Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000062/2014

Texts tabled :

O-000062/2014 (B8-0031/2014)

Debates :

PV 15/09/2014 - 20

Votes :

Texts adopted :

Parliamentary questions
PDF 195kWORD 27k
5 September 2014
Question for oral answer O-000062/2014
to the Commission
Rule 128
Daniel Caspary, Christofer Fjellner, Salvatore Cicu, Santiago Fisas Ayxelà, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Franck Proust, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Tokia Saïfi, Adam Szejnfeld, Iuliu Winkler, Bendt Bendtsen, Reimer Böge, Seán Kelly, Gabriel Mato, Fernando Ruas, József Szájer, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, Pablo Zalba Bidegain, on behalf of the PPE Group
Emma McClarkin, on behalf of the ECR Group

 Subject: GSP+ (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) and compliance with Minimum Age Convention: case of Bolivia

The ILO Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment is one of the 27 conventions that have to be ratified by states eligible for GSP+ (a special arrangement under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences which offers incentives for sustainable development and good governance). Furthermore, if the states in question are to continue to benefit from these preferential tariff advantages, ‘the most recent available conclusions of the monitoring bodies must not identify a serious failure to effectively implement any of those conventions’.

The Minimum Age Convention requires ratifying states to pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labour and to raise progressively the minimum age for admission to employment or work.

Under its provisions, countries are free to specify a minimum age for labour, which must be at least 15 years. A limit of 14 years is also possible for a specified period of time. Laws may also permit light work for children aged 13 to 15 which does not harm their health or schoolwork. A minimum age of 18 years is specified for work which is ‘likely to jeopardise the health, safety or morals of young persons’.

Bolivia ratified the Minimum Age Convention and declared 14 years as a minimum age for labour. Since 1 January 2014 Bolivia has benefited from tariff advantages under the new GSP+ scheme. The European Parliament supported the relevant delegated act, which included Bolivia.

Following a formal proposal by the Union of Child and Adolescent Workers of Bolivia, on 2 July 2014 the Bolivian Congress adopted a new children’s rights bill which lowers the minimum age from 14 to 12, or 10 in the case of self-employment.

In the light of the abovementioned GSP+ criteria and Bolivia’s new legislation, does the Commission believe that this new legislation prima facie puts Bolivia in breach of the Minimum Age Convention, which is one of the conventions that must be complied with in order to benefit from GSP+? Furthermore, can the Commission indicate whether it will analyse in detail the content of Bolivia’s new children’s rights bill, taking this analysis into account in Bolivia’s GSP+ ‘scorecard’ in order to decide whether or not any serious failure has been identified in its effective implementation of this convention?

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