Child Rights and Business guidance for Chinese Companies Operating in Zambia
Decent work for parents and young workers
- Minimum age: Under the Employment Code Act (2019), the minimum age of full-time employment is 15; employers are not allowed to employ a child less than 16 years old unless authorised by a Labour Officer or where the child has an apprenticeship contract. Employers must maintain a register of all young workers (under 18 years).
- Hazardous work: Children under 18 years of age may not be employed in hazardous work, which is defined as any type of work, by which nature or in which circumstances it is carried out, that is likely to jeopardise the health, safety or morals of the child. The Prohibition of the Employment of Young Persons and Children (Hazardous Labour) Order sets out a list of prohibited occupations for workers under 18, including night work and in industrial undertakings (unless the young worker is under a contract of apprenticeship).
- Light work: Children aged 13-15 may be employed in light work that is not likely to be harmful to the child's health or development, or prejudicial to attendance at school or vocational training.
Maternity and paternity protections
- Parental leave: Under the Employment Code Act (2019), women are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave. Fathers who have one year of continuous service with their employers are entitled to 5 days of paternity leave, to be taken within 7 days of the birth of the child.
- Pay and benefits: Maternity leave is fully paid for workers with two years of continuous service with their employer.
- Job protection: Women are protected from dismissal during the period of her pregnancy and employers cannot penalise pregnant workers or disadvantage them for reasons connected with pregnancy and maternity leave. The Employment Code gives women the right to return to the job which she held immediately before maternity leave, or to a reasonably suitable job on terms and conditions not less favourable than those she enjoyed before maternity leave.
Decent work for parents:
- Health and safety: Employers must provide special health and safety protections to women during pregnancy. Employers cannot require pregnant workers to work overtime within two months of their due date, or to perform work that might be detrimental to the worker's health or the health of the unborn child. Pregnant and nursing workers are also exempt from working at night. Employers must provide pregnant workers with alternative employment on terms and conditions not less favourable than previous employment.
- Working hours: Normal working hours are 48 per week, 8 hours per day over 6 days. Work done in excess of normal working hours is considered overtime. There are no known provisions on flexible work for workers with family responsibilities.
- Breastfeeding: Female workers who are nursing children under the age of 6 months are entitled to a one-hour or two 30-minute paid breaks.
Marketing and advertising
- Marketing to children: The Competition and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“CCPA”) regulates advertising but does not address marketing and advertising to children. There are no known restrictions on advertising targeting children.
- HFSS foods: There are no specific guidelines or restrictions on marketing of high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) foods, but these products should meet general advertising regulations as provided for by the CCPA.
- Breastmilk substitutes: Zambia has adopted many provisions of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes are implemented into national law, including restrictions on advertising and promotion.、
- Consumer protection: Product safety is regulated by the Competition and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is a member of the International Consumer Protection and Law Enforcement Network (ICPEN) and is tasked with ensuring that consumers are protected from unfair trading practices. There are no known regulations specific to product safety for children.
Child online safety
- Child sexual abuse material (CSAM): National laws prohibit child sexual abuse material (CSAM), including technology-facilitate offences over the internet. However, internet service providers (ISP) are not required to report suspected child pornography to law enforcement agencies.
- Access to pornography: There are no known restrictions on access to adult content in Zambia.
Community and Environment
- Impact assessment: To ensure that projects minimise harmful impacts on the environment, national laws require environmental impact assessments.
- Climate change: Zambia has submitted an NDC (nationally determined contribution) to the UNFCC committing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 25%-47% by 2030.
- Resource governance: Zambia is a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and has made meaningful progress towards meeting the 2016 EITI standard. However, gaps remain relation to disclosures of license allocations, and reliability of data on payments and revenues related to the extractives industries.
- Land tenure: An estimated 80%-96% of Zambia's total land area is made up of community (customary) lands. National laws make significant progress towards addressing indigenous and community land tenure.
- Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC): National laws prohibit deprivation of property without due process or proper compensation; however, they do not fully adopt principles of FPIC.
- Child soldiers: The minimum voluntary conscription age is 16, and it is unknown whether children are protected from participation in hostilities.
- Private military and/or security companies: The government does not participate in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, and there are no known laws regulating the activities of private military and/or security companies.
- Education: Education is compulsory until the age of 13; however, neither primary nor secondary education is free, which limits poor children’s ability to access education.
- Healthcare: The Constitution recognises the right to health. The government maintains a public healthcare system that offers free healthcare.