Minors and Youth

Minimum Age for Employment

In accordance with the provisions of Child Act, the minimum age for the admission of a child to a paid employment is 14 years. The minimum age for light work is 12 years however such work must not be harmful to the child and must not interfere with the child’s education. The minimum age for the engagement of a child in light work is twelve years which constitutes work that is not likely to be harmful to the health or development of the child and does not affect the child’s attendance at school or the capacity of the child to benefit from school.

A child engaged in a paid employment, has the right to be paid fairly, work reasonable hours in accordance with their age and capabilities, have at least 24 hours weekly mandatory leave, annual leave and to take regular recreational breaks. No employer may engage a child in employment without satisfactory proof of the child’s age. The normal working hours for children are seven hours including the rest period of one hour with pay and the child is not employed for more than four consecutive hours.

Employer of a child must strictly adhere to the following requirements:

Maintain registers containing the names of children employed, ages, salaries, commencement dates of employment, assigned duties, working hours, duration of breaks and annual leave; display in a highly visible place, the terms and conditions of the employment; and inform employees who are children of all professional hazards and precautionary measures to protect them from accidents and occupational illnesses.

Under the General Education Act, the compulsory education age is 13 years.

Source: §12 of the Labour Act, 2017; §25 of the Child Act 2008

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Child labour is the work undertaken by a child that in some way harms or exploits him or her, whether physically, mentally, morally, or by preventing him/her from education. Minimum age for hazardous work is 18 years. A child has the right not to be required to perform work to perform work which may be hazardous or harmful to his or her education, health or well-being.

The Child Act requires that every child be protected from exposure to economic exploitation and child labour. The hazardous child labour includes the work and activities related to mining and quarrying; portage of heavy loads and storage; heavy agricultural labour; construction work; work in industrial undertakings; work in places where heavy machines are used; work in places such as bars, hotels and places of entertainment, where a person may be exposed to immoral behaviour; work in electricity, gas, sanitary and water works; service with the police, prison or military forces; night work which constitutes work between the hours of 18:00 to 06:00; driving or touting in vehicles; herding which jeopardizes the interest of the child; any type of sexual work; and tobacco production and trafficking.

The Labour Act does not allow the employment of a child below the age of 18 years to perform hazardous work. However, in consultation with trade unions, employer’s association and the Labour Advisory Council, the Minister can issue regulations allowing children who are of 16 years of age to perform certain categories of hazardous work. There are certain conditions attached to it.

The Labour Act specifically states that no person is to allow the engagement of a child under 18 years of age in any hazardous work, which constitutes worst form of child labour. The worst form of child labour consists of slavery, prostitution, illicit activities, and any work which is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of the child.

Source: §17 of the Constitution of South Sudan, 2011; §13 of the Labour Act, 2017; §25 of the Child Act 2008

Regulations on Minors and Youth

  • Labour Act, 2017
  • Constitution of South Sudan, 2011
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