Court/Judicial body: European Committee of Social Rights
Citation: Complaint No. 1/1998
Date: 10 March 1999
Instrument(s) cited: European Social Charter
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) complained to the European Committee of Social Rights that child labour incompatible with the Charter was common in Portugal. The ICJ also alleged that the body tasked with investigating child labour was not in a position to perform its functions, and had engaged in bribery and corruption. The Portuguese State argued that the complaint should not be considered because the Committee had discussed the matter during its supervision cycle, and had adopted recommendations on the subject. The Committee found that they could consider the complaint because the complaint process is different to that of national reports, and the complaint covered a period not entirely covered by the previous national report. The Committee then considered the complaint on its merits, and required the Portuguese government to produce a report on the levels of child labour in the country. The resulting report estimated that a total of 27,5000 children between the ages of 6 and 14 were carrying out work prohibited by Article 7(1) of the Charter. The Committee found that the State had made some progress on the matter of child labour, but that it still presented a substantial problem. The Committee found that the Labour Inspecotrate had only had “modest” success, and found that the allegations of bribery and corruption were not supported by the evidence.
Link to full judgement: Admissibility: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,LEGAL,COEECSR,,PRT,4562d8b62,4b17be272,0.html Merits: http://hudoc.esc.coe.int/esc2008/document.asp?related=1&item=5&relateditem=0