Last Updated: Monday, 30 May 2016, 14:07 GMT

2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Saint Lucia

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 7 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Saint Lucia, 7 June 2002, available at: [accessed 31 May 2016]
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

In order to ensure access to educational facilities, the government has meal subsidization programs in a number of schools and has a program that includes the building of new schools.[2191] In addition, the UNDP, along with the Caribbean Development Bank, is implementing poverty reduction projects in St. Lucia.[2192]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in St. Lucia are unavailable. Children are reportedly found working alongside family members harvesting bananas and selling food or commercial products on urban sidewalks or at food stalls.[2193] These activities reportedly take place on non-school days and during holidays.[2194]

The Education Act provides for free and compulsory education from the ages of 5 to 15.[2195] Provisions in the Education Act pertaining to the minimum age for employment are intended to serve as the country's primary legislation on child labor.[2196] In 1999, the gross primary enrollment rate was 115.1 percent.[2197] Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for St. Lucia. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.[2198]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

Education Act No. 41 of 1999 sets the minimum age for employment at 16 years during the school year.[2199] The Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Law sets 14 years as the minimum age for employment in industrial work, and night work is prohibited for children under 16 years.[2200] The Constitution prohibits forced labor except when fulfilling a court sentence, serving in the military, working as an alternative when a conscientious. objection to military service exists, or working during a period of public emergency.[2201] The Criminal Code bans the procurement of women for prostitution, as well as the abduction of any female for the purposes of forced sexual relations.[2202]

The Department of Labor of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Home Affairs and Labor enforces all labor laws and regulations through workplace inspections.[2203] St. Lucia has not ratified ILO Convention 138, but it did ratify ILO Convention 182 on December 6, 2000.[2204]

[2191] Schools are built within a 3-mile radius of each other in order to ensure that educational facilities are accessible to all. See U.S. Embassy-Bridgetown, unclassified telegram no. 1792, September 2001 [hereinafter unclassified telegram 1792].

[2192] UNDP, Poverty Strategies Initiative: Latin America and the Caribbean, at on 10/25/01.

[2193] Ibid.

[2194] Unclassified telegram 1792. See also U.S. Embassy-Bridgetown unclassified telegram no. 452, February 1998.

[2195] St. Lucia Education Act [hereinafter St. Lucia Education Act], Article 27, as cited in electronic correspondence from the Commissioner of Labor of St. Lucia to USDOL official, November 29, 2001. See also Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – St. Lucia (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2001) [hereinafter Country Reports 2000] at

[2196] According to an official at the St. Lucia Department of Labor, based on the Education Act 16, years is generally recognized as the minimum age for employment. See St. Lucia Education Act.

[2197] UNESCO, Education for All: Year 2000 Assessment (Paris, 2000) [CD-ROM].

[2198] For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see Introduction to this report.

[2199] St. Lucia Education Act.

[2200] Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act, Chapter 100, Article 3, as cited in electronic correspondence from the Commissioner of Labor of St. Lucia to USDOL official, November 29, 2001.

[2201] Constitution of Saint Lucia, Article 4(2), 1979, at on 10/24/01.

[2202] Criminal Code, Articles 103, 225, as cited in the Protection Project Database at

[2203] Penalties for violations of child labor legislation do not exceed USD 200, and imprisonment does not exceed 3 months. See unclassified telegram 1792.

[2204] ILOLEX database: St. Lucia at on 10/24/01.

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