2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Cook Islands (self-governing state in free association with New Zealand)

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.5132 Territories are subject to laws of the sovereign country.

Statistics on the number of working children under age 15 in the Cook Islands are unavailable.5150 According to the Education Act, education is compulsory and free for children between the ages of 5 and 15 years.5151 Recent primary school enrollment and attendance statistics are not available for the Cook Islands. The Ministry of Education developed a 5-year plan in 2004 that seeks to improve the quality and efficiency of pre-primary through secondary education.5152 A National Youth Policy was launched in 2003.5153

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.5154

5132 ILO official, e-mail 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 ILO, Constitution; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/about/iloconst.htm.

5150 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.

5151 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, e-mail communication, October 1, 2001.

5152 Cook Islands Ministry of Education, Strategic Direction – 5 Year Plan, [online] 2004 [cited September 26, 2005]; available from http://www.education.gov.ck/strategic.htm.

5153 Tangata Vainerere, A Sense of Direction for our Youth, Pacific Islands Business Magazine, [online] April 2004 [cited September 27, 2005]; available from http://www.spc.org.nc/Youth/WebTemp/youth_news.html.

5154 U.S. Embassy – Auckland official, e-mail communication, October 1, 2001.


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