Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Seychelles

2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Seychelles

Moderate Advancement

In 2014, Seychelles made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government adopted the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act, which criminalizes all forms of human trafficking and contains provisions to prevent child trafficking and other worst forms of child labor. The Government also adopted the Strategic Framework and National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons, which provides legal protection and social assistance to victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. However, children in Seychelles are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation. The Government has not established a minimum age for hazardous work nor has it determined hazardous occupations or activities prohibited for all children. In addition, the Government has not taken sufficient action to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation through social programs.

 

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Children in Seychelles are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation.(1-6) 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.

Table 1. Statistics on Children's Work and Education

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

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2011, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(7)
Data were unavailable from Understanding Children's Work Project's analysis, 2015.(8)

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children's work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children's Work by Sector and Activity

Sector/Industry

Activity

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Commercial sexual exploitation sometimes as a result of human trafficking* (3-6)

* 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.(4-6) Migrant workers and foreign tourists contribute to the demand for commercial sex, particularly on the main island of Mahe.(4-6, 9) Seychellois children engage in commercial sexual exploitation in nightclubs, bars, guest houses, hotels, brothels, and on the street.(4, 6) According to NGOs, drug addicts under age 18 are among those at risk of commercial sexual exploitation.(5, 6, 9)

Limited evidence suggests that the lack of school infrastructure and limited availability of teachers impede access to education, which may increase the vulnerability of children to the worst forms of child labor.(10)

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Seychelles has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. 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 laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor

Standard

Yes/No

Age

Related Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

15

Article 31 of the Constitution (11)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

No

 

 

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children

No

 

 

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Article 17 of the Constitution; Article 251 of the Penal Code (11, 12)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Article 4 of the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act (13)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Article 245 of the Penal Code; Article 2 of the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act (12, 13)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

Article 73 of the Children Act of 1982 (14)

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment

N/A*

 

 

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service

18

 

Article 23 of the Defense Act of 1981 (15)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

16

Article 33 of the Constitution (11)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 33 of the Constitution (11)

* No conscription.(16)

Article 31(b) of the Constitution 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.(11) 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.(5, 17)

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. (18, 19) A more specific list of hazardous child labor activities that includes a provision that sets a minimum age for hazardous work at 18 has been developed but was not approved during the reporting period.(19, 20)

In April 2014, the Government adopted the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act, which criminalizes all forms of human trafficking, including the trafficking of children.(4, 6, 13) The law prescribes penalties for those convicted of children trafficking up to 25 years' imprisonment and a fine up to $55,000, a punishment sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.(4, 6, 13, 21) The law also provides legal protection and social assistance to victims of human trafficking. Children identified as victims of human trafficking receive specialized assistance that address the needs of minors, including education support and family reintegration services.(6, 13)

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The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms.

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Ministry of Labor and Human Resources Development's Labor Monitoring and Compliance Unit

Enforce child protection and child labor laws, investigate complaints and conciliate disputes between employers and workers.(22, 23)

Police Department' Family Squad

Investigate criminal cases involving minors, including issues of commercial sexual exploitation.(5, 22, 24, 25)

Department of Social Affairs' Child Protection Unit

Develop and implement programs to protect vulnerable children and monitor alleged violations of child labor laws, including those related to the worst forms of child labor.(5, 22, 24, 25)

Law enforcement agencies in Seychelles took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms.

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2014, the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources Development employed six labor inspectors.(4) Labor inspectors did not receive training on the worst forms of child labor during the reporting period.(26) Reports indicate there is a lack of trained staff, equipment, transportation, and funding to conduct effective inspections and legal proceedings.(4, 27) Labor inspectors conduct regular checks to monitor school attendance and manage truancy.(28) Labor inspectors are authorized to conduct unannounced or announced inspections. The Inspectorate can initiate routine or targeted inspections based on analysis of compliance data or patterns of complaints.(29) Research could not identify the number of inspections, complaints, citations issued, violations, and penalties assessed related to child labor, commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.

Criminal Law Enforcement

No information was found regarding the total number of Police Department' Family Squad agents, although agents received training on child trafficking.(30) Reports indicate that investigators handled commercial sexual exploitation cases during 2014; however, reports indicate that no legal action was taken against those who exploited children for commercial sex.(4, 22) Research also did not find information about the number and quality of investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or whether appropriate penalties were applied related to the criminal enforcement of crimes related the worst forms of child labor. Reports indicate there is a lack of trained staff, equipment, transportation, and funding to effectively conduct criminal law enforcement efforts related to the worst forms of child labor.(4)

A formal referral mechanism is in place between law enforcement agencies and the Department of Social Affairs' Child Protection Unit.(24, 25) During 2014, the Department of Social Affairs conducted community outreach and awareness programs on human trafficking.(4)

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The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

Table 6. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

National Coordinating Committee on Trafficking in Persons

Coordinate actions against trafficking in persons and guarantee the protection of victims at the national level. Committee members are appointed by presidential order.(4, 5) The Committee is chaired by the Ministry of Social Affairs and includes representatives from the Police force, Immigration and Civil Status Department; the Attorney General's Office; and the Ministries of Labor and Human Resource, Foreign Affairs, and Customs. Also includes nongovernmental stakeholders.(13)

