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Review of Child Labour Laws of Barbados

may be engaged in artistic performances unless the Minister of Labour, after appropriate consultations with the representative organizations of workers and employers, gives a permit.

4.2.4 Hazardous work

Both ILO Conventions No. 138 and No.182 prohibit the engagement of young persons under the age of 18 years to undertake hazardous work. As indicated earlier, hazardous work is defined as any type of employment or work which by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out is likely to jeopardize their health, safety or moral development. ILO Convention No. 182 characterizes hazardous work as a worst form of child labour.

Protection from Hazardous Work In Barbados, the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1977, the Factories Act, 1984 and the Shipping Act 1994 provide reasonable protection from hazardous work to young persons (between the age of 15 and 18 years) engaged in employment in industrial undertaking. However, inadequate protection is afforded to young persons employed in other sectors.

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Section 8 prohibits persons under the age of 18 years from engaging in any work the nature of which or the circumstances in which it is carried out is likely to harm the safety, health or morals. However, factory inspectors limit their inspection to the industrial sector.

Section 9 requires employers of young persons employed in industrial undertakings and ships to keep a register in which the employer shall record:

  • (a)

    their names and addresses;

  • (b)

    the dates of their birth; and

  • (c)

    the dates of their entering and leaving the service of that employer.

It is submitted that these legal provisions are too restricted. They should be applicable to all employers and not merely industrial undertakings and ships.

The Factories Act Chapter 347 enacted on 1st March 1984 makes provision for the safety, health and welfare of persons employed in factories. This Act makes special provisions for young persons defined as a person who has attained the age of 15 years but under the age of 18 years. The amendment of the age of young person to mean a person between 16 and 18 is limited to the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act. However, since there is a prohibition of persons under sixteen years working in factories by virtue of the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, in practice the applicability of the provisions in the Factories Act for young persons would be for persons between 16 and 18 years. For the avoidance of all doubt, it is recommended that the Act be amended to state that a person who has attained the age of 16 but under the age of 18.


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