Russia has been facing significant setbacks in Ukraine for months now. In an effort to turn the tides in the war, or at least to slow Ukraine’s forces down, Russia has increasingly directed attacks against civilian infrastructure and pursued the mobilization of more troops for the fighting. A drawback of this second approach has been a shortage of labor to keep the Russian economy moving.
As a result of this, the Russian regime has announced that it will be modifying child labor laws in order to let kids as young as fourteen able to join the Russian workforce. In an effort to justify the shift in policy, Artyom Metelev, the Chairman of the State Duma Committee of Youth Policy, pointed to “studies” that supposedly claim “9 out of 10 teenagers would like to start working before the age of 18, but they cannot officially find a job.” With this in mind, the change in child labor law will allow for children between the ages of two 14 and 18 able to get a job without the approval of a guardian or a social service agency. In addition, employers would no longer be required to pay for medical exams for any minor who wished to work for them.
While the changes will go into effect March 2023 it remains to be seen if this measure will be enough to help counter the labor shortage exacerbated by the mobilization that occurred starting in September, as well as the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Russians fleeing the country.