Labour Rights

Children work in hazardous conditions


Working in hazardous conditions as a child can result in permanent disability, ill health and/or psychological damage which may not develop until adulthood. Children should not be engaged to work in dangerous or unhealthy conditions that could result in a child being killed, injured, or made ill due to poor safety and health standards, and unsuitable working arrangements.


Instances of hazardous environments for children include work which exposes children to physical, psychological or sexual abuse, working underground, under water, at dangerous heights or in confined spaces, working with dangerous machinery, equipment and tools, work which involves the manual handling or transport of heavy loads, work in an unhealthy environment which may expose children to hazardous substances, situations or noise levels damaging to their health. Hazardous work conditions also include situations where children work under difficult conditions, such as long hours or during the night, or work where the child is unreasonably confined to the premises of the employer.

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, 1973 (No. 138)
Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (No. 182)



SDG 8.7

Preventing or mitigating hazards faced by children in the workplace can lead to the achievement of SDG 8.7: Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

SDG 16


SDG 16.2

Likewise, preventing or mitigating hazards faced by children in the workplace can lead to the achievement of SDG 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.