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 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.

Children under twelve of age cannot be employed with the exception of the State vocational schools; training workshops not for profit purposes; member of employer family who work under his or her supervision in the enterprise no other person is employed; and workers under apprenticeship contract. A full medical examination of the child must be done before engaging him/her for work and at some fixed interval. The employment contract of a child is terminated if it is proved that he/she is unfit for the work according to a medical certificate issued under this law.

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

Source: §23-28 of Labour Bill, 2011; §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 Bill also has a list of hazardous work which includes nearly the same activities as enumerated above. Moreover the Labour Bill requires that children should not be employed between 20:00 and 06:00, however the competent authority may exempt any number of children from this provision provided their ages are between fifteen and sixteen years. Children cannot be employed for additional hours (overtime) and cannot be employed on the weekly or official holidays or waiver of his or her right of annual leave, postpone or break the annual leave.

Source: §17 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011; §23-28 of Labour Bill, 2011;  §25 of the Child Act 2008

Regulations on Minors and Youth

  • Labour Code, 1997
  • The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011
  • The Child Act, 2008