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Seychelles


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2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

In 2012, Seychelles made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government ratified the CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography. Seychelles also engaged in awareness-raising programs focused on risky behaviors that can lead to the commercial sexual exploitation of children; increased spending on social security benefits for vulnerable children; and began implementing the National Social Renaissance Plan of Action, which prioritizes children’s rights and protects child victims of commercial sexual exploitation. However, the Government has not established a minimum age for all hazardous work or developed a comprehensive list of hazardous work activities prohibited for children. During the reporting period, the Government did not provide services and shelter to children engaged in commercial sexual exploitation. In one case, the Government prosecuted several children rather than identifying them as victims. Although evidence on the worst forms of child labor is limited, research suggests that children in Seychelles continue to be found in the worst forms of child labor in commercial sexual exploitation.

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Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Although evidence on the worst forms of child labor is limited, research suggests that children in Seychelles are found in the worst forms of child labor in commercial sexual exploitation.(3-9) There are reports of children, predominantly girls, being driven into commercial sexual exploitation by peers, family members, and pimps.(4, 5) Foreign tourists are believed to contribute to the demand for commercial sex in Seychelles.(4) Seychellois children engaged in commercial sex work are exploited in nightclubs, bars, guest houses, hotels, brothels, and in the street.(4) According to NGOs, drug addicts under age 18 are among those at risk for commercial sexual exploitation.(3-5)



Laws and Regulations on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles sets the minimum age for work at 15. It also stipulates that the minimum age for dangerous, harmful, and unhealthy work should be higher, though it does not specify an age.(10) The Conditions of Employment Regulations, 1991, prohibit children under age 18 from night employment and from work in the restaurant, tourism, or entertainment industries, at any time. However, children ages 15 to 17 may work in these industries and at night with the written approval of a “competent officer,” although a definition for “competent officer” is not provided in the legislation.(11) Children ages 12 to 14 may engage in occasional, non-recurrent light work, provided it occurs outside of school hours.(11) The law does not specifically prohibit hazardous work for all children under 18 and the Government has not developed a comprehensive list of hazardous work activities prohibited to children.(7, 12-14)

The Constitution provides for freedom from slavery, servitude, and forced or obligatory labor.(10) The Penal Code Act of 1955 also proscribes forced labor, trafficking in slaves, or kidnapping for the purposes of involuntary confinement, slavery, or removal from Seychelles.(15) The Penal Code Act of 2005 criminalizes the prostitution and sexual exploitation of children.(15) The Act’s specific provisions prohibit, domestically and internationally, the procurement, recruitment, or exploitation of girls under age 21 for the purposes of prostitution.(7, 15) The Act also criminalizes the procurement or detainment of any girl against her will with the intent to engage in sexual conduct or any woman under age 21 for the purposes of prostitution or pornography. Because these specific provisions protect girls, it is unclear whether boys are protected from being used, procured, or offered for prostitution under the law.(7, 15) The Penal Code Act also prohibits involving any child under age 18 in the production, possession, or exhibition of indecent material.(7, 15) In October 2012, the Act was amended to create steeper mandatory sentences for individuals who engage in sexual acts with children under 15.(16) In December 2012, Seychelles ratified the CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography.(17)

In Seychelles, there is no conscription into military services. Children under 18 may be voluntarily recruited with parental consent, but no minimum age appears to be specified in the law.(18)

Research did not uncover whether Seychelles has established law to protect children from involvement in illicit activities, including drug trafficking.

Education is free and compulsory through grade 10 or approximately age 16.(5, 10, 14, 19) The Government also made secondary education free until age 18.(14)



Institutional Mechanisms for Coordination and Enforcement

The Government has a National Anti-trafficking Committee, which is composed of representatives from the police force, Attorney General’s Office, and the Ministries of Social Development, Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs.(4) However, research found no evidence that the Government of Seychelles has established a coordinating mechanism to combat other worst forms of child labor.

