ILO Recommandation 146 on the Minimum Age for Admission to
The General Conference of the International Labour
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the
International Labour Office, and having met in its Fifty-eighth Session on 6
June 1973, and
Recognising that the effective abolition of child labour and the
progressive raising of the minimum age for admission to employment constitute
only one aspect of the protection and advancement of children and young persons,
Noting the concern of the whole United Nations system with such
protection and advancement, and
Having adopted the Minimum Age Convention, 1973, and
Desirous to define further certain elements of policy which are the
concern of the International Labour Organisation, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals regarding
minimum age for admission to employment, which is the fourth item on the agenda
of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a
Recommendation supplementing the Minimum Age Convention, 1973,
adopts this twenty-sixth day of June of the year one thousand nine
hundred an seventy-three the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the
Minimum Age Recommendation, 1973:
1. To ensure the success of the national policy provided for in
Article 1 of the Minimum Age Convention, 1973, high priority should be given to
planning for and meeting the needs of children and youth in national development
policies and programmes and to the progressive extension of the inter-related
measures necessary to provide the best possible conditions of physical and
mental growth for children and young persons.
2. In this connection special attention should be given to such
areas of planning and policy as the following:
a)firm national commitment to full employment, in accordance with
the Employment Policy Convention and Recommendation, 1964, and the taking of
measures designed to promote employment-oriented development in rural and urban
b)the progressive extension of other economic and social measures to
alleviate poverty wherever it exists and to ensure family living standards and
income which are such as to make it unnecessary to have recourse to the economic
activity of children;
c)the development and progressive extension, without any
discrimination, of social security and family welfare measures aimed at ensuring
child maintenance, including children’s allowances;
d)the development and progressive extension of adequate facilities
for education and vocational orientation and training appropriate in form and
content to the needs of the children and young persons concerned;
e)the development and progressive extension of appropriate
facilities for the protection and welfare of children and young persons,
including employed young persons, and for the promotion of their development.
3. Particular account should as necessary be taken of the needs of
children and young persons who do not have families or do not live with their
own families and of migrant children and young persons who live and travel with
their families. Measures taken to that end should include the provision of
fellowships and vocational training.
4. Full-time attendance at school or participation in approved
vocational orientation or training programmes should be required and effectively
ensured up to an age at least equal to that specified for admission to
employment in accordance with Article 2 of the Minimum Age Convention, 1973.
5. 1. Consideration should be given to measures such as preparatory
training, not involving hazards, for types of employment or work in respect of
which the minimum age prescribed in accordance with Article 3 of the Minimum Age
Convention, 1973, is higher than the age of completion of compulsory full-time
2. Analogous measures should be envisaged where the professional
exigencies of a particular occupation include a minimum age for admission which
is higher than the age of completion of compulsory full-time schooling.
6. The minimum age should be fixed at the same level for all
sectors of economic activity.
7. 1. Members should take as their objective the
progressive raising to 16 years of the minimum age for admission to employment
or work specified in pursuance of Article 2 of the Minimum Age Convention, 1973.
2. Where the minimum age for employment or work covered by Article 2
of the Minimum Age Convention, 1973, is still below 15 years, urgent steps
should be taken to raise it to that level.
8. Where it is not immediately feasible to fix a minimum age for
all employment in agriculture and in related activities in rural areas, a
minimum age should be fixed at least for employment on plantations and in the
other agricultural undertakings referred to in Article 5, paragraph 3, of the
Minimum Age Convention, 1973.
9. Where the minimum age for admission to types of employment or
work which are likely to jeopardise the health, safety or morals of young
persons is still below 18 years, immediate steps should be taken to raise it to
10. 1. In determining the types of employment or work to
which Article 3 of the Minimum Age Convention, 1973, applies, full account
should be taken of relevant international labour standards, such as those
concerning dangerous substances, agents or processes (including ionising
radiations), the lifting of heavy weights and underground work.
2. The list of the types of employment or work in question should be
re-examined periodically and revised as necessary, particularly in the light of
advancing scientific and technological knowledge.
11. Where, by reference to Article 5 of the Minimum Age Convention,
1973, a minimum age is not immediately fixed for certain branches of economic
activity or types of undertakings, appropriate minimum age provisions should be
made applicable therein to types of employment or work presenting hazards for
12. 1. Measures should be taken to ensure that the
conditions in which children and young persons under the age of 18 years are
employed or work reach and are maintained at a satisfactory standard. These
conditions should be supervised closely.
2. Measures should likewise be taken to safeguard. and supervise the
conditions in which children and young persons undergo vocational orientation
and training within undertakings, training institutions and schools for
vocational or technical education and to formulate standards for their
protection and development.
13. 1. In connection with the application of the preceding
Paragraph, as well as in giving effect to Article 7, paragraph 3, of the Minimum
Age Convention, 1973, special attention should be given to:
a) the provision of fair remuneration and its protection, bearing
in mind the principle of equal pay for equal work;
b) the strict limitation of the hours spent at work in a day and in
a week, and the prohibition of overtime, so as to allow enough time for
education and training (including the time needed for homework related thereto),
for rest during the day and for leisure activities;
c) the granting, without possibility of exception save in genuine
emergency, of a minimum consecutive period of 12 hours’ night rest, and of
customary weekly rest days;
d) the granting of an annual holiday with pay of at least four
weeks and, in any case, not shorter than that granted to adults;
e) coverage by social security schemes, including employment
injury, medical care and sickness benefit schemes, whatever the conditions of
employment or work may be;
f ) the maintenance of satisfactory standards of safety and health
and appropriate instruction and supervision.
2. Sub-paragraph (1) of this Paragraph applies to young seafarers in
so far as they are not covered in respect of the matters dealt with therein by
international labour Conventions or Recommendations specifically concerned with
14. 1. Measures to ensure the effective application of the
Minimum Age Convention, 1973, and of this Recommendation should include:
a) the strengthening as necessary of labour inspection and related
services, for instance by the special training of inspectors to detect abuses in
the employment or work of children and young persons and to correct such abuses;
b) the strengthening of services for the improvement and inspection
of training in undertakings.
2. Emphasis should be placed on the role which can be played by
inspectors in supplying information and advice on effective means of complying
with relevant provisions as well as in securing their enforcement.
3. Labour inspection and inspection of training in undertakings
should be closely
co-ordinated to provide the greatest economic efficiency and, generally, the
labour administration services should work in close co-operation with the
services responsible for the education, training, welfare and guidance of
children and young persons.
15. Special attention should be paid:
a) to the enforcement of provisions concerning employment in
hazardous types of employment or work; and
b) in so far as education or training is compulsory, to the
prevention of the employment or work of children and young persons during the
hours when instruction is available.
16. The following measures should be taken to facilitate the
verification of ages:
a) the public authorities should maintain an effective system of
birth registration, which
should include the issue of birth certificates;
b) employers should be required to keep and to make available to
the competent authority registers or other documents indicating the names and
ages or dates of birth, duly certified
wherever possible, not only of children and young persons employed by them
but also of those receiving vocational orientation or training in their
c) children and young persons working in the streets, in outside
stalls, in public places, in itinerant occupations or in other circumstances
which make the checking of employers’ records impracticable should be issued
licences or other documents indicating their eligibility for such work.