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Cocos (Keeling) Islands


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2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

For the 2012 reporting period, no assessment has been made regarding the Cocos (Keeling) Islands’ efforts to advance the elimination of the worst forms of child labor because there is no evidence of a worst forms of child labor problem and the country has a good legal and enforcement framework on child labor.

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Learn More: Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor | Previous Reports:



Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of the Worst Forms of Child Labor

There is no evidence that children on Cocos (Keeling) Islands are engaged in the worst forms of child labor.(1)



Laws and Regulations on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are subject to the child labor laws of the state of Western Australia.(1)The Western Australia Children and Community Services Act 2004 prohibits the employment of children younger than age 15 in a business, trade, or for-profit occupation.(2)The Department of Child Protection can issue an order to stop a child from working if there is a risk of harm.(1, 3)No information was found on whether any laws define hazardous work or establish a minimum age for it.

Child prostitution is prohibited under the Western Australia Prostitution Act of 2000.(1, 3, 4)Both the Western Australia Children and Community Services Act and the federally enacted Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 of Australia proscribe the possession, production, and distribution of child pornography.(2, 5, 6)The Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 of Australia also criminalizes all forms of slavery, forced labor, the use of children for illicit activities, and trafficking in children.(5)

Defense of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is the responsibility of the Australian Defense Force, which has a voluntary recruitment age of 17 and a minimum combat age of 18.(7-9)

Public education is free on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The Western Australia School Education Act makes education compulsory until age 17.(1, 10-12)



Institutional Mechanisms for Coordination and Enforcement

As there is no evidence of a problem, there appears to be no need for a coordinating mechanism to address the worst forms of child labor.

The Australian Federal Police, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and the Department of Regional Australia enforce criminal laws related to the worst forms of child labor.(3, 12)

The Australian Federal Police is responsible for investigating the commercial sexual exploitation of children, including pornography.(1, 3)

The Australian Federal Police has jurisdiction in trafficking matters and its Human Trafficking Teams investigate human trafficking for the purpose of transnational sexual and labor exploitation.(1, 6)The Australian Federal Police Child Protection Operations Team performs an investigative and coordination role for multijurisdictional and online child sex exploitation issues.(1, 3, 6)



Government Policies on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

As there is no evidence of a problem, there appears to be no need for policies to address the worst forms of child labor.



Social Programs to Eliminate or Prevent the Worst Forms of Child Labor

As there is no evidence of a problem, there appears to be no need for programs to address the worst forms of child labor.



1. U.S. Embassy- Canberra. reporting, January 31, 2013.

2. Government of Western Australia. Children and Community Services Act 2004, enacted October 20, 2004. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/consol_act/cacsa2004318/.

3. U.S. Embassy- Canberra. reporting, January 19, 2012.

4. Government of Western Australia. Prostitution Act 2000, enacted July 29, 2000. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/consol_act/pa2000205/.

5. Government of Western Australia. The Criminal Code Act 1995, enacted 1995. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cca1995115/sch1.html.

6. Government of Australia. Initial Report under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. Canberra; December 2008. http://www.ncylc.org.au/Croc/First+Australian+Report+under+OPCRC(SC)+-+Proofread+Version+-+May+2009.pdf.

7. Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. "Australia," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2008. London; 2008; http://www.childsoldiersglobalreport.org/files/country_pdfs/FINAL_2008_Global_Report.pdf.

8. Government of Australia. Canberra Act 2600, Amendment No 2, enacted April 22, 2008. [source on file].

9. Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook: Cocos (Keeling) Islands; accessed 2012; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ck.html.

10. U.S. Embassy- Canberra official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 31, 2011.

11. Government of Western Australia. School Education Act 1999, enacted January 1, 2001. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/consol_act/sea1999170/.

12. U.S. Embassy- Canberra. reporting, February 11, 2011.