|Action Against Child Labour (ILO, 2000, 356 p.)|
|2. Towards improved legislation|
The Constitutions of many countries have provisions on the protection of children, or more specifically on child labour and bonded labour.
Legislative provisions on child labour - those which set minimum ages, prohibit certain types of work and regulate conditions of work - may be found in a special section of the general labour code, in separate Acts, or in various laws on contracts of employment, conditions of work (hours of work, days of rest, night work, vacations), safety and health, social security, and so forth. Civil codes can also contain generally applicable principles.
Separate provisions may also cover the apprenticeship, training and vocational education of young people. Not to be overlooked are laws which affect child labour indirectly, such as compulsory education laws. Some laws specifically link the age of work with the age of completing school. Some countries, particularly as a result of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, are taking the approach of adopting comprehensive child protection laws which consolidate a wide range of provisions to protect children, including those on child labour.
Criminal law is also relevant, especially concerning the commercial sexual exploitation of children and the sale and trafficking of children. Some countries have enacted specific statutes on bonded labour, child prostitution, child pornography and the sale and trafficking of children.