2013 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
In 2013, Seychelles made a minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Attorney General's office has established a committee to bring Seychelles' national laws into harmony with ILO Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labor. The Government engaged in awareness-raising programs focused on the commercial sexual exploitation of children. It also continued implementing the Juvenile Project of Child Rehabilitation, which provides services for vulnerable children, targeting school drop-outs and victims of the worst forms of child labor. However, though evidence of other worst forms of child labor is limited, children in Seychelles continue to engage in the worst forms of child labor in commercial sexual exploitation. The Government has not established a minimum age for all hazardous work nor has it developed a comprehensive list of hazardous work activities prohibited for children. The Government has not taken sufficient action to identify victims of child trafficking nor to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation associated with tourism.
Children in Seychelles are engaged in the worst forms of child labor in commercial sexual exploitation.(1-10) However, information about other worst forms of child labor is limited. Table 1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in Seychelles. Data on some of these indicators are not available from the sources used in this report.
|Working children, ages 7 to 14:||Unavailable|
|School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%):||Unavailable|
|Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%):||Unavailable|
|Primary completion rate (%):||104.5|
Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children's work by sector and activity.
|Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡||Commercial sexual exploitation sometimes as a result of human trafficking* (1, 2, 7-10, 13)|
*Evidence of this activity is limited and/or the extent of the problem is unknown.
‡Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a) - (c) of ILO C. 182.
Children in Seychelles, predominantly girls, are induced into commercial sexual exploitation by peers, family members, and pimps.(2, 8, 9) Foreign tourists and migrant workers are believed to contribute to the demand for commercial sex in Seychelles.(8, 9) Seychellois children are exploited in commercial sex in nightclubs, bars, guest houses, hotels, brothels, and on the street.(8) According to NGOs, drug addicts under age 18 are among those at risk of entering commercial sexual exploitation.(2, 8, 9)
Seychelles has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).
|ILO C. 138, Minimum Age||✅|
|ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor||✅|
|UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict||✅|
|UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography||✅|
|Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons||✅|
The Government has established relevant laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).
|Minimum Age for Work||Yes||15||Constitution (14)|
|Minimum Age for Hazardous Work||No|
|List of Hazardous Occupations Prohibited for Children||No|
|Prohibition of Forced Labor||Yes||Constitution, Penal Code (14, 15)|
|Prohibition of Child Trafficking||Yes||Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (16)|
|Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children||Yes||Penal Code (15)|
|Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities||No|
|Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment||N/A*|
|Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service||No|
|Compulsory Education Age||Yes||16||Constitution (14)|
|Free Public Education||Yes||Constitution (14)|
*No conscription or no standing military.
Article 31(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles stipulates that the minimum age for dangerous, harmful, and unhealthy work should be higher than the minimum age for work of 15 years, though it does not specify an age.(14) Article 22(4) of Seychelles' Conditions of Employment Regulations allows children ages 15 to 17 to work in the restaurant, tourism, or entertainment industries and at night with the written approval of a "competent officer," though a definition for "competent officer" is not provided in the legislation.(18)
Seychelles' laws do not protect boys from being procured or offered for prostitution.(4, 15) Further, the law does not prohibit the use of children of either sex, for example, by a client, for commercial sexual exploitation.(19, 20)
Research did not uncover whether Seychelles has established laws to protect children from involvement in illicit activities, including drug trafficking.
The Attorney General's office has established a committee to bring Seychelles' national laws into harmony with ILO Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labor; the committee is working on draft legislation.(19, 20) Legal revisions are expected to set the minimum age for hazardous work at 18 and develop a list of hazardous occupations prohibited for children.(19, 21)
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.(17)
The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms.
|Ministry of Employment and Human Resources||Enforce child labor laws.(8, 22)|
|Seychelles' Police||Enforce criminal laws related to the worst forms of child labor.(23)|
Research found no evidence that law enforcement agencies in Seychelles took actions to combat child labor.
Labor Law Enforcement
In 2013, the Ministry of Employment and Human Resources employed six labor inspectors.(24) However, the number and results of labor inspections conducted last year are unknown. During 2013, Ministry of Labor inspectors conducted regular checks to monitor school attendance and manage truancy.(10)
Criminal Law Enforcement
In 2013, according to reports, the Government did not take legal action against those who exploited children for commercial sex.(9)
Research did not find evidence that the Government collects or makes publicly available data on the number of investigations and prosecutions related to commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.(2, 9, 22)
The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children (Table 6).
|Coordinating Body||Role & Description|
|National Anti-Trafficking Committee (NATC)||Coordinate counter trafficking in persons efforts. Composed of representatives from the police force, the Attorney General's Office, and the Ministries of Social Development, Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs.(9)|
|Department of Social Development (DSD) Task Forces||Under the Ministry of Social Development and Culture, lead the implementation of policies against child prostitution.(2) Has established 25 district task forces to address social problems, including child prostitution, at the local level. Composed of social workers, police, community nurses, youth workers, school counselors, NGOs, and other civil society groups.(25)|
In 2013, not all DSD task forces remained active.(23)
The Government of Seychelles has established policies related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (Table 7).
Table 7. Policies Related to Child Labor
|National Social Renaissance Plan of Action (2012-16)||Establishes a 5-year roadmap in the areas of education, health, employment, human resource development, social affairs, community development, and security.(5) Includes provisions to decrease violations of children's rights, bolster child protection, and enhance services to victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including child victims.(5) Implemented and monitored by Ministries of Home Affairs; Health; Community Development; and Education, Employment and Human Resources, among other agencies.(2)|
|National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons†||Drafted and developed by NATC in 2013. Went into effect in April 2014.(13)|
|Social Security Benefits*||Increased funding in 2013 budget for social security benefits to better support vulnerable groups. Enhanced benefits to orphans and other at-risk children and youth.(2, 22)|
|National Action Plan on Early Childhood Care and Education 2013-2014†||Launched by the Government in 2013 as the first step in implementing Seychelles' Early Childhood Care and Education Framework.(8) Lays out steps to provide a comprehensive, integrated system for early childhood services.(8)|
*The impact of this policy on child labor does not appear to have been studied.
†Policy was launched during the reporting period.
In 2013, the Government of Seychelles funded programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing the commercial sexual exploitation of children (Table 8).
Table 8. Social Programs to Address Child Labor
|Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children awareness raising‡||Government program that implements awareness-raising activities aimed at youth. Focuses on the dangers of commercial sexual exploitation of children.(9)|
|Juvenile Project of Child Rehabilitation‡||Joint effort of the Ministry of Education and the Department of Social Development to serve vulnerable children, including school dropouts. Provides a package of services, including education and psychological care. Target population may include children who are victims of the worst forms of child labor.(19)|
|Transportation subsidy*‡||Government-funded program that subsidizes bus fares to school for students in need who live more than three kilometers from school buildings.(26)|
|National Early Childhood Care and Education Trust Fund *‡||Government-administered trust fund to promote the healthy development of children.(2) Funded several projects during the reporting period, including the purchase of educational materials and playground equipment and the training of early childcare providers.(2)|
|Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Program*‡||Government-implemented training program for secondary school students 16 years of age and older who have difficulty with traditional school curricula. Aims to deter students from dropping out of school.(19) Program enrollment increased in 2013.(20)|
*The impact of this program on child labor does not appear to have been studied.
‡Program is funded by the Government of Seychelles.
Despite these efforts, the Government lacks mechanisms to adequately identify child trafficking victims and provide them with protection and rehabilitation.(9, 19) Further, the Government has not taken specific actions to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation associated with tourism.(9, 19)
Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Seychelles (Table 9).
Table 9. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst F orms