The Department of Social Development (DSD), under the Ministry of Social Development and Culture, leads the Government’s policies against child prostitution.(4, 5) The DSD has established 25 district task forces that address social problems at the local level, including child prostitution. These task forces comprise social workers, police, community nurses, youth workers, school counselors, NGOs, and other civil society groups.(4)

The Ministry of Education, Employment, and Human Resources is responsible for enforcing child labor laws.(14, 20) The Ministry employs four labor inspectors.(21) In 2012, 1,136 labor inspections were conducted. These inspection did not uncover any cases of child labor in any sector.(14, 16) The Ministry conducted regular checks to monitor school attendance and to manage truancy.(14)

According to reports, the Government did not take legal action against those who exploited children for commercial sex during the reporting period.(4, 14). In one case, the Government prosecuted and convicted children engaged in commercial sexual exploitation in a brothel rather than identifying them as victims.(4)

Research did not find evidence that the Government collects or makes publicly available data regarding commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.(5, 20)



Government Policies on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

In 2012, the Government began implementing the National Social Renaissance Plan of Action (2012-16). The plan establishes a 5-year roadmap in the areas of education, health, employment, human resource development, social affairs, community development, and security.(8) It includes provisions to decrease violations of children’s rights, bolster child protection, and enhance services to victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including child victims.(8) Several government agencies are engaged in the implementation and monitoring of the plan, including the Ministries of Home Affairs; Health; Community Development; and Education, Employment and Human Resources.(5)



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

During the reporting period, the Government continued an awareness-raising program aimed at youth that focused on the dangers of engaging in risky behaviors that could lead to the commercial sexual exploitation of children.(4) However, according to reports, the Government did not provide protective services or shelter to child victims of commercial sexual exploitation identified during the reporting period.(4)

The National Council for Children, a partially government-funded organization, advocates for children’s interests and rights through awareness-raising activities, training, and counseling. The Council’s training programs are targeted at both children and adults and include a module developed to explain the provisions of the CRC.(3, 22, 23) The Council may also provide care to victims of sexual or labor exploitation.(3)

The Government engages in a number of initiatives aimed at improving children’s welfare. In an effort to better support vulnerable groups, the Government’s 2012 and 2013 budgets increased social security benefits, including benefits offered to orphans and other at-risk children and youth.(5, 20) The Government supports the Children’s Homes Foundation, which provides housing to orphans and children whose families face financial difficulties.(24) It also continues funding a program that subsidizes bus fares for some students in need.(25)

The Government continues to administer the National Early Childhood Care and Education Trust Fund, which is intended to promote the healthy development of children.(5) Through the fund, the Government supported several projects during the reporting period. It funded the purchase of educational materials and playground equipment, as well as the training of early child care providers.(5) However, the question of whether these social and educational programs have an impact on child labor does not appear to have been addressed.



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

Area

Suggested Actions

Year(s) Action Recommended

Laws and Regulations

Eliminate legal provisions that potentially allow for children to engage in hazardous work, including at night, if given the approval of a “competent officer.”

2010, 2011, 2012

Amend the law to specifically prohibit hazardous work for all children under age 18.

2011, 2012

Develop a comprehensive list of hazardous employment activities prohibited for all children under age 18.

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Clarify the Penal Code Act to explicitly protect boys from being used, procured, or offered for prostitution

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Clarify whether Seychelles has established laws to protect children from involvement in illicit activities, including drug trafficking.

2012

Coordination and Enforcement

Establish a coordinating mechanism to combat all worst forms of child labor.

2011, 2012

Identify and enforce laws against child commercial sexual exploitation, by

· Identifying and prosecuting those who engage children in commercial sexual exploitation.

· Ensuring child victims are not prosecuted as criminals.

2011, 2012

Collect and make data on cases of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children publicly available.

2011, 2012

Social Programs

Assess the impact that social and educational programs may have on the worst forms of child labor.

2011, 2012

Ensure children who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation are provided appropriate services and shelter.

