n coordination with the annual International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) “World Day for Decent Work,” the Minimum Age Campaign started its roots on October 7, 2009. Young workers across the country delivered a statement to their respective minister of labour calling on them to amend provincial labour laws to comply with the terms and conditions of ILO C138.
Young workers, representing various provincial federations of labour and affiliate unions, reminded these elected officials of Canada’s obligation to ratify C138 based on its membership in the ILO and its adoption of the ILO “Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.” Today, Canada remains one of only 27 countries which have not ratified C138, along with the likes of India, Iran, Mexico, and Myanmar.
o fulfil its obligations as a member organization of the ILO, the Canadian government provides regular reports to the ILO on ongoing discussions with the provinces and territories regarding C138. However, these discussions have proved fruitless since all current legislation on child labour in Canada does not comply with the Convention regulations.
Convention 138 outlines the age of employment “shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, shall not be less than 15 years.” This threshold is set to protect the health and well-being of young people, to ensure that they have the proper means to develop as individuals and citizens through sufficient education. In all provinces and territories, young Canadians are compelled to attend school until at least the age of 16. Yet, no jurisdiction attaches similar conditions to the minimum age of work. You will find a copy of our recent review of C138 and Canada’s non-complying legislation, which is available at:
http://documents.clc-ctc.ca/international/CLC-Briefing-Note-C138.pdf This document would serve as a follow-up to the current information which is posted on the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) website on this topic at: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/labour/labour_law/esl/minage.shtml