Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September 2014, 13:07 GMT

2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Saint Kitts and Nevis

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 Kitts and Nevis, 29 August 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d74906c.html [accessed 30 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     06/03/2005
Ratified Convention 182     10/12/2000
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 age 15 in Saint Kitts and Nevis are unavailable.4033 However, there are reports that in rural areas children often assist with livestock farming and vegetable production, and some children provide care for family members at the expense of their education.4034 Girls often work as domestic servants or child care providers outside of their homes.4035 In the past it has been reported that children may be involved in pornography, prostitution, and the distribution of drugs, according to the U.S. Department of State.4036

Education is free and compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16 years.4037 In 2002, the gross primary enrollment rate was 112 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 100 percent.4038 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 Kitts and Nevis.4039 As of 1999, 87 percent of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5.4040 Additionally, UNICEF reports that Saint Kitts and Nevis was recognized for having a well-developed pre-school program along with only fourteen other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.4041 In 2005, Saint Kitts and Nevis also ranked 49 out of 177 countries on the United Nations Human Development Report based on its literacy rate and school enrollment ratios.4042

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The 2002 Employment of Children (Restriction) Act and the Employment of Women, Young Persons, and Children Act set the minimum age for employment at 16 years of age.4043 Both acts define a "child" as a person under 16 years of age.4044 The law provides that persons found guilty of breaking child labor laws will be held liable to a fine of approximately USD 600.4045

In 2005, the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis ratified ILO Convention 138, Minimum Age Convention.4046

The worst forms of child labor may be prosecuted under different statutes in Saint Kitts and Nevis. The 2002 Employment of Children (Restriction) Act and the Constitution prohibit slavery, servitude and forced labor.4047 Although a comprehensive anti-trafficking law does not exist in Saint Kitts and Nevis4048 , trafficking can be prosecuted under various provisions of the Penal Code.4049 Additionally, prostitution is illegal in Saint Kitts and Nevis.4050 Procurement of persons by threats, fraud, or administering drugs for prostitution is also illegal.4051 Kidnapping or abduction of a female under the age of 16 for sexual purposes is considered a misdemeanor offense and punishable by up to 2 years of imprisonment.4052 Engaging in sexual relations with a girl under 14 years is considered a felony, and offenders over 16 years can be sentenced to imprisonment for life.4053 Engaging in sexual relations with girls between 14 and 15 years of age is considered a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a prison term of not more than 2 years with or without hard labor. The statute of limitations on these offenses expires one year after the incident.4054 In 2004, the most recent period for which information is available, officials brought charges in 22 cases of alleged sexual activity with minors such as statutory rape and 5 cases of incest.4055 The minimum age for enrollment in the Saint Kitts and Nevis security forces is 18.4056

The Department of Labor of Saint Kitts and Nevis is responsible for enforcing child labor laws.4057 The Ministry has a "child labor inspector" responsible for monitoring the implementation of ILO Convention 182.4058 The government reports that the Probation and Child Welfare Unit in the Ministry of Social Development has an active monitoring system with truancy officers.4059 The government also has a Child Welfare Board consisting of members from the private and public sectors established in support of the 1994 Probation and Child Welfare Board Act.4060 The Board is responsible for monitoring the rights of children, as well as providing care and protection for children.4061 To further protect children, the government established a 10 pm curfew for unaccompanied children under 16 years of age.4062 Vigorous action will reportedly be taken to prosecute adults responsible for these children, or adults who encourage children to partake in late night activities that would violate the curfew.4063

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

The Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis has pledged to place high importance on access to affordable and quality education, teacher training, and regional cooperation to ensure the safe and secure transportation and flow of people as part of the Third Border Initiative Program.4064 The objective of the initiative is to focus funding and assistance on specific programs designed to enhance cooperation between the United States and the Caribbean States in areas such as education and security, and to combat trafficking in persons and drugs.4065

In support of these commitments, the Department of Social and Community Development has implemented a number of education programs that benefit children to assist with community-based training and personal development activities.4066 Such activities include summer camps designed to provide assistance to an estimated 600 children in Saint Kitts and Nevis; after-school programs targeting 30 children between 6-12 years of age and 20 teenagers at all community centers; and school-to-work transition workshops targeting individuals who did not complete school in order to help them enter the workforce.4067 The government's comprehensive social development program provides books, uniforms, meals, and pays examination fees for school children.4068 In 2005, the government also increased the allocation of funds towards post-secondary education to strengthen the Non-Formal Youth Skills Program and Advanced Vocational Education Center to assist children who do not perform well in school.4069

The Department of Gender Affairs assisted the public with unemployment, technical training, childcare, and the Viola Project, an initiative designed to encourage young mothers to complete their education, which had 17 participants in 2004.4070

In 2002, the Ministry of Education acquired funding from the World Bank to make secondary schools more accessible to its citizens through the construction of new schools, improvement of the curriculum and quality of teaching, provision of books and other education materials, fellowships, and other programs targeting disadvantaged youth. This program, expected to end in 2008, will encourage greater parental involvement.4071 In 2005, the Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis reported that the government will upgrade and modernize its education system by continuing to implement the Basic Education Project and the Secondary Education Development Project to include the construction of a new secondary school, and modernizing the management, content and delivery of secondary education.4072


4033 This statistic is not available from the data sources that are used in this report. Please see the "Data Sources and Definitions" section of this report 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.

