Release type: Media Release


Australia signals commitment to key international standard on child labour


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts

The Albanese Labor Government is taking steps towards protecting and promoting international standards that ensure children engage in safe and appropriate employment – by moving to ratify the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Minimum Age Convention,1973. 

The convention provides a framework that sets out the minimum age for young people to start employment so that they can work safely and without interfering with their schooling.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Tony Burke MP, says ratification of the convention reflects Australia’s strong domestic framework which prioritises education and safe employment for children.

“Australia has robust standards on safe and appropriate employment for children. Ratification of the convention demonstrates our commitment to strong international labour standards.

“The Government is committed to protecting the rights of children, including through providing the best start in life through a quality education and ensuring everyone has a safe and appropriate workplace.”

The ILO’s Minimum Age Convention,1973 (No.138) will be tabled in Parliament for consideration by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

The next step is approval by the Executive Council. Ratification proceeds based on Australia’s existing law and practice.

Ratification of the Convention is part of the National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020- 25