Section 7. Worker Rights
b. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor
The law prohibits all forms of forced or compulsory labor, including specifically prohibiting the sale or trafficking of children for exploitive labor. The law establishes penalties of 25 years’ imprisonment, a fine of $500,000 East Caribbean dollars (XCD) ($185,000), or both for forced labor, or one million XCD ($370,000) for child trafficking, including forced child labor. The penalties were sufficient to deter violations. The government effectively enforced the law. The law does not sufficiently prohibit, however, the trafficking of children, because it requires the use of force, threats, abuse of power, or other forms of coercion to carry out the offense.
c. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment
The statutory minimum age for employment of children is 16 years. The law permits employment of minors under 18 as long as employers meet certain conditions related to hours, insurance, and working conditions set forth in the labor code. There is no explicit prohibition against children’s involvement in hazardous work. The law allows holiday employment for children under age 16 but does not specify the minimum age, types of work, or number of hours permitted for such work.
Inspectors from the Ministry of Labor enforced the minimum age provision in the formal sector through periodic checks. Enforcement in the informal sector was insufficient, particularly for family farms. There was no information on the adequacy of resources, number of inspections, remediation, penalties, or on whether such penalties were sufficient to deter violations.