Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 July 2014, 14:56 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Fiji

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 27 August 2008
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Fiji, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa470c.html [accessed 23 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 Labor1287
Working children, 5-14 years (%):
Working boys, 5-14 years (%):
Working girls, 5-14 years (%):
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:15
Compulsory education age:15
Free public education:Yes*
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:103
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:94
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2003:99
ILO-IPEC participating country:No
* Must pay for miscellaneous school expenses

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children work in agriculture in Fiji, including on tobacco and sugar farms.1288 Children also work in the informal sector, in family businesses, and on the streets, selling snacks, shining shoes and delivering goods.1289 There is exploitation of children through prostitution, pornography, and sex tourism.1290 Children are also trafficked within Fiji for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.1291 Urban migration, poverty, homelessness, and living away from parents have all increased a child's chance of being sexually exploited.1292

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age for work at 15 years.1293 The law states that no child under 12 years shall be employed except in family owned businesses and agricultural undertakings. The law also sets guidelines for the employment of "children" defined as 12 to 14 years, and "young persons," defined as 15 to 17 years. Children may not work more than 6 hours a day, and young persons more than 8 hours a day.1294 Children may not work in any industrial undertaking, and neither children nor young persons may be employed in dangerous working conditions or at night.1295

The Constitution prohibits forced labor.1296 The law also prohibits the 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.1297 Currently, there is no law on the minimum age of conscription into the military. The minimum age for voluntary military service is 18 years.1298 The law criminalizes trafficking in persons for both labor and sexual exploitation, and violators can be punished with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, as well as fines.1299 USDOS has reported that the country's child labor laws and enforcement mechanisms are insufficient due to the lack of a comprehensive child labor policy and of resources to investigate reports of child labor.1300

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, employer and worker organizations, the ILO, and UNICEF, that focus on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor.1301 Fiji is also one of several countries in Asia and the Pacific participating in a campaign by MTV Europe to raise awareness on human trafficking.1302


1287 For statistical data not cited here, see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILO-IPEC membership, see the Executive Summary. For minimum age for admission to work, age to which education is compulsory, and free public education, see Government of Fiji, Employment Ordinance, (1978). See also U.S. Department of State, "Fiji," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2007, Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100520.htm. See also U.S. Embassy – Suva, reporting, December 9, 2007.

1288 Farm Consultancy, Child Labour in the Fiji Tobacco Industry, 2004, 2, 17-18; available from http://www.eclt.org/filestore/BAT-%20Fiji.pdf. See also IIECL Database, Child Labor Information Bank: Fiji, [online] [cited May 20, 2008]; available from http://www.endchildlabor.org/db_infoBank.cfm. See also U.S. Embassy Suva Official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, July 14, 2008.

1289 U.S. Department of State, "Fiji," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2007, Washington, DC, 2008, section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100520.htm. See also IIECL Database, Child Labor Information Bank: Fiji. See also U.S. Embassy – Suva, reporting, December 9, 2007. See also U.S. Embassy Suva Official, E-mail communication, July 14, 2008.

1290 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 November 21, 2007; available from www.ecpat.net. See also U.S. Embassy – Suva, reporting, March 2, 2007. See also U.S. Department of State, "Fiji (Tier 2 Watch List)," in Trafficking in Persons Report-2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/82805.htm.

1291 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Fiji."

1292 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Fiji." See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Fiji

1293 Government of Fiji, Employment Ordinance, article 2. See also APPLIS, List of Ratifications of International Labour Conventions: Fiji, [online] [cited March 11, 2008]; available from webfusion.ilo.org/public/db/standards/normes/appl/appl-byCtry.cfm?CTYCHOICE=2080&hdroff=1&lang=EN.

1294 Government of Fiji, Employment Ordinance, articles 59-71.

1295 Ibid., Articles 59-71. See also Government of Fiji, Employment Amendment Act, No. 6, (June 1996), article 65.

1296 Government of Fiji, Fiji Constitution, (1988), section 24.

1297 Government of Fiji, Penal Code, (1978), sections 157-163, 188.

1298 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Fiji," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004. See also CIA, The World Factbook, [online] March 6, 2008 [cited March 11, 2008]; available from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2024.html.

1299 Government of Fiji, Immigration Act, (2003), section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Suva, reporting, March 2, 2007.

1300 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Fiji," section 6d. See also U.S. Embassy – Suva, reporting, December 9, 2007.

1301 Global March Against Child Labour, Plans to Stamp Out Child Labour, [online] May 4, 2006 [cited May 20, 2008]; available from http://www.globalmarch.org/clns/clns-may-2006-details.php3. 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]; available from http://www.fiji.gov.fj/cgi-bin/cms/exec/view.cgi/64/4884. See also U.S. Embassy – Suva, reporting, December 9, 2007.

1302 U.S. Embassy – Bangkok, reporting, June 27, 2007.

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