The move was broadly welcomed by aid agencies and human rights groups, who have been pressing for action since the country gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.
But there are concerns that the practice is so central to the country's economy that a ban will not be enough.
"Any official announcement is only as good as the implementation," said Acacia Shields, a researcher with Human Rights Watch.
"Mr Niyazov is prone to making arbitrary announcements... We need more time to see if this is going to be carried up on the ground," she said.
As Unicef published a report calling child labour a scar on the world's conscience, aid agencies and . . . . . .