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Review of Child Labour Laws of Barbados

The author has found in the course of this study that the distinction between legitimate child work and child labour was not always clearly understood by all officials and stakeholders in the Caribbean region. Officials in more than one country had expressed the view that the Caribbean did not have genuine child labour and that the Rapid Assessments, conducted by the ILO, had misconstrued legitimate cultural or social practices as child labour. Some argued that child work was necessary to ensure that families acquire the financial means to ensure the education of the children. Another misconception was that child labour only involved paid economic or commercial activities; that unpaid work did not constitute child labour.

Generally, those officials who attended seminars on child labour organized by the ILO Subregional Office for the Caribbean had a good understanding of the meaning of the term child labour and the requirements of the Convention. In contrast, those Officials who did not benefit from such orientation and training did not demonstrate an accurate understanding of the term child labour, even though their work may be connected with some aspect of the rights of children. The lack of a proper understanding by officials about the Convention creates special difficulties for their monitoring and implementation of the provisions of the Convention.

    • 2.3

      ILO Convention No. 138

      • 2.3.1

        Primary Objectives

The primary objectives of ILO Convention No. 138 are to ensure that member States:

    • pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labour;

    • establish by law a minimum age for admission to employment and work within its territory and on means of transport registered in its territory;

    • prohibit the employment of young persons under 18 years of age in work or activities that is likely to jeopardize their safety, health or moral development.

      • 2.3.2

        Child Labour Policy

Guidelines regarding the policy on child labour are contained in ILO Recommendation No. 146. These guidelines call for high priority to be given to planning for and meeting the needs of children and youth in national development policies and programmes, and to the progressive extension of the inter-related measures necessary to provide the best possible conditions of physical and mental growth for children and young persons.

Elimination of the causes of child labour is a major policy concern. In this regard, special attention and effective measures are required in the areas of employment policy, poverty alleviation, social security, child welfare, and education.

2.3.3 Minimum Age for Employment

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