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Review of Child Labour Laws of Barbados

purpose of being employed in any other place and without the knowledge of the parent or parents or the person having the care, charge or custody of the child, sends or carries away or causes or procures to be sent or carried away from Barbados that child, is guilty of an offence which is triable on indictment or summarily.

Further, according to Section 35(1) of the same Act, any person who; (a) unlawfully, either by force or fraud, leads or takes away or decoys or entices away or detains any child under the age of 14 years, with intent to deprive any parent, guardian or other person having the lawful care or charge of such child of the possession of such child or with intent to steal any article upon or about the person of such child to whomsoever such article may belong; or (b) with any such intent receives or harbours any such child, knowing the same to have been by force or fraud, led, taken, decoyed, enticed away or detained as described in paragraph (a), is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term of seven years.

It is recommended that legislation be enacted to deal with child trafficking and that the upper age limit of the offences under Sections 35(1) and 35(3) of the Offences Against the Persons Act be amended to 18 years to be consistent with ILO Convention No. 182.

Section 16 of the Sexual Offences Act lays down provisions to punish any person who unlawfully takes away or causes to be taken away or detains another person against the will of that other person with intent to marry or to have sexual intercourse with the other person or to cause the person to marry or to have sexual intercourse with any other person.

4.3.3 Debt bondage, serfdom, forced and compulsory labour

According to Section 14(2) of the Constitution, no person shall be required to perform forced labour. Section 34 of the Offences Against the Person Act, states that, “any person who unlawfully compels any person to labour against the will of that person is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a period of six months”.

4.3.4 Compulsory recruitment of children in armed conflict

The Government’s report to the CRC indicates that a person may enlist voluntarily into the armed forces at the minimum age of 18 years; Section 19(2) (Chap. 159) of the Defence Act states that a recruiting officer shall not enlist a person under the age of 18 years in the regular force unless consent to the enlistment has been given in writing by a parent or person in whose care the young person is held. The provisions under the Defence Act seem to permit the recruitment of children below 18 years in the armed forces with their parental consent. This provision is out of line with Caribbean practice and seems to conflict with the Convention.

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