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Review of Child Labour Laws of Barbados

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      the sex of child workers, their age, occupation, branch of economic activity, status in employment, school attendance and geographic location;

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        violations of national provisions for the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour; and

  • ensuring that NGOs, trade unions, religious institutions, charitable organizations and other concerned groups play a role in the investigation of child labour.

Review In Barbados, there is no legislation mandating a systemic review of the national child labour situation. The lack of legislation is generally not an impediment to the review of child labour situation. Policy or administrative arrangements could be made even in the absence of legislation for such a review. However in Barbados there has been no systematic review. In fact, the recent Annual Reports of the Labour Department seen by the author made no reference to child labour in terms of investigation, inspections or policy development.

It is recommended that consideration be given to amending the Labour Department Act to provide for a legal duty on the part of the Chief Labour Officer to have systemic reviews of the child labour situation in Barbados.

Inspection Once the existence of child labour is established, compliance with minimum age legislation should be actively pursued. Inspection services normally carry out this function, and a legal mandate is important to ensure that their work is bolstered by the necessary authority and carried out equitably. In providing for such a mandate, the legislation could:

  • establish a framework for the operation of labour inspection setting out certain necessary entitlements, including training to detect abuses in the employment of children and young persons and to correct such abuses, adequate transportation in order to inspect rural areas, etc;

  • ensure that labour inspection services have the power to secure the enforcement of legal provisions relating to the employment of children and young persons;

  • ensure that the mandate of the labour inspection services extends to all workplaces where child labour actually exists;

  • establish the role of inspectors in supplying information and advice on effective means of complying with child labour provisions and securing their enforcement;

  • mandate a gender balance within the labour inspection services;

  • ensure that labour administration services (including labour inspection services) work in close cooperation with the services responsible for the education, training, welfare and guidance of children and young persons;

  • provide that the labour inspection services have a duty to respond to alleged violations reported by trade unions or any other public organizations which, in the discharge of their functions, are liable to obtain critical information on violations of the provisions relating to child labour.

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