2011, 2012



1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary.Total.; February 4, 2013; http://www.uis.unesco.org/Pages/default.aspx?SPSLanguage=EN. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. For more information, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

2. UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. February 5, 2013. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children’s work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor. For more information on sources used, the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

3. U.S. Embassy- Port Louis. reporting, February 17, 2012.

4. U.S. Department of State. Seychelles. In: Trafficking in Person Report- 2012. Washington, DC; June 19, 2012; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/192597.pdf.

5. U.S. Embassy- Port Louis. reporting, January 30, 2013.

6. Targeted News Service. "Committee on the Rights of the Child Considers the Report of Seychelles." TargetedNews.com [online] September 28, 2011 [cited October 30, 2012]; hard copy on file.

7. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Seychelles (ratification: 1999) Submitted: 2011; April 6, 2012; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/pdconv.pl?host=status01&textbase=iloeng&document=27098&chapter=9&query=Seychelles%40ref&highlight=&querytype=bool&context=0.

8. Government of Seychelles. National Social Renessaince Plan of Action (2012-2016); 2012. source on file.

9. U.S. Embassy- Port Louis. reporting, February 15, 2013.

10. Government of Seychelles. Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles, (June 18, 1993); http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=230031.

11. Government of Seychelles. Conditions of Employment Regulations, (1991); http://www.ilo.org/dyn/travail/docs/2103/Employment%20Act%20(Conditions%20of%20Employment)%20Regulations%201991%20-%20employment.gov.sc.pdf.

12. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Seychelles (ratification: 1999) Submitted: 2010; April 6, 2012; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/pdconv.pl?host=status01&textbase=iloeng&document=25342&chapter=9&query=Seychelles%40ref&highlight=&querytype=bool&context=0.

13. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Seychelles (ratification: 2000) Submitted: 2011; April 6, 2012; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/pdconv.pl?host=status01&textbase=iloeng&document=26580&chapter=9&query=Seychelles%40ref&highlight=&querytype=bool&context=0.

14. U.S. Department of State. Seychelles. In: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2011. Washington, DC; May 24, 2012; http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper.

15. Government of Seychelles. Penal Code, CAP. 73, (February 1, 1955); http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4d67afc82.html.

16. U.S. Embassy- Port Louis official. E-mail communication to. USDOL official. February 13, 2013.

17. United Nations. Committee on the Rights of the Child: Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography, [online] [cited January 25, 2013]; http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-11-c&chapter=4&lang=en.

18. Child Soldiers International. Appendix II: Data summary on recruitment ages of national armies. London; September 2012. http://www.child-soldiers.org/global_report_reader.php?id=562.

19. UNESCO. Table 4: Access to Primary Education. In: EFA Global Monitoring Report: Youth and Skills-Putting Education to Work. Geneva; October 16, 2012; http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/efareport/reports/2012-skills/

20. U.S. Embassy- Port Louis. reporting, January 20, 2012.

21. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Labour Inspection Convention, 2011 (No. 81) Seychelles (ratification: 2005) Submitted: 2012

October 30, 2012; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID,P11110_COUNTRY_ID,P11110_COUNTRY_NAME,P11110_COMMENT_YEAR:2698566,103090,Seychelles,2011.

22. National Council for Children. Training Modules, [online] [cited April 6, 2012]; http://www.ncc.sc/p/training-modules.

23. National Council for Children. Services, [online] [cited April 6, 2012]; http://www.ncc.sc/p/services.

24. Children's Home Foundation (Seychelles). For the love of our children, Hi-Tech Graphics Seychelles, [online] March 17, 2008 [cited April 6, 2012]; http://www.childhomesfoundation.org.sc/documents/Children's_Homes_Foundation_Brochure.pdf.

25. Child Rights Information Network. Seychelles: Child Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review, [online] [cited March 9, 2012]; http://www.crin.org/resources/infoDetail.asp?ID=26135.