Last Updated: Thursday, 21 August 2014, 11:05 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Solomon Islands

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 - Solomon Islands, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d74952c.html [accessed 21 August 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 of work:123765
Age to which education is compulsory:Not compulsory3766
Free public education:Yes3767
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2002:107%3768
Net primary enrollment rate in 2002:72%3769
Percent of children 5-14 attending school:Unavailable
As of 2001, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:80%3770
Ratified Convention 138:No3771
Ratified Convention 182:No3772
ILO-IPEC participating country:No3773

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Anecdotal evidence suggests that children, both boys and girls, are exploited through prostitution in the logging, tourism and fishing industries near logging camps and fishing ports and in Honiara, the capital city.3774 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).3775

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law prohibits the employment of children under 12.3776 Children under 12 may participate in light agricultural or domestic labor if they are employed by or in the company of their parents.3777 Children under 15 are prohibited from working in industry or on ships, except on approved training ships.3778 Children under 16 are completely prohibited from working in mines.3779 Male children between 16 and 17 years are allowed to work in mines, but must first obtain a medical certificate to do so.3780 Children between 16 and 18 are prohibited from working on ships, with some exceptions. Male children between 16 and 18 may be employed on ships that are mainly propelled by means other than steam, provided that the male child is first certified by a medical practitioner.3781 Male children between 16 and 18 may 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.3782 Male children between 16 and 18 are prohibited to work during the night in any industrial undertaking.3783

Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited,3784 as is the procurement of girls less than 18 years for the purpose of prostitution.3785 There are no armed forces in the Solomon Islands; however, the minimum age for recruitment into the border police force is 18.3786 There are no laws that specifically ban trafficking, but there are several general provisions in the penal code that may be used to prosecute acts of trafficking.3787

The Commissioner of Labor is responsible for enforcing child labor laws;3788 however, the Labor Department, over which the Commissioner of Labor presides, does not have labor officers to investigate reports of child labor violations or to enforce the law.3789 According to the U.S. Department of State, the government devotes few resources to investigating child labor cases.3790

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

In coordination with the Government of the Solomon Islands, UNICEF is planning activities to address the problem of commercial sexual exploitation of children.3791


3765 Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute, Laws of Solomon Islands, Labour Act, Chapter 73, [online] [cited November 9, 2006], Section 5; available from http://www.paclii.org/sb/legis/consol_act/la84. See also U.S. Department of State, "Solomon Islands," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Washington, DC, March 8, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61627.htm.

3766 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2005: Solomon Islands," Section 5.

3767 Ibid.

3768 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross and Net Enrolment Ratios, Primary, accessed December 2005; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=51.

3769 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross and Net Enrolment Ratios, Primary; accessed December 2005; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=51.

3770 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, School life expectancy, % of repeaters, survival rates; accessed December 2005; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=55.

3771 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed November 9, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.

3772 Ibid.

3773 ILO, IPEC Action Against Child Labour: Highlights 2006, [online] [cited October 29, 2006]; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20061019_Implementationreport_eng_Web.pdf.

3774 Rory Callinan, "Sold and Abused," Time, March 27, 2006. See also Department of Home Affairs official, Interview with USDOL, 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. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Solomon Islands, accessed November 9, 2006; available from http://www.ecpat.net/eng/Ecpat_inter/projects/monitoring/online_database/Countries.asp?arrCountryID=15 8&CountryProfile=facts,affiliation,humanrights&CSEC=Overview,Prostitution,Pronography,trafficking&Implem ent=Coordination_cooperation,Prevention,Protection,Recovery,ChildParticipation&Nationalplans=National_plan s_of_action&orgWorkCSEC=orgWorkCSEC&DisplayBy=optDisplayCategory&GetcategoryName=Overview.

3775 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 Labor Department official, Interview with USDOL consultant, June 12, 2006. See also Department of Home Affairs official, Interview, June 20, 2006.

3776 Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute, Labor Act, Article 46.

3777 Ibid.

3778 Ibid., Article 47.

3779 Ibid., Article 48.

3780 Ibid., Article 49.

3781 Ibid.

3782 Ibid.

3783 Ibid.

3784 U.S. Department of State, "Solomon Islands," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78791.htm.

3785 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2005: Solomon Islands," Section 5. See also, Constitution of the Solomon Islands, 1978, Article 6; available from http://www.vanuatu.usp.ac.fj/paclawmat/Solomon_Islands_legislation/Solomons_Constitution.html [hard copy on file].

3786 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Soldiers Global Report, Solomon Islands, London 2004; available from www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=877.

3787 ECPAT International CSEC Database, Solomon Islands.

3788 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2005: Solomon Islands," Section 5.

3789 Labor Department official, Interview, June 12, 2006.

3790 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2005: Solomon Islands," Section 6d.

3791 UNICEF official, Interview, June 26, 2006.

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