Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Christmas Island

2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Christmas Island

No Advancement

In 2014, Christmas Island made no advancement in efforts to prevent the worst forms of child labor. Although research found no evidence that child labor, including its worst forms, exists in Christmas Island, gaps exist in the legal framework to prevent children from involvement in the worst forms of child labor, including the lack of hazardous work prohibitions and a minimum age for hazardous work.

 

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Research found no evidence that child labor, including its worst forms exists on Christmas Island.(1)

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The Acts Interpretation Act 1901 provides that Christmas Island is included as part of the territory of Australia, as denoted by law. Accordingly, all legislation of the federal parliament applies to these territories unless specifically excluded, including Australia's ratification of conventions.(2)

Because Australia has ratified most key international conventions concerning child labor, the following conventions apply to Christmas Island (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

Christmas Island is subject to the child labor laws of the state of Western Australia.(1, 3) The Government has established 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

Yes

15

Section 190 of the Western Australia Children and Community Services Act 2004 (4)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

No

 

Western Australia Children and Community Services Act 2004 (4)

List of Hazardous Occupations Prohibited for Children

No

 

 

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Sections 270.6 and 270.7 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 of Australia; Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2013 (5, 6)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Sections 271.2 through 271.7 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 of Australia; Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2013 (5, 6)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Section 16 of the Western Australia Prostitution Act of 2000; the Western Australia Children and Community Services Act; Sections 271.2 through 271.7 of the federally enacted Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 of Australia; Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2013 (4-9)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

Sections 309 and 310 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 of Australia; Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2013 (5)

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service*

Combat: Yes Non-Combat: Yes

18 17

Canberra Act (10)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

17

Sections 6 and 7 of the Western Australia School Education Act 1999 (3, 11)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Section 98 of the Western Australia School Education Act 1999 (11)

* No conscription (10)

Research found that Christmas Island does not have a minimum age for hazardous work or a list of hazardous activities, which leaves children vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor.

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Even though there is no evidence of a problem, the Government of Australia has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms, which apply to Christmas Island (Table 3).

Table 3. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Australian Federal Police, the Department of Immigration , and the Department of Regional Development

Enforce criminal laws related to the worst forms of child labor. Issue orders for a child to stop working if there is risk of harm.(8, 12)

Australian Federal Police

Investigate the commercial sexual exploitation of children, including pornography.(8)

Australian Federal Police: Human Trafficking Teams

Investigate human trafficking for the purpose of transnational sexual and labor exploitation.(9, 12)

Australian Federal Police: Child Protection Operations Team

Coordinate and investigate online and multijurisdictional online child sex exploitation issues, including child pornography.(8, 9, 12)

Department of Child Protection

Issue orders to stop a child from working if there is a risk of harm. (1, 5)

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As there is no evidence of a problem, there appears to be no need for mechanisms to coordinate efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms.

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As there is no evidence of a problem, there appears to be no need for policies to address child labor, including its worst forms.

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

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Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the continued prevention of child labor, including its worst forms, in Christmas Island (Table 4).

Table 4. Suggested Government Actions to Prevent Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Clarify whether Christmas Island has codified a list of hazardous activities prohibited for children under age 18.

2013–2014

Clarify whether Christmas Island has established a minimum age for hazardous work.

2013–2014

 

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