Many children and young people under 18 years old are working, many of them under poor conditions and exploitation. If you are any of them, you have to know some of your rights. If you know any child or young person working, please help him/her to understand their rights as children and women.
Do you have the age to work?
Persons under 13 years old are not intended to work, but to study.
If someone is making you to work, and you are under 13 years old, you are in a condition of abuse and your rights are been denied.
If you are between 13 and 16, you should have a special permission from local authorities. Such work should not be hard. It should give you the opportunity to study. The job should be safe. You are not intended to work in mining, brick factories, night clubs…
When you are 16 years old, you are considered a young worker and you can choose more options of job. However, it is not ideal that you abandon school and go to work.
When you are 18 years old, you are an adult and you will enjoy the rights of an adult.
Hours per day to work
You should know that working has a very clear rank of hours to work. Adults are intended not to work more than 8 hours.
If you are younger than 14 years old, we understand that you must be at school, because you cannot work. Nobody has the right to make you work. Even your father and your mother have not the right to make you work. If they do so, they are completely wrong. The have to see for you and provide all what you need. If they do not have conditions, they have to look for support.
If you are 14 years old and you are working, the international standars say that you can work only two hours per day. However, there are many rules in many countries. For example, you could work more time on Saturday or Sunday. We understand that you should be at school and you do not have much time to work.
If you are 16 to 18 years old and you are not at school, you could work until 8 hours per day, as an adult. But remember that you are allowed in ‘light works’, for example, a shop, a restaurant, as a waiter/waitress…
If you are a labor child, you have to prevent you about the salary. Many people like to contract children or underage people like you, in order to pay low salaries. It is sure that you do not know yet the real prize of a job. Many labor children work for just food or gifts. If you are living that situation, they are abusing of you.
Remember, if you are younger than 14 years old, you are not allowed to work.
If you are older than 14 years old, you have the right to claim the official minimun wage. Because in Cambodia there is not a well stablished Minimun Wage, please ask somebody with experience in work how much your job should be paid in a fair way.
Remember that if you are a labor child, you are not allowed to work in hard places like mines, brick factories, dangerous areas, night clubs…
If you are working, your boss has the duty to ensure your full protection and health. S/he should explain to you, in a very clear way, how to make your work in safety, having the correct uniforms, clothing and reporting any incident or accident.