A Minimum Age For Employment: The Right of Young People to be Heard

Gasson, Ruth
August 2005
Australian Journal of Social Issues (Australian Council of Socia;Spring2005, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p385
Academic Journal
In 1993 the New Zealand Government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It placed a reservation against Article 32 maintaining that legislation of a minimum age for entry into employment would not be in the best interests of children. The Government is reconsidering this reservation. Article 12 of the Convention provides for states to involve children in legislation that affects them. In a survey funded by the Department of Labour to find out more about young workers (Gasson, Linsell, Gasson, & Mundy-McPherson, 2003) we asked school students whether they thought the Government should legislate a minimum age for employment. Most did not. I argue that the Government should seriously consider children's views even when they conflict with the views of agencies whose intent is to promote the best interests of children.


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