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British Virgin Islands
2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
For the 2012 reporting period, no assessment has been made regarding the British Virgin Islands’ efforts to advance the elimination of the worst forms of child labor because this 2012 report is the first year suggested actions are included for the British Virgin Islands. While there is no evidence of a problem, it is unclear whether the Government has developed a list of hazardous occupations prohibited to children.
Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of the Worst Forms of Child Labor
There is no evidence that children in the British Virgin Islands are engaged in the worst forms of child labor.
Laws and Regulations on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
The minimum age for employment under the Labor Code of 2010 is 16. Children younger than age 18 are prohibited from hazardous work, as determined by the Minister of Labor.(1) Children age 14 to 16 may perform light work with approval from the Minister of Labor. Children younger than age 18 are prohibited from night work.(1) Children between ages 16 and 18 may operate heavy machinery if they receive sufficient training and supervision. The Labor Code holds both employers, and parents or guardians with knowledge, liable for employing a child in contravention of the Labor Code.(1) The Labor Code also provides for the removal and rehabilitation of children subjected to the worst forms of child labor. No information was found on whether the Government has developed a list of hazardous occupations prohibited to children.(1)
The Constitution prohibits slavery and forced labor.(2) Under the Criminal Code, trafficking, enslaving, and bonding children are illegal. The Criminal Code also prohibits the production, publication, and possession of child pornography.(1, 3, 4) The Labor Code prohibits child prostitution and the use of a child for illicit activities.(1)
Defense in the British Virgin Islands is the responsibility of the United Kingdom. There is no military conscription, and the minimum age for voluntary recruitment is 16.(5, 6)
Education is free and compulsory until age 16.(7, 8)
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 Commissioner of Labor may appoint inspectors to enforce the provisions of the Labor Code.(1)
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.
Based on the reporting above, the following actions would advance the elimination of the worst forms of child labor in British Virgin Islands:
Year(s) Action Recommended
Laws and Regulations
Clarify whether British Virgin Islands has codified a list of hazardous occupations prohibited for children under age 18.
1. Government of the British Virgin Islands. Labour Code, enacted 2010. http://www.bvigazette.org/extrafile/G00307_Labour%20Code%20Act,%202010.pdf.
2. Interim Government of Fiji- Ministry of Finance. Economic and Fiscal Update: Supplement to the 2010 Budget Address- Raising Economic Growth and Alleviating Poverty. Suva; November 2009. http://www.mfnp.gov.fj/Documents/2009_Budget_Supplement.pdf.
3. Government of the British Virgin Islands. Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2007, enacted February 8, 2007. http://www.bvigazette.org/extrafile/G00029_Criminal%20Code%20(Amendment)%20Act,%202007.pdf.
4. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Overseas Territories and the Isle of Man: Responses to the list of issues raised in connection with the consideration of the third and fourth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Geneva; 2008. Report No. CRC/C/GBR/4. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/AdvanceVersions/CRC.C.GBR.Q.4.Add.2.doc.
5. Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook: British Virgin Islands; accessed https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/vi.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. Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Education Act 1996, enacted July 24, 1996. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/contents.
8. U.S. Embassy- London official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. April 1, 2011.