Turks and Caicos Islands
2013 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
In 2013, the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) made no advancement in efforts to prevent the worst forms of child labor. Limited evidence suggests that the Islands' 2,000 undocumented children are vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation as a result of human trafficking. The Government lacks a complete legal framework to prevent child labor, including its worst forms. During the reporting period, anti-trafficking legislation remained in draft form. TCI has not established a minimum age for performing hazardous work, leaving children under 18 vulnerable.
Limited evidence suggests that the Islands' 2,000 undocumented children are vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation as a result of trafficking.(1, 2) Table 1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in Turks and Caicos Islands. Data on some of these indicators are not available from the sources used in this report.
|Working children, ages 5 to 14:||Unavailable|
|School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%):||Unavailable|
|Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%):||Unavailable|
|Primary completion rate (%):||91.8|
Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children's work by sector and activity.
|Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡||Commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor as a result of trafficking* (1, 2, 5, 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.
TCI is a destination country for children trafficked for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The Islands' 2,000 undocumented children are vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation as a result of trafficking.(1) Limited evidence suggests that girls from the Dominican Republic are trafficked to TCI for commercial sexual exploitation.(6) Anecdotal information suggests that migrants from Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica are trafficked to the Islands for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; however, it is unclear how many victims are children. Limited evidence suggests that commercial sexual exploitation occurs in bars and brothels in TCI.(1)
Undocumented children and their parents do not have birth certificates. Many undocumented children came to TCI from Haiti, especially after the 2010 hurricane. The TCI Human Rights Commission faces many challenges in obtaining more information on these children.(6)
The TCI Human Rights Commission found that many migrant children were not able to attend public schools due to the lack of space in schools.(6) The TCI Education Department has been tasked to review the problem and to work with Immigration and Border Control on expanding classroom sizes; however, no more information is available on the outcome of these efforts.(4)
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.(7, 8) 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.(9)
The following convention has been extended to the Turks and Caicos Islands (Table 3).
|ILO C. 138, Minimum Age|
|ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor|
|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 relevant laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).
|Minimum Age for Work||Yes||16||Employment Ordinance (10)|
|Minimum Age for Hazardous Work||No|
|List of Hazardous Occupations Prohibited for Children||No|
|Prohibition of Forced Labor||Yes||Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2011 (8)|
|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 Recruitment||N/A*||UK Armed Forces Act 2006 (11)|
|Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service||Combat: Yes||18||UK Armed Forces Act 2006 (11)|
|Compulsory Education Age||Yes||16||Education Ordinance (12)|
|Free Public Education||Yes||Education Ordinance (12)|
*No conscription or no standing military.
Research found no evidence of a minimum age for hazardous work or a comprehensive list prohibiting children from hazardous work.
Research also found no evidence on whether the Government has laws prohibiting the use of children for drug trafficking or other illicit activities. In addition, a child trafficking law remains in draft form, leaving victims of child sex trafficking uprotected.( 1)
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.(11, 13-15)
Although the Government has established an institutional mechanism for the enforcement of criminal laws for Turks and Caicos Islands; it has not established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations specific to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).
|Royal TCI Police Force (RTCIPF)||Enforce Islands' laws within its two divisions: criminal investigation and marine.(16, 17)|
|INTERPOL Manchester's Sub-bureau for TCI||Serve as the link between the RTCIPF and INTERPOL. Provide support to RTCIPF on investigations.(16)|
In 2013, research could not determine whether law enforcement agencies in TCI took actions to investigate or enforce laws relating to child labor, including its worst forms.
The Government has not established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms.
There is limited evidence of a problem in TCI, and therefore it is unclear if the Government needs to develop policies to address child labor, including its worst forms, other than with respect to undocumented children.
In response to the USDOS 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report, the Government's Human Rights Commissioner expressed concern and paid attention to the issue of trafficking and undocumented children on the Islands. However, the report did not contain information on how this issue would be addressed, and research did not uncover any other policies or efforts.( 5)
Research found no evidence of social programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms, in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the prevention of child labor, including its worst forms, in the Turks and Caicos Islands (Table 6).
Table 6. Suggested Government Actions to Prevent Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms