To see a map showing the minimum age for hazardous work without taking exceptions into account, please visit: Without taking exceptions into account, how long are children protected from hazardous work?
This map tells us until what age children are protected from hazardous work when exceptions to minimum age (which allow children to work at a younger age under specific conditions) are taken into account.
- Hazardous work is work that is harmful to children’s health or safety. If a country explicitly defined hazardous work in its legislation, its own definition was used. For countries that do not define hazardous work, we use the International Labour Organization’s definition: “(a) work which exposes children to physical, psychological or sexual abuse; (b) work underground, under water, at dangerous heights or in confined spaces; (c) work with dangerous machinery, equipment and tools, or which involves the manual handling or transport of heavy loads; (d) work in an unhealthy environment which may, for example, expose children to hazardous substances, agents, or processes, or to temperatures, noise levels, or vibrations damaging to their health; (e) work under particularly difficult conditions such as work for long hours or during the night or work where the child is unreasonably confined to the premises of the employer.”
- In some cases, there is no minimum age for hazardous work, but there is a minimum age for general employment. In these cases, the minimum age for general employment is used based on the assumption that if children are not permitted to work, they will not be permitted to do hazardous work. At the same time, we assume that if hazardous work is not regulated separately, then children will be able to do hazardous work once they reach the minimum working age.
- Exceptions are cases where a country allows children younger than the official minimum age to do hazardous work under specific circumstances. For hazardous work we included any exceptions to the minimum age except “force majeure” (extraordinary circumstances such as war) and “no harm to health, safety, and morals” (because in this case the work would no longer be defined as hazardous).