Last Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014, 13:55 GMT

2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Saint Lucia

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 29 August 2006
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Saint Lucia, 29 August 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d749064b.html [accessed 19 September 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 Child Labor Measures Adopted by Governments
Ratified Convention 138 
Ratified Convention 182     12/06/2000
ILO-IPEC Member 
National Plan for Children 
National Child Labor Action Plan 
Sector Action Plan 

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in Saint Lucia are unavailable.4073 Some school age children work in rural areas and in some cases have helped to harvest bananas on family farms.4074 Children work in urban food stalls and as street traders during non-school and festival days.4075 Children have also become involved in commercial sexual exploitation in order to pay for basic needs, such as school fees and food.4076

Child labor is one of many problems associated with poverty. In 1995, the most recent year for which data are available, 25.4 percent of the population in Saint Lucia were living on less than USD 1 a day.4077

Education in Saint Lucia is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 15 years.4078 In 2002, the gross primary enrollment rate was 112 percent and the net primary enrollment rate was 99 percent.4079 Gross and net enrollment ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and therefore do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance. Primary school attendance statistics are not available for Saint Lucia.4080 As of 2000, 97 percent of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5.4081

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The worst forms of child labor may be prosecuted under different statutes in Saint Lucia. The Employment of Women, Young Persons, and Children Law sets 16 years as the minimum age for employment.4082 It also establishes 18 years as the minimum age for work in industrial settings.4083 The Education Act of 1999 also sets the minimum age for employment at 16 years during the school year.4084 Hazardous work is not defined in a single law, but is covered through a combination of legislation and regulations.4085 The penalties for violation of child labor laws do not exceed USD 200, or 3 months of imprisonment.4086 The Constitution prohibits slavery, servitude, or forced labor, except for labor required by law, court order, military service, or public emergency.4087 The Criminal Code bans the procurement of women and girls for prostitution, as well as the abduction of any female for the purpose of forced sexual relations.4088 Procurement is punishable with imprisonment for up to 2 years and abduction for the purpose of sexual relations is punishable with imprisonment for up to 14 years.4089 Information on trafficking in persons is unavailable for Saint Lucia4090 and there are currently no laws that specifically address trafficking in persons.4091

The Department of Labor of the Ministry of Labor Relations, Public Service, and Cooperatives is responsible for implementing statutes on child labor. There were no reports of violations of child labor laws in 2004, the most recent year such information is available; however there are reports that internal trafficking of minors is becoming a problem.4092

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

The Government of Saint Lucia has given high priority to bettering educational opportunities for its children and supports programs such as subsidized meals in a number of schools and the building of new schools.4093 The Caribbean Development Bank approved a loan to the Government of Saint Lucia in March 2003, a portion of which is for the rehabilitation of eleven primary schools and the provision of equipment to renovate the schools.4094

In 2002, the Ministry of Education acquired funding from the World Bank to make secondary schools more accessible to a larger proportion of the population. The funding provides for the construction of additional schools, improvement of the curriculum and quality of teaching, provision of education materials and equipment, funding of fellowships, and other programs targeting disadvantaged youth.

This program, expected to end in 2008, will encourage greater parental involvement in the education of their children.4095

In 2004, the World Bank, in partnership with CARICOM and other international donor organizations, launched a regional HIV/AIDS prevention project in Saint Lucia. It will provide psychosocial and basic material support to orphans and increase access to HIV/AIDS prevention and services for in and out of school youth, groups that are vulnerable to the worst forms for child labor. The first phase of this project is expected to end in 2007.4096


4073 This statistic is not available from the data sources that are used in this report. Please see the "Data Sources and Definitions" section for information about sources used. Reliable data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms, such as the use of children in the illegal drug trade, prostitution, pornography, and trafficking. As a result, statistics and information on children's work in general are reported in this section. Such statistics and information may or may not include the worst forms of child labor. For more information on the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the "Data Sources and Definitions" section of this report.

4074 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2004: St. Lucia, Washington, D.C., February 28 2005, 6c; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41773.htm. See also U.S. Embassy – Bridgetown official, email communication to USDOL official, 2005.

4075 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: St. Lucia, 6c.

4076 Felicia Robinson, Director of Human Services and Family Services, Ministry of Health, Human Services and Family Affairs and Gender Relations, Saint Lucia Report to the Regional Congress, Ministry of Health, Human Services and Family Affairs and Gender Relations, 2001; available from http://www.iin.oea.org/ST_LUCIA_ing.PDF.

4077 World Bank, World Development Indicators 2005 [CD-ROM], Washington, DC, 2005.

4078 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: St. Lucia, 5. See also Education Act of Saint Lucia, No. 41 of 1999, Article 27; available from http://www.education.gov.lc/pdffiles/EducationAct.pdf.

4079 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=51 (Gross and Net Enrollment Ratios, Primary; accessed December 2005). For an explanation of gross primary enrollment rates that are greater than 100 percent, please see the definition of gross primary enrollment rates in the "Data Sources and Definitions" section of this report.

4080 This statistic is not available from the data sources that are used in this report. Please see the "Data Sources and Definitions" section for information about sources used.

4081 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=55 (School life expectancy, % of repeaters, survival rates; accessed December 2005).

4082 In 2004, the minimum age for employment increased from 14 to 16 years. U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: St. Lucia, Section 6d.

4083 Government of Saint Lucia, Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act, 136. See also Government of St. Lucia, Child Labour, information submitted in response to U.S. government inquiry, Castries, October 12, 2004.

4084 Education Act, Article 47.

4085 ILO, Review of Annual Reports under the Follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, GB.283/3/1, Geneva, March 2002, para. 121.

4086 U.S. Embassy – Bridgetown, unclassified telegram no. 1792, September 2001.

4087 Constitution of Saint Lucia, 1978, (February 22, 1979), Section 4; available from http://www.georgetown.edu/pdba/Constitutions/Lucia/Luc78.html.

4088 The Protection Project, Saint Lucia, Washington, DC, March, 2002, Articles 103 and 225; available from http://www.protectionproject.org/main1.htm [no longer available online, hard copy on file].

4089 Ibid., Articles 225 and 106.

4090 Ibid. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: St. Lucia, Section 5.

4091 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: St. Lucia, Section 5.

4092 Ibid.

4093 Ibid, U.S. Embassy – Bridgetown, unclassified telegram no. 1792.

4094 Caribbean Development Bank, Economic Reconstruction Programme – Rehabilitation of Primary Schools and Health Centres in St. Lucia, press release, Caribbean Development Bank, March 6, 2003; available from www.caribank.org.

4095 The World Bank, Project Appraisal Document for Proposed Loans and Credit in the Amount of US$5.0 Million to St. Kitts and Nevis and $6.0 Million and SDR 4.8 Million to St. Lucia, D.C., Washington, May 15, 2002; available from http://wwwwds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2003/11/11/000012009_20031111091449/Rendered/PDF/241590EB oard.pdf.

4096 The World Bank, Project Appraisal Document on a Proposed Loan in the Amount of US$3.2 Million and Proposed Credit in the Amount of SDR1.15 Million and Proposed Grant in the Amount of SDR1.15 Million to Saint Lucia, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., June 1, 2004; available from http://wwwwds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2004/06/17/000012009_20040617132504/Rendered/PDF/291290SL. pdf. See also World Bank, Project Appraisal Document on a Proposed IDA Grant in the Amount of SDR 6.1 Million Equivalent to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for The Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS Project, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., March 4, 2004; available from http://wwwwds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2004/03/09/000160016_20040309103136/Rendered/PDF/272670LC R.pdf.

Search Refworld

Countries