Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Seychelles

Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Seychelles

2015 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Minimal Advancement

In 2015, Seychelles made a minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government established a Child Protection Team within the Police Department and continued to fund social programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms. However, although research is limited, there is evidence that children are engaged in the worst forms of child labor in Seychelles. 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, law enforcement agencies do not have sufficient resources to adequately enforce child labor laws.

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Although research is limited, there is evidence that children are engaged in the worst forms of child labor in Seychelles.(1-5) 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 (% and population):

Unavailable

School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%):

Unavailable

Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%):

Unavailable

Primary completion rate (%):

112.1

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2014, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(6)
Data were unavailable from Understanding Children’s Work Project’s analysis, 2015.(7)

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* (2-5)

* 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. Migrant workers and foreign tourists contribute to the demand for commercial sex, particularly on the main island of Mahé.(3, 4, 8, 9) Seychellois children engage in commercial sexual exploitation in nightclubs, bars, guesthouses, hotels, brothels, and on the street. Children under age 18 who are addicted to drugs are vulnerable to being forced into commercial sexual exploitation.(3-5, 8)

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, 11)

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; Article 21 of the Conditions of Employment Regulations (12, 13)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

No

 

 

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children

No

 

 

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Article 251 of the Penal Code; Articles 3–4 of the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act (14, 15)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Article 4 of the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act (15)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Articles 152 and 245 of the Penal Code; Articles 2–4 of the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act (14, 15)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

No

 

 

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment

N/A*

 

 

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service

Yes

18

Article 23 of the Defense Act (17)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

16

Article 33 of the Constitution;  Paragraph 4 of the Education (Educational Zones and Compulsory Education) Order (12, 18)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 33 of the Constitution (12)

* No conscription (19)

Laws related to child labor are not completely consistent with international standards. 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, although it does not specify an age.(12) Article 22(4) of the 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,” although the legislation does not define “competent officer.”(3, 13)

The Attorney General’s office has established a committee to bring Seychelles’ national laws into harmony with ILO C. 182 on the worst forms of child labor.(20, 21) A more specific list of hazardous child labor activities that includes a provision to establish a minimum age for hazardous work at 18 has been developed but was not approved during the reporting period.(21-23)

The minimum age of 12 for light work is not in compliance with international standards. In addition, the law does not determine activities in which light work may be permitted, prescribe the number of hours per week for light work, and specify the conditions in which light work may be undertaken.(13, 22) A legal amendment to the Conditions of Employment Regulations that increases the minimum age for light work to 13 and includes specific light work provisions has been developed but was not approved during the reporting period.(22, 23)

The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

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.(24-26)

 

Police Department’s Family Squad

Investigate criminal cases involving minors, including issues of commercial sexual exploitation.(3, 24, 27, 28)

Police Department’s Child Protection Team*

Collaborate with the Department of Social Affairs to ensure that child abuse cases are addressed. Police officers and social workers may conduct investigations and begin legal proceedings against parents who put their children at risk for abuse.(5)

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.(3, 24, 27, 28)

* Agency responsible for child labor enforcement was created during the reporting period.

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2015, labor law enforcement agencies in Seychelles took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor Law Enforcement

2014

2015

Labor Inspectorate Funding

Unknown

Unknown (5)

Number of Labor Inspectors

13 (5)

13 (5)

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

No (5)

No (5)

Training for Labor Inspectors

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

Yes (5)

Yes (5)

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

No (5)

N/A

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (5)

Yes (5)

Number of Labor Inspections

1,668 (5)

949 (5)

Number Conducted at Worksite

1,638 (5)

898 (5)

Number Conducted by Desk Reviews

30 (5)

51 (5)

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

0 (5)

0 (5)

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed

N/A

N/A

Number of Penalties Imposed That Were Collected

N/A

N/A

Routine Inspections Conducted

Yes (5)

Yes (5)

Routine Inspections Targeted

No (5)

No (5)

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Yes (29)

Yes (5)

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

Yes (5)

Yes (5)

Complaint Mechanism Exists

Yes (5)

Yes (5)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Yes (5)

Yes (5)

 

Reports indicate there is a lack of trained staff, equipment, transportation, and funding to conduct effective inspections and legal proceedings.(4, 30)

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2015, criminal law enforcement agencies in Seychelles took actions to combat the worst forms of child labor (Table 7).

Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2014

2015

Training for Investigators

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

Unknown

Unknown (5)

Training on New Laws Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Unknown

N/A

Refresher Courses Provided

Unknown

Yes (31)

Number of Investigations

Unknown

Unknown (5)

Number of Violations Found

Unknown

Unknown (5)

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

Unknown

Unknown (5)

Number of Convictions

Unknown

Unknown (5)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Unknown

Yes (31)

 

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.(31, 32)

In May 2015, the Government developed standard operating procedures and a referral mechanism to help law enforcement officials identify human trafficking victims and refer them to the appropriate social service providers.(31)

The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. 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 protection of victims at the national level. Committee members are appointed by presidential order.(3, 4) 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 non-governmental stakeholders.(15) During the reporting period, the Committee met multiple times to develop a victim assistance tool and implement awareness raising campaigns on human trafficking.(4)

National Council for Children

Monitor the implementation of government policies to protect the rights of children and coordinate social programs for victims of child abuse.(20, 24) The Council is a semi-autonomous body established by the National Council of Children Act of 1981.(26, 33) Board members are appointed by the President and include representatives from government ministries and civil society organizations.(24) In November 2015, the Council participated in a meeting organized by the Government to review progress on implementing the UN CRC.(5)

National Commission for Child Protection

Implement, coordinate, and monitor government efforts on child protection.(28) 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 non-governmental stakeholders. The Commission met regularly during the reporting period.(2, 23, 34)

 

During the reporting period, the National Coordinating Committee on Trafficking in Persons did not receive dedicated funding, which affected its ability to implement the National Action Plan.(4)

The Government of Seychelles has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 9).

