Review of Child Labour Laws of Barbados
No. 138 did not avail itself of the flexibility offered to developing countries whose economy and educational facilities are insufficiently developed.
Indeed, the Dunn Report found that Barbados’ policy framework and systems in the areas of education, health, welfare and social services were well developed and that there were institutional mechanisms for childcare and protection which reduce the likelihood of a child labour problem.
However, the study did find children involved in a variety of activities that were suggestive of child labour and the worst forms of child labour. Most cases were found in low-income communities and occurred in the informal sector. A total of 47 cases involving probable child labour in vending, family businesses, services and trades were reported. In addition, 45 cases of probable worst forms of child labour activities were identified mainly in prostitution and other illegal activities.
Dunn attributed the causes of child labour in Barbados to poverty and children wanting to contribute to their family’s income; poor morals and values; inadequate public awareness of children’s rights; poor parenting; the absence of parents or caregivers; and family crises including incest and domestic violence. It is therefore important that strategies for the prevention of child labour should focus not only on expanding employment opportunities, poverty alleviation, social security, education and welfare of children, but also on family life issues and moral and spiritual values.