Government of Trinidad and Tobagogov.tt

2021: The Year For Accelerated Action To End Child Labour!

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Trinidad and Tobago joins the international community in commemorating the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

  • What is child labour?

    According to the International Labour Organization, child labour is work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children and interferes with their schooling by:


    • depriving them of the opportunity to attend school;
    • bliging them to leave school prematurely; or
    • requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.


  • Is child labour illegal in Trinidad and Tobago?

    In Trinidad and Tobago, sixteen (16) is the legal age for employment of young persons which means that it is illegal to employ a child under sixteen (16) years. There are exceptions, such as working outside of school hours in a family business in which only members of the child's family are employed or during the holidays, once it is not hazardous to a child’s physical and mental health.

    There are also national laws which carry penalties for employers of a fine of $25,000 and three (3) years prisonment. For parents, the fine is $5,000, if they are found guilty.

  • Who protects children from child labour in Trinidad and Tobago?

    The Labour Inspectorate Unit (LIU) is the enforcement arm of the Ministry of Labour with responsibility for the prevention and elimination of child labour which is undertaken by conducting inspections upon receipt of reports.

    The Labour Inspectorate Unit (LIU) works closely with the Occupational Safety and Health Authority and Agency (OSHA) and the Counter-Trafficking Unit of the Ministry of National Security to conduct investigations as these organizations address reports of hazardous work and the worst forms of child labour, which include trafficking of minors/persons below age 18.

  • Role of the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour

    Recognizing that child labour is not only a labour issue, but a multi-dimensional one; a human rights issue, an education issue, a health issue and a social issue, the Ministry of Labour established the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour comprised of technical experts from organizations across government, civil society and academia with responsibility for the development and protection of children from child labour.

    The Committee’s role is to raise awareness among the population on child labour, develop a national policy to address child labour in Trinidad and Tobago and to provide recommendations to strengthen the capacity of the Labour Inspectorate Unit to enforce the laws on the employment of young persons.

  • What is the implication of the COVID-19 virus on child labour in Trinidad and Tobago?

    Children have become more vulnerable over the last year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and may be vulnerable to being placed in the labour market before they attain the legal age of 16. This is due to the financial challenges brought on by the pandemic.

    All citizens are advised to heed to the call by the Ministry of Labour to allow children to access their education and childhood and not place them in jobs below the legal age.

    There are support services available to alleviate these effects and prevent children from becoming victims of child labour. 

  • What are the support services available for children and families?

    • Welfare grants and psycho-social support services from the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services:

      - Telephone (Toll Free): 800-1673

      - Website: http://www.social.gov.tt

    • Psychological counseling for children and families at ChildLine:

      - Telephone (Toll Free): 131 or 800-4321

      - Website: https://childlinett.org

  • Are chores considered child labour? What about working in a family business?

    Children's or adolescents' participation in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling, is generally regarded as being something positive. This includes activities such as helping their parents care for the home and the family, assisting in a family business or earning pocket money outside school hours and during school holidays. It contributes to the children's development and to the welfare of their families; providing them with skills, attitudes and experience, and helps to prepare them to be useful and productive members of society during their adult life.

  • What are the worst forms of child labour?

    Worst forms of child labour include child sex trafficking, child prostitution, child pornography, child soldiering, using children in the trafficking of drugs, and any work work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

  • How will the Ministry of Labour commemorate World Day Against Child Labour this year?

    World Day Against Child Labour is observed annually by countries worldwide to raise awareness of child labour throughout the world and implement strategies toward the achievement of Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals which aims to end child labour by 2025 globally.

    The Ministry of Labour will launch a week of engaging virtual activities from Thursday June 10 to Thursday June 17 in commemoration of World Day Against Child Labour (June 12). The Ministry of Labour will also continue to engage the public throughout the year on various public education activities on child labour in commemoration of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour: 2021. 

    These activities are collaborative in nature and the Ministry of Labour continues to be supported by the International Labour Organization both financially and through the provision of technical guidance and training.

  • To whom should reports of child labour be made?

    • Children's Authority of Trinidad and Tobago:

      - Telephone (Hotline): 996 or 800-2014

      - Website: https://ttchildren.org/

    • Occupational Safety and Health Authority and Agency (OSHA):

      - Telephone (Hotline)623-6742
        (For reports on hazardous work performed by children and minors below age 18)


      - Website: https://osha.gov.tt/

    • Counter-Trafficking Unit, Ministry of National Security:

      - Telephone (Hotline)800-4288
        (For reports on child trafficking)


      - Website: https://nationalsecurity.gov.tt/


  • Where can persons access more information on child labour?

    Persons can visit the International Labour Organization's website: www.ilo.org  

 
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OUR PLEDGE TO PREVENT AND ELIMINATE CHILD LABOUR 

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As a member state of the International Labour Organization, Trinidad and Tobago pledges its commitment to end child labour by 2025 through the following action areas to be undertaken by the Ministry of Labour's National Steering Committee for the Prevention and the Elimination of Child Labour and the Labour Inspectorate Unit.

 

Pledge pg2

KEY ACTION AREAS (detailed)

  1. The development and implementation of a 6-Step Strategic Compliance Model for the Labour Inspectorate Unit.

    This Model will focus on the movement from traditional enforcement to strategic compliance aimed at ensuring conformity to rules, standards and practices established by national and international standards.  The aim is to ensure that the Labour Inspectorate Unit is provided with the capacity to proactively conduct inspections, thereby ensuring decent work for all.

  2. The establishment of a 'Child Labour Protocol'.

    A "Child Labour Protocol" is required to support a coordinated approach by all agencies and stakeholders, engaged in the protection of children’s rights and the prevention and elimination of child labour.

  3. The development of a light and hazardous work list by sector.

    Given that not all work done by children should be classified as child labour, the Ministry of Labour, is working towards the engagement of stakeholders in the development of a light and hazardous work list aimed at clearly defining the hazardous activities which children should not participate in.

  4. The development of a situational analysis and conduct of a data mapping exercise.

    The Ministry of Labour, has commenced a data mapping exercise, by engaging various agencies (Government/Non-Government) in the submission of data, to inform the development of a situational analysis on child labour in Trinidad and Tobago.

  5. The conduct of primary research by a consultant to assess the situation of child labour in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Primary research, is required to better understand the child labour situation (including the worst forms) in Trinidad and Tobago, to guide the development of a Child Labour Policy towards the prevention and elimination of child labour.

  6. Collaboration with key Government/Non-Government Agencies.

    The Ministry has strengthened its relationships with key stakeholders, through the inclusion of these stakeholders in local and international technical capacity building initiatives, aimed at improving their capacity to support strategies for the prevention and elimination of child labour.

  7. Development of a "National Action Plan for Child Labour".

    The compilation of data from both primary and secondary sources, will support the development of an evidenced based "National Child Labour Policy", supported by a "National Action Plan for Child Labour", inclusive of several communication strategies aimed at preventing and eliminating child labour.

 

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