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Norfolk Island


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2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

In 2012, Norfolk Island made a minimal advancement in efforts to prevent the worst forms of child labor. While there is no evidence of a problem, the Government lacks a complete preventive legal framework. Legislation fails to prescribe a minimum age for employment, prohibit hazardous work for children, and fully protect minors under 18 from exploitation in prostitution. However, in November 2012, the Government of Norfolk Island, through the Legal Service Unit, began preparing legislative amendments to address these gaps.

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Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of the Worst Forms of Child Labor

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



Laws and Regulations on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

There is no minimum age for employment on Norfolk Island. Children younger than age 15, however, are subject to limitations under the Norfolk Island Employment Act of 1988.(1, 2)Children younger than age 15 may not work more than 20 hours a week, at night, or during school hours.(3)Parental consent and written agreement is required to employ persons younger than age 18.(3)Information is limited, but it does not appear that Norfolk Island has restrictions on hazardous child labor. However, employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment and, without any charge to their employees, the required safety equipment and clothing.(2)No information was found on whether the Government has developed a list of hazardous occupations prohibited to children.

Australia’s CommonwealthCriminal Code Act 1995, which applies to Norfolk Island, criminalizes all forms of slavery and forced labor, trafficking in children, forced prostitution, and child pornography. The Norfolk Island Criminal Code Act 2007 prohibits sexual servitude, child pornography, and the provision of a controlled substance to children for sale or distribution.(3, 4)The Criminal Law Amendment Act 1993 makes it illegal to employ a person younger than age 16 for the purposes of prostitution.(3)Therefore, the law fails to fully protect children ages 16 to 18 from prostitution.

Defense of Norfolk Island is the responsibility of the Australian Defense Force, which has a voluntary recruitment age of 17 and a minimum combat age of 18.(5-7)

Public education is free.(8)The Norfolk Island Education Act makes education compulsory through age 15.(1, 2)

In November 2012, the Government of Norfolk Island, through the Legal Service Unit, began preparing legislative amendments to address gaps in its legal framework to enhance protections for children vulnerable to exploitative labor.(1, 9)Research does not indicate that such amendments have been passed or implemented.



Institutional Mechanisms for Coordination and Enforcement

Since 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.

Employment inspectors and child welfare officers, in accordance with the Child Welfare Act of 1937, monitor the employment of young workers and take action with regard to their protection.(2, 9)The Australian Federal Police enforce criminal laws related to the worst forms of child labor.(3)The Australian Federal Police Human Trafficking Teams investigate human trafficking for the purpose of transnational sexual and labor exploitation.(2)The Australian Federal Police Child Protection Operations Team performs an investigative and coordination role for multijurisdictional and international online child sex exploitation issues.(3)

During the reporting period, the Government of Norfolk Island began to actively implement the Child Welfare Act of 2009.(10)The Act protects children under the age of 18 from sexual and financial exploitation by allowing officials to take children at risk of harm or injury into safe custody.(9, 11)Further details are not available.



Government Policies on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Since 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

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



Based on the reporting above, the following actions would advance the elimination of the worst forms of child labor in Norfolk Island:

Area

Suggested Actions

Year(s) Action Recommended

Laws and Regulations

Establish a legal minimum age for employment.

2010, 2011, 2012

Establish laws to prohibit children under age 18 from engaging in hazardous work.

2010, 2011, 2012

Amend the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1993 to protect all children younger than age 18 from prostitution.

2010, 2011, 2012



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

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

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

4. Government of Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island Criminal Code, enacted 2007. http://www.info.gov.nf/legislation/NumberedActs/2007/.

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

6. Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook: Norfolk Island; accessed March 26, 2013; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/nf.html.

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

9. U.S. Embassy- Canberra official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. February 6, 2013.

10. Government of Norfolk Islands. Norfolk Island Government Gazette. Kingston; July 6, 2012. www.info.gov.nf/gazette/2012/2012_07_06_Gazette%20No%2029.doc‎

11. Government of Norfolk Island. Child Welfare Act 2009, enacted July 17, 2010. www.info.gov.nf/legislation/ConsolidatedActs/ChildWelfareAct2009.doc.