Last Updated: Friday, 11 July 2014, 13:14 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Fiji

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 31 August 2007
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Fiji, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d749335a.html [accessed 13 July 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.

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor
Percent of children 5-14 estimated as working:Unavailable
Minimum age for admission to work:151636
Age to which education is compulsory:151637
Free public education:Yes1638*
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2004:106%1639
Net primary enrollment rate in 2004:96%1640
Percent of children 5-14 attending school:Unavailable
As of 2003, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:99%1641
Ratified Convention 138:1/3/20031642
Ratified Convention 182:4/17/20021643
ILO-IPEC participating country:No1644
* Must pay for school supplies and related items.

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children work in agriculture in Fiji, including in the tobacco sector.1645 Children also work in the informal sector, in family businesses, and on the streets. Children shine shoes, repair cars, and work as domestics in homes.1646 Children are sexually exploited through prostitution, pornography, and child sex tourism.1647

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age for work at 15 years.1648 The law states that no child under 12 years shall be employed in any capacity whatsoever and sets guidelines for the employment of "children", defined as 12 to15, and "young persons", defined as 15 to 18. Children may not work more than 6 hours a day, and young persons more than 8 hours a day. Children may not work in any industrial undertaking, and neither children nor young persons may be employed in dangerous working conditions or during the night.1649

The Constitution prohibits forced labor.1650 The law also prohibits the forcible procurement of women and girls into prostitution within and outside the borders of Fiji, as well as the sale, purchase, or hiring of minors less than 16 years for prostitution, illicit sexual intercourse or any unlawful immoral purpose. It also prohibits the production and possession of obscene materials depicting both adults and children. Penalties for those violating these statutes range from 2 to 5 years of imprisonment, with the possibility of corporal punishment.1651 Currently, there is no law on the minimum age of conscription into the military. The minimum age for voluntary military service is 18 years.1652 The law criminalizes trafficking in persons, and violators can be punished with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, as well as fines.1653 The U.S. Department of State has reported that the country's child labor laws and enforcement mechanisms are insufficient because of the lack of a comprehensive child labor policy and of resources to investigate reports of child labor.1654

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

Fiji has a committee with a broad range of members, including the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Women, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Information, the Fiji Police Force, employers' and workers' organizations, the ILO, and UNICEF to focus on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor. The committee aims to develop awareness-raising programs to address child labor issues; it carried out an awareness-raising campaign leading up to the June 2006 World Day Against Child Labor.1655


1636 Government of Fiji, Employment Ordinance, (1978).

1637 U.S. Department of State, "Fiji," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78773.htm.

1638 UN Commission on Human Rights, Rights of the Child: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography; Addendum, Report on the Mission of the Special Rapporteur to the Republic of Fiji on the Issue of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (October 11-16, 1999), E/CN.4/2000/73/Add.3, Geneva, December 27, 1999, 10; available from http://www.hri.ca/fortherecord2000/documentation/commission/e-cn4-2000-73-add3.htm. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Fiji," Section 5.

1639 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, March 1, 2007.

1640 Ibid.

1641 Ibid.

1642 APPLIS, List of Ratifications of International Labour Conventions: Fiji, accessed October 16, 2006; available from http://webfusion.ilo.org/public/db/standards/normes/appl/appl-byCtry.cfm?CTYCHOICE=2080&hdroff=1&lang=EN.

1643 Ibid.

1644 ILO, IPEC Action Against Child Labour: Highlights 2006, Geneva, October 2006, 29; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20061018_Implementationreport_eng.pdf.

1645 Farm Consultancy Services, Child Labour in the Fiji Tobacco Industry, Geneva, September 21, 2004, 2, 17-19; available from http://www.eclt.org/filestore/BAT-%20Fiji.pdf. See also End Child Labor, Child Labor Information Bank: Fiji, [online] n.d. [cited October 16, 2006]; available from http://www.endchildlabor.org/db_infoBank.cfm.

1646 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Fiji," Section 6d. See also End Child Labor, Child Labor Information Bank. See also U.S. Department of State, "Fiji," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2004, Washington, DC, February 28, 2005, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41642.htm.

1647 Save the Children Fiji, The Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of Children in Fiji: A Situational Analysis, 2006, 15-20. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Fiji accessed October 16, 2006; available from www.ecpat.net. See also U.S. Embassy – Suva, reporting, March 2, 2007.

1648 Government of Fiji, Employment Ordinance, Article 2. See also APPLIS, List of Ratifications of International Labour Conventions: Fiji.

1649 Government of Fiji, Employment Ordinance, Articles 59-71. See also Government of Fiji, Employment Amendment Act, No. 6, (June 1996), Article 65.

1650 Government of Fiji, Fiji Constitution, (1988), Section 24.

1651 Government of Fiji, Penal Code, (1978), Sections 157-163, 188.

1652 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Fiji," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, 2004.

1653 ILO NATLEX National Labor Law Database, Immigration Act 2003, No. 17 accessed October 17, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/natlex_browse.details?p_lang=en&p_country=FJI&p_classification=17&p_origi n=SUBJECT. See also U.S. Embassy – Suva, reporting, March 2, 2007.

1654 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Fiji," Section 6d.

1655 Global March Against Child Labour, Plans to Stamp Out Child Labour, [online] May 4, 2006 [cited January 7, 2007]; available from http://www.globalmarch.org/clns/clns-may-2006-details.php3#4-3. See also ILO, Commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labour, June 12, 2004; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/themes/domestic/download/wdacl_fiji_090704.pdf. See also Government of Fiji Committee Set Up to See Eradication of Child Labour, [Press Release] June 30, 2005 [cited October 17, 2006]; available from http://www.fiji.gov.fj/cgi-bin/cms/exec/view.cgi/64/4884.

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