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2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Cook Islands (self-governing state in free association with New Zealand)

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 22 September 2005
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Cook Islands (self-governing state in free association with New Zealand), 22 September 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8ca78c.html [accessed 2 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.

There is limited information regarding the extent and nature of child labor and the quality and provision of education in non-independent countries and territories eligible for GSP, AGOA, and CBTPA benefits. These countries and territories generally are not eligible to become members of the ILO, so ILO Conventions 138 and 182 do not apply to any of them.[4357] Territories are subject to laws of the sovereign country.

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in the Cook Islands are unavailable,[4371] but children are reported to help with family agricultural activities, work as performers on a part-time basis in cultural dance groups, and work in shops.[4372] According to the Education Act, education is compulsory and free for children between the ages of 5 and 15 years.[4373] In 2000, the gross primary enrollment rate was 96 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 85 percent.[4374] 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. Recent primary school attendance statistics are not available for the Cook Islands.

The Industrial and Labor Ordinance of 1964 prohibits the employment of children under the age of 16 between the hours of 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. and on Sundays and holidays. Children under the age of 18 may not work in dangerous occupations, unless they have been trained to handle dangerous machinery. The Labor and Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is responsible for monitoring the implementation of child labor laws.[4375]


[4357] ILO official, electronic communication to USDOL official, January 31, 2002. Most of the areas covered in this summary report are considered by the ILO to be non-metropolitan territories and therefore, are ineligible to become members of the ILO. An ILO member can submit a declaration to the ILO requesting that these conventions apply to their non-metropolitan territories. See Constitution; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/about/iloconst.htm.

[4371] ILO, LABORSTAT.

[4372] U.S. Embassy-Auckland official, electronic communication to USDOL official, October 1, 2001.

[4373] UNESCO, Education for All 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Cook Islands, prepared by Ministry of Education, pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution 52/84, section 1.2; available from http://www2.unesco.org/wef/countryreports/cook_islands/rapport_1.htm. See also U.S. Embassy-Auckland official, electronic communication, October 1, 2001.

[4374] UNESCO, Global Education Database, [online] [cited May 28, 2004]; available from http://qesdb.cdie.org/ged/index.html.

[4375] U.S. Embassy-Auckland official, electronic communication, October 1, 2001.

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