Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2014, 10:56 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Solomon Islands

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 - Solomon Islands, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa48fc.html [accessed 23 April 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 Labor3102
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:12
Compulsory education age:Not compulsory
Free public education:No
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:97
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2003:63
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%):
ILO-IPEC participating country:No

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Anecdotal evidence suggests that children, both boys and girls, are engaged in commercial sexual exploitation in the logging, tourism, and fishing industries near logging camps; fishing ports; and in Honiara, the capital city.3103 Anecdotal evidence also suggests that children work in logging camps as cooks and in other tasks, and are involved in the sale and production of kwaso (homebrewed alcohol).3104

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law prohibits the employment of children under 12 years of age. Children under 12, however, may participate in light agricultural or domestic labor if they are employed by or in the company of their parents.3105 Children under 15 years are prohibited from working in industry or on ships, except on approved training ships. Children between 16 and 18 years are prohibited to work during the night in any industrial undertaking.3106 Children under 16 years are completely prohibited from working in mines; however, male children between 16 and 17 years are allowed to work in mines and on certain types of ships, but must first obtain a medical certificate to do so.3107 In extreme cases, the Commissioner of Labor may provide written permission for a male child of at least 16 years to begin work on a ship without medical clearance, provided that the male child is examined and certified at the first place of call where a medical practitioner is available.3108

Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited, as is the procurement of girls less than 15 years for the purpose of prostitution.3109 There are no armed forces in the Solomon Islands; however, the minimum age for recruitment into the border police force is 18 years.3110 Several general provisions in the penal code could be applied to prosecute acts of trafficking.3111

The Commissioner of Labor is responsible for enforcing child labor laws.3112 However, the Labor Department over which the Commissioner of Labor presides does not have labor officers to investigate reports of child labor violations.3113 The Government devotes few resources to investigating child labor cases.3114

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

The Government of the Solomon Islands has a taskforce against commercial sexual exploitation of children.3115


3102 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 Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute, Laws of Solomon Islands: Labour Act, 1996 (Chapter 73), accessed November 9, 2006; available from http://www.paclii.org. See also U.S. Department of State, "Solomon Islands," 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/2007/100538.htm. See also Ministry of Labor official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 12, 2006.

3103 Rory Callinan, "Sold and Abused," Time 167, no. 13 (March 27, 2006), 8. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Solomon Islands," section 5. See also Solomon Islands Department of Home Affairs official, Interview with USDOL official, June 20, 2006. See also Solomon Islands National Council of Women official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 23, 2006. See also Solomon Islands Port Authority official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 28, 2006. See also UNICEF official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 26, 2006.

3104 Solomon Islands Police official, Interview with USDOL consultant, September 3, 2006. See also Central Magistrate's Court official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 23, 2006. See also Ministry of Labor official, Interview, June 12, 2006. See also Solomon Islands Department of Home Affairs official, Interview, June 20, 2006. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Solomon Islands, accessed February 7, 2007; available from http://www.ecpat.net.

3105 Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute, Laws of Solomon Islands: Labour Act, 1996 (Chapter 73), article 46.

3106 Ibid., article 47.

3107 Ibid., article 48, 49.

3108 Ibid., article 49.

3109 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Solomon Islands," section 6c. See also Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute, Laws of Solomon Islands: Penal Code, 1996 (Chapter 26), accessed April 29, 2008, articles 149-150; available from http://www.paclii.org.

3110 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Solomon Islands," in Child Soldiers Global Report-2004, London, 2004; available from www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=877.

3111 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Solomon Islands," section 5. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Solomon Islands.

3112 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Solomon Islands," section 6d.

3113 Ministry of Labor official, Interview, June 12, 2006.

3114 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Solomon Islands," section 6d.

3115 UNICEF official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, December 07, 2007.

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