Review of Child Labour Laws of Barbados
It should be noted, however, that Barbados has sound national policies in areas connected with child labour, such as education, childcare protection, welfare, social security, labour administration and other social development, but there is no explicit policy reference to child labour. In addition, the Government and Social Partners in their Social Protocol V, signed in 2005, have resolved to redouble their efforts to combat the child labour and the worst forms of child labour and to assist in efforts to reintegrate such exploited children into the mainstream of our society. There is also in place a policy that prohibits the importation of any item for sale in Barbados, where there is reasonable ground for belief that child labour has formed any part of the process of manufacture or production.
When the ILO Rapid Assessment Survey on Child Labour in Barbados (2002) revealed instances of probable child labour, there was not surprisingly some initial skepticism by Government officials about the validity of the findings.
It is argued that the apparent lack of knowledge of the existence of child labour on the part of the competent authority, the Labour Department, is attributed to that fact that:
child labour tends to be limited to the informal sector which is generally not adequately inspected by the Labour Department; and
the unconditional worst forms of child labour constitute criminal offences that have not been characterized in law as child labour. They have always been perceived as criminal acts and not child labour. Law enforcement officers as well as Labour Officers do not readily see the connection between these offences and child labour. Moreover, they are not monitored by the Labour Department.
It is significant to note that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has initiated action to remedy the policy deficiency and has recently established a National Committee on Child Labour whose task is to make recommendations for a policy on child labour. This Committee has as its members the following agencies:
Ministry of Labour and Social Security;
Ministry of Education;
Ministry of Social Transformation;
Child Care Board;
Ministry of Finance (Statistics)
Committee was appointed by the establishment and the composition of
committees on child labour should recognize
the the that
Labour. A policy on child labour must be placed economic development policies that address the
social and education,
family life Committees
and youth development. on Child Labour should
is therefore highly recommended that appointed or approved by the Cabinet,