 Table 9. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Strategic Framework and Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons

(2014–2015)

Aimed to raise awareness, prosecute perpetrators, improve victims’ access to protection and assistance services, build capacity of stakeholders, and strengthen cooperation among relevant stakeholders to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.(35)

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.(1) Includes provisions to decrease violations of children’s rights, bolster child protection, and enhance services to victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including child victims.(1) Implemented and monitored by the Ministries of Home Affairs; Health; Community Development; Education; and Labor and Human Resources Development, among other agencies.(36)

National Employment Policy and Strategies

Incorporates policies to increase employment opportunities for youth and expand programs to assist women, children, and vulnerable groups.(24, 37, 38) Also aims to develop a list of hazardous occupations prohibited for children. Implemented and monitored by the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources Development.(37)

Education Sector

Strategic Plan (2013–2017)*

Sets out a comprehensive roadmap to improve the quality of, and access to, primary and secondary education. Overseen by the Ministry of Education.(38)

Social Security Benefits*

Provides periodic payments to vulnerable children, including orphans.(39) {U.S. Embassy- Port Louis,  #149;U.S. Embassy- Port Louis,  #151;U.S. Embassy- Port Louis,  #180}

* Child labor elimination and prevention strategies do not appear to have been integrated into this policy.

In 2015, the Government of Seychelles funded programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms (Table 10).

Table 10. 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.(20)

Transportation Subsidy†

Government-funded program that subsidizes bus fares for vulnerable students who live more than three kilometers from school buildings.(9, 28)

Technical and Vocational Education and Training Program†

Government-implemented training program for secondary school students 16 years and older who have difficulty with traditional school curricula. Aims to deter students from dropping out of school.(20)

† 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.(20)

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Seychelles (Table 11).

Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including Its Worst Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

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

2011 – 2015

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

2009 – 2015

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

2010 – 2015

Ensure the law criminally prohibits the use, procurement, and offering of a child in the production and trafficking of drugs.

2015

Raise the minimum age for light work to 13 and ensure that the law’s light work provisions determine activities in which light work may be permitted, prescribe the number of hours per week for light work, and specify the conditions in which light work may be undertaken to comply with international standards.

2015

Enforcement

Make information publicly available regarding the labor inspectorate’s funding; training for criminal investigators; and the number of investigations undertaken, violations found, prosecutions initiated, and convictions achieved.

2011 – 2015

Strengthen labor law enforcement by authorizing the inspectorate to assess penalties and initiating targeted inspections based on analysis of data related to risk-prone sectors and patterns of serious incidents.

2015

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

2014 – 2015

Coordination

Ensure that the National Coordinating Committee on Trafficking in Persons receives adequate funding to fulfill its mission.

2015

Government Policies

Integrate child labor elimination and prevention strategies into the Education Sector Strategic Plan and the Social Security Benefits.

2014 – 2015

Social Programs

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

2013 – 2015

Increase access to education by increasing school infrastructure and teacher availability.

2014 – 2015

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

2011 – 2015

 

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

2.         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.

3.         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.

4.         U.S. Department of State. "Seychelles," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2015. Washington, DC; July 27, 2015; http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2015/index.htm.

5.         U.S. Embassy- Port Louis. reporting, February 11, 2016.

6.         UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed December 16, 2015]; http://data.uis.unesco.org/. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. This ratio is the total number of new entrants in the last grade of primary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population at the theoretical entrance age to the last grade of primary. A high ratio indicates a high degree of current primary education completion. Because the calculation includes all new entrants to last grade (regardless of age), the ratio can exceed 100 percent, due to over-aged and under-aged children who enter primary school late/early and/or repeat grades. For more information, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

7.         UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Analysis received December 18, 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.

8.         United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. "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.

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

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.       UNESCO. Education for All 2015 National Review- Seychelles; July 2014. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002299/229953e.pdf.

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

13.       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.

14.       Government of Seychelles. Penal Code, CAP. 73, enacted February 1, 1955. http://www.seylii.org/sc/legislation/consolidated-act/158.

15.       Government of Seychelles. Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act, enacted 2014. http://www.seylii.org/sc/legislation/act/2014/9.

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

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

18.       Government of Seychelles. Education (Educational Zones and Compulsory Education) Order, enacted 1991. http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/69645/122020/F-1591349877/SYC69645%202012.pdf.

19.       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.

20.       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.

21.       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.

22.       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.

23.       U.S. Embassy- Port Louis official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 30, 2016.

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

25.       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=.

26.       U.S. Department of State. "Seychelles," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2014. Washington, DC; June 25, 2015; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/236612.pdf.

27.       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.

28.       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.

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.       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.

31.       U.S. Embassy- Port Louis. reporting, February 17, 2016.

32.       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.

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

34.       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.

35.       Government of Seychelles. Seychelles National Strategic Framework and Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons 2014-2015. 2014. hardcopy on file.

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

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

38.       Ministry of Education. Education Sector Medium-Term Strategic Plan. Port Louis; 2013. http://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/upload/Seychelles/Seychelles_Education_Sector_Medium_Term_Strategic_Plan_2013-2017.pdf.

39.       Government of Seychelles. Social Security Act, enacted July 5, 2010. http://www.src.gov.sc/resources/Legislations/SocialsecuritAct2010.pdf.

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