Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September 2014, 13:37 GMT

2003 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 April 2004
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Saint Lucia, 29 April 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8ca30b.html [accessed 16 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.

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

The Government of St. 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 building new schools.[3768] From 1995 to 2000, the government undertook a Basic Education Reform Project with support from the World Bank to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the education system, and enhance access to educational opportunities.[3769]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in Saint Lucia are unavailable. Children are found working in rural areas, where they help harvest bananas on family farms. Children also work in urban food stalls and as street traders during non-school and festival days.[3770] The sexual exploitation of children is a growing problem in Saint Lucia, but there is still very little information available on the issue.[3771]

Education in St. Lucia is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 15 years, but registration fees are required.[3772] In 2000, the World Bank estimated that the gross primary school enrollment rate was 112.4 percent, and the net primary school enrollment was 99.9 percent.[3773] Attendance rates are not available for Saint Lucia. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.[3774] Only about one-third of primary school children continue on to secondary school.[3775]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Law sets 14 years as the minimum age for employment, 18 years in industrial settings,[3776] and prohibits night work for children under 16 years.[3777] The Education Act of 1999 sets the minimum age for employment at 16 years during the school year.[3778] The Constitution prohibits slavery, servitude, or forced labor, except for labor required by law, court order, military service, or pubic emergency.[3779] 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.[3780] Procurement is punishable with imprisonment for 2 years, and abduction for the purpose of sexual relations is punishable with imprisonment for 14 years.[3781] There are no laws that specifically address trafficking in persons.[3782] Hazardous work is not defined in a single law, but is covered through a combination of legislation and regulations.[3783] The penalties for violation of child labor laws do not exceed USD 200 or 3 months imprisonment.[3784]

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, or of trafficking in persons in 2001.[3785]

St. Lucia has not ratified ILO Convention 138, but ratified ILO Convention 182 on December 6, 2000.[3786]


[3768] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2002: Saint Lucia, Washington, D.C., March 31, 2003, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/19170.htm. See also U.S. Embassy-Bridgetown, unclassified telegram no. 1792, September 2001.

[3769] World Bank, Basic Education Reform Project, [online], Washington, D.C.; available from http://web.worldbank.org/external/projects/main?pagePK=104231&piPK=73230&theSitePK=40941&menuPK=228424&Projectid=P038698.

[3770] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Saint Lucia, Section 6d.

[3771] Felicia Robinson, Saint Lucia Report to the Regional Congress, Ministry of Health, Human Services and Family Affairs and Gender Relations; available from http://www.iin.oea.org/ST_LUCIA_ing.PDF.

[3772] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Saint Lucia, Section 5.

[3773] World Bank, World Development Indicators 2003, [CD-ROM], Washington, D.C., 2003.

[3774] For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see the preface to this report.

[3775] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Saint Lucia, Section 5.

[3776] The government recognizes that the age for the end of compulsory schooling does not correspond with the minimum age for employment, and has drafted a revision to the Labor Code to address this by increasing the minimum age for employment to 16 years. See Ibid., Section 6d. ILO reports that the government has drafted legislation to increase the minimum age of employment to 15 years. See 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, 25, para. 120.

[3777] Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act, 136.

[3778] Government of Saint Lucia, Education Act, Articles 27 and 47.

[3779] Constitution of Saint Lucia, 1978, (February 22, 1979), Section 4; available from http://www.georgetown.edu/pdba/Constitutions/Lucia/Luc78.html.

[3780] Criminal Code, as cited in The Protection Project Legal Library, [database online], Articles 103 and 225; available from http://209.190.246.239/protectionproject/statutesPDF/St.Lucia.pdf.

[3781] Ibid., Articles 225 and 106.

[3782] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Saint Lucia, Section 6f.

[3783] ILO, Review of Annual Reports, 25, para. 121.

[3784] U.S. Embassy-Bridgetown, unclassified telegram no. 1792.

[3785] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Saint Lucia, Sections 6d and 6f.

[3786] ILO, Ratifications by Country, in ILOLEX, [database online] [cited June 16, 2003]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.

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