National Council of Children (NCC)

Monitor the implementation of government policies to protect the rights of children and coordinate social programs for victims of child abuse.(18, 22) The Council is a semi-autonomous body established by the NCC Act of 1981.(28, 31) Board members are appointed by the President and includes representatives from government ministries and civil society organizations.(25)

National Commission for Child Protection

Implement, coordinate, and monitor government efforts on child protection.(25) The Commission is chaired by the Ministry of Social Affairs and includes representatives from the Attorney General's Office, Health Department, Police Force, Family Tribunal and Ministry of Education and Youth. Also includes nongovernmental stakeholders.(3, 32)

The National Coordinating Committee on Trafficking in Persons met multiple times during the reporting period to develop the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act and drafted the Strategic Framework and National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons; both were approved.(4, 21) The National Council of Children met during the year to implement awareness-raising campaigns on child abuse and commercial sexual exploitation.(22) The National Commission for Child Protection was active during the reporting period.(26)

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The Government of Seychelles has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 7).

Table 7. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Social Renaissance Plan of Action (2012–2016)

Establishes a 5-year roadmap in the areas of education, health, employment, human resource development, social affairs, community development, and security.(2) Includes provisions to decrease violations of children's rights, bolster child protection, and enhance services to victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including child victims.(2) Implemented and monitored by Ministries of Home Affairs; Health; Community Development; and Education, Employment and Human Resources Development, among other agencies.(33)

Strategic Framework and National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons†

Includes goals of enhancing the legal framework to prevent human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, effectively implementing laws, providing effective protection and care for victims and strengthening social and educational initiatives for vulnerable children.(4, 6, 34)

National Employment Policy and Strategies†

Incorporates policies to increase employment opportunities for youth and expand programs to assist women, children, and vulnerable groups.(22, 35) Also aims to develop of a list of hazardous occupations prohibited for children. Implemented and monitored by the Ministry of Labor and Human Resource Development.(35)

Social Security Benefits*

Increased funding in 2014 budget for social security benefits to better support vulnerable groups. Enhanced benefits to orphans and other at-risk children and youth.(6){U.S. Embassy- Port Louis, #149;U.S. Embassy- Port Louis, #151;U.S. Embassy- Port Louis, #180}

National Action Plan on Early Childhood Care and Education (2013–2014)*

Lays out steps to provide a comprehensive, integrated system for early childhood services.(36)

* Child labor elimination and prevention strategies do not appear to have been integrated into this policy.
† Policy was approved during the reporting period.

In November 2014, the Government, in partnership with international organizations, launched a two-month media campaign to raise awareness on trafficking in persons, entitled "Open your eyes," as part of the Strategic Framework and National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons.(6, 37)

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In 2014, the Government of Seychelles funded programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms. The Government has other programs that may have an impact on child labor, including its worst forms. (Table 8)

Table 8. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

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.(4)

Juvenile Project of Child Rehabilitation‡

Joint effort by 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.(18)

Transportation subsidy*‡

Government-funded program that subsidizes bus fares for students in need who live more than three kilometers from school buildings.(6, 25)

National Early Childhood Care and Education Trust Fund *‡

Government-administered trust fund to promote the healthy development of children.(33) Funded several projects during the reporting period, including the purchase of educational materials and playground equipment and the training of early childcare providers.(33)

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.(18) Program enrollment increased in 2014.(19)

* The impact of this program on child labor does not appear to have been studied.
‡ Program is funded by the Government of Seychelles.

Although the Government has a program to address commercial sexual exploitation, the scope of this program is insufficient to address the full extent of the problem, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children associated with tourism.(18)

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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 Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Eliminate legal provisions that potentially allow for children between 15-17 to engage in hazardous work, and ensure law provides a clear definition of a "competent officer."

2010–2014

Ensure the law specifically prohibits hazardous work for all children under age 18.

2011–2014

Determine hazardous occupations or activities prohibited for all children in consultation with employers' and workers' organizations.

2009–2014

Enforcement

Ensure adequate funding, human resources, training and transportation for law enforcement agencies.

2014

Collect and make public information on the number of labor inspections, complaints, citations issued, violations, and penalties assessed; as well as number of criminal investigators, number and quality of investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or whether appropriate penalties were applied related to the criminal enforcement of crimes related the worst forms of child labor.

2011–2014

Strengthen enforcement of laws against the worst forms of child labor, including commercial sexual exploitation.

2011–2014

Government Policies

Integrate child labor elimination and prevention strategies into existing policies.

2014

Social Programs

Conduct research to better understand the extent and nature of the worst forms of child labor in Seychelles.

2013–2014

Ensure that all children have access to education by establishing and implementing a program to address the lack of teachers and schools.

2014

Expand the scope of programs to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children, including exploitation associated with tourism.

