Europe human rights watchdog call for UK ban on children doing paper rounds
Feb 01, 2016 01:44 AM EST
The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) has suggested that children paper rounds should be banned, as it admonished the U.K. government's treatment of mothers, migrants and travellers in a report last week.
The ECSR claimed that paper rounds and holiday jobs are a breach of children's rights as they could harm their education. The Europe's human rights watchdog said children paper round appears to be a violation of a European treaty on social rights.
According to The Telegraph, the ECSR said that labor laws that allow teenagers for 35 hours a week during the school holidays are too relaxed and put their "health, moral welfare and development" at risk.
The Strasbourg-based council said the U.K. was breaching the European Social Charter on social rights established by the council in 1961, of which the U.K. is a signatory.
The U.K. law allows children to work up to 12 hours a week during term time, with a maximum of two hours on school days and Sundays. The law allows the U.K. children as young as 13 to work part-time.
Under the law, the U.K. children aged 13-14 can work up to 25 hours a week during the school holidays, while 15-16 year olds can work up to 35 hours.
The committee said that allowing children aged 15 years still subject to compulsory education to deliver newspapers from 6am for up to 2 hours per day, 5 days a week before school is not in conformity with the Charter.
The council also expressed concern about work by children during the school holidays, according to BBC News. It said the U.K. law violated rules on "light work", that demand a weekly limit of 30 hours a week.
The 1961 Charter requires children in full-time education to have a two-week break from any work during the school holidays in a calendar year. The committee asked the U.K. for confirmation that children have two consecutive weeks free from work during the summer holiday in the U.K.
About the newspaper delivery rounds, the committee said that "allowing children to work before school begins in the morning is, in principle, contrary" to the charter, because it puts at risk their "attendance, receptiveness and homework". The committee noted earlier rulings had explicitly outlawed two hour paper rounds starting at 6 am.
But according to the Guardian, newsagents in the U.K. said that no child works more than an hour for a delivery round. This therefore complies with the U.K. law, which states that a child should not work for more than one hour before school and not start before 7am.
The committee said it would investigate the situation in the U.K. further, and asked the U.K. for more detailed on how it monitors possible illegal employment of children.