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Review of Child Labour Laws of Barbados

appropriate penalties. In addition, the national laws or regulations or the competent authority must:

  • (i)

    define the persons responsible for compliance with the enabling laws; and

  • (ii)

    prescribe the registers or other documents which have to be kept and made available by the employer.

    • 2.6

      Legal Status of Convention

Having ratified ILO Conventions No. 138 and No. 182, Barbados has an obligation under international law and under the Constitution of the ILO to ensure that its laws comply fully with these Conventions.

A fundamental principle of international law enshrined in Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, ratified by the Government of Barbados, is that every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith. Article 27 prevents a party from invoking its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.

This principle is also enshrined in the Constitution of the International Labour Organization. Article 5 imposes an undertaking on each member State to bring, within one year from ratification of an ILO Convention, the Convention before the authorities within whose competence the matter lies for the enactment of legislation or other action.

Within the jurisprudence of Barbados, unlike Suriname, ratified treaties are not considered to be directly applicable without enabling legislation. Therefore where there is an inconsistency between national law and the provision of an ILO Convention, which Barbados has ratified, the Government of Barbados has one year from ratification to enact enabling or amending legislation to ensure compliance with the ILO Convention.

It should be noted here that, while ILO Conventions are considered to be binding in international law on States, which have ratified them, ILO Recommendations are of persuasive authority only. They are however considered to be soft law, which should serve as guides to the implementation of the Conventions and should be generally observed.

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