2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Seychelles

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

The Government of Seychelles has established inter-sectoral mechanisms to ensure effective collaborative action on child welfare issues. The National Commission for Child Protection is responsible for overall policy-making on child protection, and the National Council for Children plays a key role in advocating and protecting the interests of children.[2275] In 1995, the government created an institutional framework for aiding children.[2276] In June 1998, the National Assembly established an 18-member family tribunal to hear and determine all matters relating to the care, custody, access, and maintenance of children.[2277]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in Seychelles are unavailable, and information is not available on the incidence and nature of child labor.

The Education Act provides for free and compulsory education through the secondary level until age 18.[2278] Education is compulsory for 10 years, from 6 to 16 years of age.[2279] In 1999, the gross primary enrollment rate was 100.8 percent and the net primary enrollment rate was 99.9 percent.[2280] Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for Seychelles. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school.[2281] It is a punishable offense to allow children to be truant or to keep children out of school.[2282] Girls, however, are not allowed to attend school when they are pregnant, and many girls do not return to school after giving birth.[2283]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Constitution sets the minimum age for work at 15. Children under the age of 15 may perform light work on a part-time basis as long as it is not detrimental to their health, morals, or education.[2284] The Constitution also provides for a higher minimum age of employment for occupations that are dangerous, unhealthy, or likely to impair the normal development of a child.[2285] Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited under the Constitution.[2286]

The Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs is responsible for enforcing child labor laws through inspections and investigating abuses of child labor.[2287] Seychelles ratified ILO Convention 138 on March 7, 2000, and was the first country to ratify ILO Convention 182 on September 28, 1999.[2288]

[2275] Government of Seychelles, Ministry of Social Affairs and Manpower Development, "Seychelles: Putting Children First," African Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety, vol. 10, no. 2 (August), 2000 [hereinafter "Putting Children First"].

[2276] Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Seychelles (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2001) [hereinafter Country Reports 2000], Section 5, at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/af/750.htm.

[2277] Ibid.

[2278] "Putting Children First." See also Country Reports 2000 at 5.

[2279] UNESCO, Institute for Statistics, "National Education Systems," at http://unescostat.unesco.org/en/stats/stats0.htm.

[2280] UNESCO, Education for All: Year 2000 Assessment (Paris, 2000) [CD-ROM].

[2281] For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see Introduction to this report.

[2282] "Putting Children First."

[2283] Country Reports 2000 at 5.

[2284] Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles, Chapter 3, Article 31(a).

[2285] Ibid.

[2286] Ibid.

[2287] Country Reports 2000 at 6d.

[2288] ILO, ILOLEX database, International Labour Standards, at http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/english/index.htm on 11/29/01.


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