Article 7.2

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Child labour

Article 7.2 of the Law of 16 March 1971 on work allows for an exception to Article 7.1-1 of the same Law, i.e., which permits a child to work (perform an activity) outside the normal course of education and learning process which is required for a child. However, it does not allow for any exceptions to para 2 of Article 7.1 of the Law. Thus, any scenario that falls  under the exceptions set out in Article 7.2 of the Law of 16 March 1971, will not be permitted if the concerned activity can have a detrimental influence on the child’s development. These specific exceptions set out in Article 7.2 of the Law of 16 March 1971 must also comply with some conditions stipulated in Article 7.3 in order for them to be accepted, i.e. the parents of the child must give their (written) prerequisite authorisation for their child’s performing of the activity, and the duration and the kind of activity for which the specific exception is authorised must be respected, etc.

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Article 7.2.1. Specific exceptions to the prohibition of making and letting children perform activities can only be accepted if they are to let children participate as:

1.1. An actor, an extra, a singer, a musician, or a dancer in cultural, scientific, educational or artistic events, such as (amongst others):
a) theatre, opera, operetta, ballet, or circus;
b) dance competitions, music competitions, singing competitions, or any other competitions or activities on stage;

1.2. An actor, an extra, a singer, a musician, a model for photo shoots or for sound recording or live TV or radio broadcast, regardless of whether there is an advertising objective or not;

1.3. A model or an extra for photo sessions, regardless of whether there is an advertising objective or not;

1.4. A model or an extra for fashion shows and presentations of new clothing collections.

2. The King can, by a ministerial Decree, limit or extend the list of scenarios for which a specific deviation can be accepted.

Law / 16 March 1971 / Belgium / Law of 16 March 1971 Relating to Work

Under Belgian law, it is strictly forbidden to put children to work or to let them work or to make them perform an activity outside of the ordinary course of the education and learning process. For the purposes of this law, “children” are defined as minors who are less than 15 years of age or who are still subject to full-time compulsory education.The law permits some individual exceptions to the above-mentioned general prohibition of putting children to work. However, the conditions for these exceptions are strictly regulated, and the application of these exceptions must be authorized by a competent officer in writing.

If a child does perform any activity under an exception, a child of 6 years of age and under may only do so between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., a child between 7 and 11 years of age may only do so between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., and a child between 12 and 15 years of age may only do so between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The law of 16 March 1971 relating to work also regulates maximum working hours, setting out weekly and daily limits. Exceptions to those weekly and daily limits are only possible in certain situations specified by the law; and the conditions, limitations, and procedures stipulated must be respected. If the employer fails to comply with these strict rules/conditions, the employer can be held criminally liable under the Criminal Social Code.