2011–2014

Assess the impact that existing social programs may have on addressing child labor.

2011–2014

 

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1.ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Seychelles (ratification: 1999) Submitted: 2011; accessed April 6, 2012; http: www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

2.Government of Seychelles. National Social Renaissance Plan of Action (2012-2016). Port Louis; 2012. [source on file].

3.UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention: Concluding observations: Seychelles. Geneva; January 23, 2012. Report No. CRC/C/SYC/CO/2-4. http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G12/403/37/PDF/G1240337.pdf?OpenElement.

4.U.S. Department of State. "Seychelles," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2014. Washington, DC; June 20, 2014; http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2014/226809.htm.

5.UN Human Rights Council. Report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo; June 5, 2014 http://www.refworld.org/country,,,,SYC,,5398286a4,0.html.

6.U.S. Embassy- Port Louis. reporting, January 15, 2015.

7.UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed January 16, 2015]; 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.

8.UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Analysis received January 16, 2015. 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.

9.Display News, UHR. "Preliminary findings on the visit to Seychelles, UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo." ohchr.org [online] January 31, 2014 [cited January 05, 2015]; http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14212&LangID=E.

10.UN Human Rights Council. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Addendum : Mission to Seychelles; May 6, 2014 http://www.refworld.org/docid/53a2953e4.html.

11.Government of Seychelles. Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles, enacted June 21, 1993. http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=230031.

12.Government of Seychelles. Penal Code, CAP. 73, enacted February 1, 1955. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4d67afc82.html.

13.Government of Seychelles. Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act, enacted 2014. [source on file].

14.Government of Seychelles. Children Act, enacted 1982. http://www.africanchildforum.org/clr/Legislation%20Per%20Country/Seychelles/seychelles_children_1982_en.pdf.

15.Government of Seychelles. Defense Act, enacted 1981. http://www.seylii.org/sc/legislation/consolidated-act/58.

16.Child Soldiers International. 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.

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

18.ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Seychelles (ratification: 1999) Published: 2013; accessed December 7, 2013; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

19.ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Seychelles (ratification: 1999) Published: 2014; accessed April 10, 2014; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

20.ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Seychelles (ratification: 2000) Published: 2014; accessed November 12, 2014; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

21.Seychelles News Agency. Seychelles introduces law against human trafficking: Convicts can get up to 25 years jail time, Seychelles News Agency, [online] April 16, 2014 [cited January 06, 2015]; http://www.seychellesnewsagency.com/articles/730/Seychelles+introduces+law+against+human+trafficking+Convicts+can+get+up+to++years+jail+time#sthash.EObYunlp.dpuf.

22.U.S. Embassy- Port Louis. reporting, February 3, 2015.

23.Ministry of Labor and Human Resources Development. Labour Monitoring & Compliance Section, Government of Seychelles, [online] [cited February 12, 2015]; http://www.employment.gov.sc/about-us/section-and-units/labour-relation-division/labour-monitoring-compliance?tmpl=component&print=1&page=.

24.Government of Seychelles. "Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1993 — 2009)." (2011); http://www.mfa.gov.sc/uploads/files/filepath_42.pdf.

25.Child Rights Information Network. Seychelles: Child Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review, CRIN, [online] [cited March 9, 2013]; http://www.crin.org/resources/infoDetail.asp?ID=26135.

26.U.S. Embassy- Port Louis official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. April 08, 2015.

27.ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81) Seychelles (ratification: 2005) Published: 2014; accessed November 12, 2014; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.

28.U.S. Department of State. "Seychelles," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2013. Washington, DC; February 27, 2014; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/204373.pdf.

29.Ministry of Labor and Human Resources Development. Procedures for Inspection, Government of Seychelles, [online] [cited February 12, 2015]; http://www.employment.gov.sc/procedures-for-inspection.

30.U.S. Embassy- Port Louis. reporting, February 12, 2015.

31.Government of Seychelles. National Council for Children Act, enacted January 1, 1981. http://www.seylii.org/sc/legislation/consolidated-act/137

32.UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Summary record of the 1655th meeting: Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention. Geneva; 2012 June 6,. Report No. CRC/C/SR.1655. in file.

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

34.Government of Seychelles and International Organization for Migration. "Launch of trafficking in persons media campaign and strategic framework and action plan on trafficking in person and the IOM/UNODC workshop on trafficking in persons "http://tip.sc [online] November 06, 2014 [cited January 06, 2015]; http://www.tip.sc/news/launch-of-trafficking-in-persons-media-campaign-and-strategic-framework-and-action-plan-on-trafficking-in-person-and-the-iomunodc-workshop-on-trafficking-in-persons-tip.

35.Ministry of Labor and Human Resources Development. National Employment Policy and Strategies. Port Louis; 2014. http://www.employment.gov.sc/phocadownload/nepolicy.pdf.

36.U.S. Embassy- Port Louis. reporting, January 16, 2014.

37.Seychelles Nation. "‘Open your eyes' to trafficking in persons." http://nation.sc [online] December 3, 2014 [cited February 3, 2015]; http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=243833.

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