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Review of Child Labour Laws of Barbados

According to Section 53 of the Education Act, the Minister may for the purposes of ascertaining which children of compulsory school age require special educational treatment carry out such investigation as he considers necessary, and after the investigation the Minister may provide for the education of any child requiring special educational treatment.

The Ministry of Education has developed a policy statement for schools on alcohol, tobacco, narcotics and other controlled drugs. This policy includes a set of guidelines for principals particularly where there is suspicion that students on school premises are perhaps carrying or involved with controlled drugs.

Barbados is one of the first Caribbean countries to ensure that pregnant students are allowed to return to school after the birth of their child. Of significance is that they are eligible for financial assistance from the state to ensure that they are not forced to seek employment at the expense of their continuing education.

The Ministry of Social Transformation also assists with poverty eradiation and empowerment of groups at risk in society and the national insurance system provides some limited form of unemployment insurance.

Traditionally these agencies pursued their mandates without coordination within a child labour context. There is now greater cooperation and coordination among them and a new focus on child labour in their approach.

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