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Saint Helena

2013 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

No Advancement

In 2013, Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan de Cunha made no advancement in efforts to prevent the worst forms of child labor. Although no information suggests that the worst forms of child labor are a problem, gaps exist in the legal framework to prevent children from involvement in the worst forms of child labor. The Government lacks legislation prescribing a minimum age for work, and it is unclear whether a list of hazardous occupations exists for children. It also is unclear whether laws exist regarding the use of children for drug trafficking or other illicit activities. These gaps may make children vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor.

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I. Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of Child Labor

Research found no evidence that child labor exists in Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.(1)



II. Legal Framework for the Worst Forms of Child Labor

British Overseas Territories (OTs) are territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom (UK), but they do not form part of the UK. They are self-governing, except in the areas of foreign affairs and defense. Domestic UK Law does not generally apply to OTs, unless explicitly extended.(2)

The following conventions have been extended to Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha (Table 1).

Table 1. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor
Convention Ratification
ILO C. 138, Minimum Age  
ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor
UN CRC
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 a few relevant laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 2).

Table 2. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor
Standard Yes/No Age Related Legislation
Minimum Age for Work No    
Minimum Age for Hazardous Work Yes 18 Welfare of Children Ordinance (1, 3)
List of Hazardous Occupations Prohibited for Children No    
Prohibition of Forced Labor Yes   Constitution Order 2009 (4)
Prohibition of Child Trafficking No    
Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children No    
Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities No    
Minimum Age for Compulsory Military RecruitmentN/A*  
Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service Combat: Yes 18 UK Armed Forces Act 2006 (2, 5-7)
Non-Combat: Yes 16
Compulsory Education Age Yes 15 16 Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha (8) Ascension (9)
Free Public Education Yes   Constitution Order 2009 (4, 8, 9)

*No conscription or no standing military.

The Government has no legal framework establishing a minimum age for work.(10)The Education Ordinance prohibits children of compulsory school age from working during school hours.(8) No information was found on whether the Government has developed a list of hazardous occupations prohibited to children.

No information was found on whether laws exist regarding the use of children for drug trafficking or other illicit activities.

The UK Government has introduced systems to track ages and locations of individual soldiers, with the aim of preventing under 18s from being deployed into hostilities. Deployment of members of the armed forces who have not yet reached 18 years is permitted when there is a genuine need and the situation is urgent.(2, 6, 7, 11)



III. Enforcement of Laws on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

As there is no evidence of a problem, there appears to be no need for enforcement actions to address child labor, including its worst forms, in Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha



IV. Coordination of Government Efforts on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

As there is no evidence of a problem, there appears to be no need for coordinating mechanisms to address child labor, including its worst forms, in Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.



V. 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, in Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.



VI. Social Programs to Address the Worst Forms of Child Labor

As there is no evidence of a problem, there appears to be no need for social programs to address child labor, including its worst forms, in Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.



VII. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the continued prevention of child labor, including its worst forms, in Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha (Table 3).

Table 3. Suggested Government Actions to Prevent Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area Suggested Action Year(s) Suggested
Laws Establish a legal minimum age for work. 2012 - 2013
Clarify whether laws exist regarding the use of children for drug trafficking or other illicit activities. 2013
Clarify whether the Government has developed a list of hazardous occupations prohibited to children. 2013



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

2. U.S. Embassy- London. Email communication to USDOL official. May 8, 2014.

3. Government of Saint Helena. Welfare of Children Ordinance, 14 of 2008, enacted March 1, 2010. http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Welfare-of-Children-Ord-310712.pdf.

4. Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009, enacted September 1, 2009. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/1751/made/data.pdf.

5. Central Intelligence Agency. The World FactBook: Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha; accessed July 7, 2013; https:// www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sh.html.

6. Child Soldiers International. "Appendix II: Data Summary on Recruitment Ages of National Armies," in Louder than Words: An Agenda for Action to End State Use of Child Soldiers. London; September 2012; http://www.child-soldiers.org/global_report_reader.php?id=562.

7. United Kingdom,. Armed Forces Act 2006, enacted 2006. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/52/contents.

8. Government of Saint Helena. Education Ordinance, 8 of 2008, enacted August 30, 2008. http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/data/files/resources/559/Education-Ordinance.pdf.

9. Government of Ascension Island. Ascension Island Education Policy, enacted October 2010. http://www.twoboatsschool.org/images/Ascension_Island_Education_Policy_Oct_2010.pdf.

10. U.S. Embassy- London. reporting, January 21, 2014.

11. Owen, J. One in Six Recruits to Army is Aged 16. The Independent. London: July 24, 2014 2011. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/one-in-six-recruits-to-army-is-aged-16-2290403.html.