child or to allow a child to consort with someone engaged in prostitution.
National legislation on child pornography Juveniles (Amendment) Act, 1997, Fiji
A recent amendment to the law of Fiji inserts a new section to the Juveniles Act prohibiting the production, distribution or use of pornography featuring juveniles or persons who look like juveniles. The law provides for punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment.
The Labour Inspection Convention (No. 81)
For countries which have ratified the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81), the following provision is particularly relevant:
"The functions of the system of labour inspection shall be: (a) to secure the enforcement of the legal provisions relating to ... the employment of children and young persons ...."
The Labour Inspection Recommendation, 1947 (No. 81), further suggests that annual reports on the work of inspection services give information on the classification of persons employed, which should include a heading on children and young persons.
Most national legislation contains specific measures to facilitate enforcement of minimum age and other child labour provisions, as well as machinery for enforcement. Virtually all countries have some form of labour inspection and, indeed, 120 countries have ratified Convention No. 81. Even so, in practice many encounter serious problems in enforcing child labour laws.14
14 See ILO: Child labour: Targeting the intolerable, op. cit., Chapter 5, for an overview of national law and practice, and problems and progress in enforcement.
The Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
A broad policy framework is required to put an end to children in bondage. A comprehensive national policy and programme of action covering legislative reforms, effective enforcement systems, and a system of compulsory and free education are required. Most countries include the principle of the prohibition of forced labour or slavery in their Constitutions or labour legislation. See Checklist 2.3 for guidance on developing legislation on child bondage.
Box 2.18. Types of enforcement provisions in national legislation
• Designation of persons responsible for complying with the law
• Labour inspection
• Special child labour units
• Record keeping
• Registers of young workers
• Evidence of age
• Notification of the competent authority
• Lists displayed at the workplace
• Work permits
• Medical examinations for fitness for work
• Posting information about the law
• Penalties for violations of the law
• Fines and/or imprisonment
• Revoking licences to operate
• Penalties for violation of compulsory education laws
• Complaint and investigative procedures
• Provision for advisory committees