4034 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2004: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Washington, DC, February 28 2005, Section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41772.htm.

4035 Ibid.

4036 U.S. Embassy – Bridgetown, reporting, September 2001.

4037 Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis, The Education Act, No. 18 of 1975, (July 31, 1975). See also Embassy and Permanent Mission of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Facts and Information About Saint Kitts and Nevis, [online] [cited June 29, 2005]; available from http://www.stkittsnevis.org/facts.html.

4038 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tab1eView.aspx?ReportId=51 (Gross and Net Enrollment Ratios, Primary; accessed December 2005). See also World Bank, http://devdata.worldbank.org/edstats/SummaryEducationProfiles/CountryData/GetShowDat. (Summary Education Profile: Saint Kitts and Nevis; accessed May 6, 2005). For an explanation of gross primary enrollment rates that are greater than 100 percent, please see definition of gross primary enrollment rates in the "Date Sources and Definitions" section of this report.

4039 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.

4040 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://stats.uis.unesco.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=55 (School life expectancy, % of repeaters, survival rates; accessed December 2005).

4041 UNICEF, Progress for Children: A Report Card on Gender Parity and Primary Education, Number 2, New York, April 2005.

4042 United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2005: International Cooperation at a Crossroads: Aid, Trade and Security in an Unequal World, New York, 2005; available from http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2005/pdf/HDR05_HDI.pdf. See also, The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis Will Continue to Protect Child Rights, 2005; available from http://www.cuopm.com/printableview.asp?articlenumber=642.

4043 ILO NATLEX National Labor Law Database, "Saint Kitts and Nevis Elimination of Child Labor, Protection of Children and Young Persons; accessed September 30, 2005," available from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/natlex_browse.details?p_lang=en&p_country=KNA&p_classification=04&p_origin=COUNTRY &p_sortby=SORTBY_COUNTRY.

4044 Ibid.

4045 US Embassy-Regional Labor Attache, email communication to USDOL official, September 22, 2005.

4046 ILO, http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/ratifce.pl?C138 (Ratifications by Country; accessed June 16, 2005).

4047 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Section 5. See also Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis, 1983, Article 6 (1), (2), (June 22, 1983); available from http://www.georgetown.edu/pdba/Constitutions/Kitts/stkittsnevis.html.

4048 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Section 5.

4049 Constitution of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

4050 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Section 5, Section 5.

4051 Criminal Code, Section 2; available from http://209.190.246.239/protectionproject/statutesPDF/St.Kitts&NevisF.pdf.

4052 Ibid., Section 6.

4053 Ibid., Section 3.

4054 Ibid., Section 4.

4055 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Section 5, Section 5.

4056 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Soldiers Global Report (Caribbean), 2004; available from www.childsoldiers.org/regions/country.html?id=180. See also Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis, The Police Act, No. of 2002, (2002); available from http://www.stkittsnevis.net/pdf/policeact.pdf.

4057 U.S. Embassy – Bridgetown, reporting, September 2001. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2003: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Washington, D.C., February 25, 2004; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27917.htm.

4058 CEACR, Direct Request, Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Saint Kitts and Nevis (Ratification: 2000), Geneva, 2004/75th Session 2004; available from http://webfusion.ilo.org.

4059 Ibid.

4060 The Protection Project, http://www.protectionproject.org/report/kitts.doc (2005 Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Saint Kitts and Nevis); accessed June 16, 2005). See also ILO NATLEX National Labor Law Database, "Saint Kitts and Nevis Elimination of Child Labor, Protection of Children and Young Persons; accessed September 30, 2005."

4061 The Protection Project, (2005 Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Saint Kitts and Nevis); accessed June 16, 2005).

4062 Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis, "Tough Measures to Improve Public Safety and Security," The Communication's Unit-Office of the Prime Minister, May 20, 2005; available from http://www.cuopm.com/printableview.asp?articlenumber=355.

4063 Ibid.

4064 Adam Ereli, Joint Statement by the United States of America, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic on the Third Border Initiative, Washington, D.C., January 13 2004; available from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2004/28136.htm.

4065 Ibid.

4066 Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis, 2005 Budget Address by St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, February 22, 2005; available from http://www.stkittsnevis.net/news.html.

4067 Ibid.

4068 Ibid., 2.

4069 Ibid., 18.

4070 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2004: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Section 5.

4071 Project Appraisal Document (OECS) Education Development Program, The World Bank, Washington, D.C., May 15, 2002; available from http://wwwwds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2003/11/11/000012009_20031111091449/Rendered/PDF/241590EB oard.pdf.

4072 Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis, 2005 Budget Address.

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