- What are the Worst Forms of Child Labour?
The worst forms of Child Labour (WFCL) include:
- The enslavement of children or similar practices such as sale/trafficking of children and forced labour;
- Commercial sexual exploitation of children;
- The involvement of children in the production and trafficking of drugs and
- Work likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.
- Does the WFCL exist in Barbados?
Yes it does but not in all the above forms. Commercial sexual exploitation of children is known to exist. We also hear reports of the sale of drugs by children.
- What is the definition of Child?
A child is a person who is less than 18 years of age.
- Does minimum age for employment have a direct relationship to the worst forms of child Labour?
No. The minimum age for employment refers to the fact that a child in Barbados should not be working if he/she is less than sixteen years old. This is linked to the compulsory age of education. A fourteen year old child who works in a hairdressing salon during normal working hours is not complying with the Education Act Cap. 41 but that child is not involved in the WFCL.
- I am a thirteen year old who gets pocket money by working half day in a supermarket on Saturdays. Am I breaking the law relating to minimum age for employment?
No you are not since the work that you are doing will not interfere with your educational development.
- What agency is responsible for setting these standards on the WFCL and minimum age for employment?
The International Labour Organisation through Convention 138, Minimum Age Convention, 1973, and Convention 182, Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999, both of which Barbados has ratified.
- What is Barbados doing to address the issue of the WFCL?
The Ministry of Labour is charged with this responsibility. It has mounted an educational campaign, developed a survey instrument on child economic activities and carried out research to identify anomalies in legislation as they relate to child labour. The Ministry of Labour is assisted by social and educational institutions in Government, UNICEF, the Church and Civic Society.
- What is one of the key messages of the WFCL?
It is a violation of the rights of the child.
- If I know that the WFCL is happening what can I do?
Please make a telephone call to the Ministry of Labour, the Labour Department, the Police Department or the Child Care Board.
- What do you want the Public to know about WFCL?
- It is hidden;
- It happens in Barbados;
- It requires vigilance;
- It needs our attention.