Minimum Age Campaign

Minimum Age Campaign

This is a national campaign to raise awareness about Canada’s inadequate minimum age laws and to advocate for Canada to ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 138 (C138).



The “Minimum Age” Campaign is driven by young members of affiliate trade unions working in coordination with social partners, student groups and other civil society organizations. These groups carry this Campaign forward, united under the same banner, “Canadians Opposed to Child Labour” (as coined by the CLC Young Workers Working Group).

The objective of the Campaign is to ensure each provincial and territorial government agrees to amend delinquent labour legislation in accordance with the provisions as outlined in the ILO C138 for the minimum age of employment. Provincial and territorial movement on these issues will pave the way for the federal government to proceed with ratification of this core labour convention. The ultimate goal of this Campaign is for the federal government to officially sign on to ILO C138 and make the appropriate steps for implementation.

Today all of the existing minimum age laws under Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions contravene C138. In some cases (as with the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta), official minimum age laws have weakened in recent years, dropping to as low as 12 years of age. At the same time, young worker injury rates are on the climb and still too few young workers are aware of their rights at work.

Millions of Canadians are unaware of this disturbing reality. Not only does the Minimum Age Campaign set its sights on abolishing child labour in Canada, it aims to bring this issue to the forefront of public debate and joins with others internationally who are tackling the issue as a global problem.

We must demand that Canada become a leader in the fight to defeat child labour around the world instead of remaining passively complicit, if not active proponents, of it here at home.

Related Issues

Related Publications

Facts on Child Labour

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that more than 215 million children worldwide are child labourers. This means that more than 1/6 of the children of the world are child labourers. Child labour is often defin… Read More

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Related Statements

Statement on Minimum Age Campaign

This Statement is intended to guide the actions of individuals and affiliate organizations who have pledged to take part in a national campaign to raise awareness about Canada’s inadequate minimum age laws and to advocate for Canada to ratify t… Read More

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