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2002 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Saint Kitts and Nevis

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 18 April 2003
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2002 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Saint Kitts and Nevis, 18 April 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d748a937.html [accessed 23 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is working to improve primary education through construction and expansion of school buildings, revision of the primary curriculum, and by funding textbooks and paying school fees for students' external examinations.3069 In 1997, a curriculum Development Unit was established. In 1998, a Teacher Resource Center was established, and primary school children now receive a hot lunch.3070 In 1998, public expenditures on primary education were 36.7 percent of total public expenditures on education and 1.7 percent of GNP.3071

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in St. Kitts and Nevis are unavailable, and limited information is available on the incidence and nature of child labor. Children work in agriculture and domestic service, usually to help their families.3072 There are no reported cases of forced or bonded child labor.3073

Education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16 years.3074 In 1997 to 1998, the gross primary enrollment rate was 97.6 percent, and the net primary enrollment was 88.6 percent.3075 Attendance rates are not available for Saint Kitts and Nevis. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.3076 Primary schools suffer from a high dropout rate and poor reading ability for males, high truancy, lack of relevant learning material, an insufficient number of trained and qualified teachers, and outdated teaching methods.3077

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Constitution prohibits slavery, servitude and forced labor.3078 The Employment of Children Ordinance sets the minimum legal working age at 12 years.3079

The Department of Labor in St. Kitts and Nevis is responsible for investigating child labor complaints.3080 The Labor Ministry relies on school truancy officers and its community affairs division to monitor compliance with child labor provisions.3081 To date, no cases of child labor violations have been brought to the attention of the ministry.3082

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has not ratified ILO Convention 138. It ratified ILO Convention 182 on October 12, 2000.3083


3069 UNESCO, Education for All 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Saint Kitts and Nevis, prepared by Ministry of Education, pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution 52/84, 1999, [cited December 18, 2002]; available from http:/ /www2.unesco.org/wef/countryreports/st.kitts_nevis/contents.html.

3070 Ibid.

3071 Ibid.

3072 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2001: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Washington, D.C., March 4, 2002, 3031-32, Section 6d [cited December 31, 2002]; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/ hrrpt/2001/wha/8258.htm.

3073 Ibid., 3031-32, Section 6c.

3074 Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis, The Education Act of 1976, definition of "compulsory school age," as cited in Labour Officer Le-roy Richards, facsimile communication to USDOL official, November 2001.

3075 UNESCO, EFA Country Report: Saint Kitts and Nevis.

3076 For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see the preface to this report.

3077 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Saint Kitts and Nevis, CRC/C/15/Add.104, Geneva, August 24, 1999, [cited September 4, 2002]; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/b5d52fb968f8571a80256797004a6e81?OpenDocument.

3078 Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis, 1983, Article 6, (June 22, 1983), [cited December 31, 2002]; available
from http://www.georgetown.edu/LatAmerPolitical/Constitutions/Kitts/stkitts-nevis.html.

3079 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Saint Kitts and Nevis, 3031-32, Section 6d.

3080 U.S. Embassy – Bridgetown, unclassified telegram no. 1791, September 2001.

3081 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Saint Kitts and Nevis, 3031-32, Section 6d.3082 U.S. Embassy – Bridgetown, unclassified telegram no. 1791.

3083 ILO, Ratifications by Country, in ILOLEX, [database online] [cited September 3, 2002]; available from http://
www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.

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