Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 12:56 GMT

2002 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tuvalu

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 18 April 2003
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2002 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Tuvalu, 18 April 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d748c92f.html [accessed 18 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 Tuvalu began a review of national education policy in 2002 in order to address concerns regarding the quality of education in the country.3666 The government currently receives assistance from UNDP and UNICEF for a variety of national and regional programs that benefit children.3667 UNDP provides technical assistance to strengthen the capacities of local governments in Tuvalu and implements regional basic education, non-formal education, and poverty strategy initiatives in the Pacific.3668 UNICEF's programs specifically address children's health, youth development, and education.3669 The Governments of Australia and New Zealand provide funds for education-related projects and activities.3670 The Government of Australia supported a five-year project to improve the management and administration of the education system at the primary and secondary levels.3671

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in Tuvalu are unavailable. Reportedly, children are rarely employed in non-traditional sectors of the economy.3672

Under Tuvalu's Education for Life Program,3673 education is free and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 15 years.3674 In 1998, the gross and net primary enrollment rates were both 100 percent.3675 Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for Tuvalu. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.3676

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

Tuvalese law sets the minimum age of employment at 14 years, and a child must be 18 years old to sign a formal work contract.3677 The law prohibits industrial labor or work on ships by children less than 15 years of age.3678 In addition, the Constitution and the Penal Code prohibit forced labor.3679 The Penal Code criminalizes the procurement of a child less than 18 years of age for prostitution. While the law does not specifically address trafficking in children, the kidnapping or abducting of children is prohibited under the Penal Code.3680

The Government of Tuvalu is not a member of the ILO, and as such has not ratified ILO Convention 138 or ILO Convention 182.3681


3666 Dr. Alesana K. Seluka, Minister of Education and Sports and Minister of Health, statement at the UN General Assembly Special Session on Children, New York: May 10, 2002, [cited August 15, 2002]; available from http://www.un.org/ga/children/tuvaluE.htm. See also Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tuvalu: United Nations Development Assistance Framework, United Nations, Suva, Fiji, May 2002, 9 [cited August 25, 2002]; available from http://www.undp.org.fj/documents/UNDAF_TUVALU%20May%202002.doc.

3667 United Nations Development Programme, Program Info: Tuvalu, [online] [cited November 8, 2002]; available from http://www.undp.org.fj/tuv/tuvaluprog.htm. See also UNICEF, UNICEF's Programme of Assistance to Pacific Island Countries, [online] [cited August 30, 2002]; available from http://www.undp.org.fj/un/UNICEF/UNICEF_PIC.htm.

3668 Youth at the United Nations, Country Profiles on the Situation of Youth: Tuvalu, [online] [cited August 30, 2002]; available from http://esa.un.org/socdev/unyin/countrya.asp?countrycode=tv. See also United Nations Development Programme, Program Info: Tuvalu.

3669 UNICEF, UNICEF's Program of Assistance.

3670 Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tuvalu: UN Development Assistance Framework, Annex 3.

3671 Australian Agency for International Development, Country Brief Tuvalu, AusAID.gov, [online] [cited September 5, 2002]; available from http://www.ausaid.gov.au/country/ cbrief.cfm?DCon=5241_4447_7119_7336_4068&CountryId=22.

3672 According to U.S. Department of State Pacific Desk Officer, "traditional economy" refers to informal work that takes place in the home or on a family farm. See U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2001: Tuvalu, Washington, D.C., March 4, 2002, 1206, Section 6d [cited August 2, 2002]; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2001/eap/8381.htm.

3673 Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tuvalu: UN Development Assistance Framework, 9.

3674 UNESCO, Pacific Subregion Statistical Indicators, [cited August 29, 2002]; available from http://www.unesco.org/ focus/statpacedu.html. See also UNESCO, Education for All 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Tuvalu, prepared by Department of Education, pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution 52/84, 2000, Section 6.2 [cited November 6, 2002]; available from http://www2.unesco.org/wef/countryreports/tuvalu/contents.html.

3675 UNESCO, Education for All: Year 2000 Assessment [CD-ROM], Paris, 2000.

3676 For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see the preface to this report.

3677 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2001: Tuvalu, 1206, Section 6d.

3678 Ibid.

3679 Constitution of Tuvalu, Article 17, (1978), [cited August 15, 2002]; available from http://vanuatu.usp.ac.fj/ paclawmat/Tuvalu_legislation/Tuvalu_Constitution.html. See also Government of Tuvalu, Penal Code, (1978), Article 249 [cited August 15, 2002]; available from http://vanuatu.usp.ac.fj/Paclawmat/Tuvalu_legislation/Consolidation_1978/ Tuvalu_Penal_Code.html.

3680 Penal Code, Articles 136, 241, 42, 46, and 47.

3681 ILO, Ratifications by Country, in ILOLEX, [database online] [cited August 29, 2002]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.

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