Child Labour in Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands government has ratified the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 1999 (No.182) and the Minimum Age Conventions 1973 (No.138) in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Although efforts have been made to implement the necessary changes to legislations and policies, stakeholders currently lack the capacity to implement the International Labour Standards and provide sufficient reporting on these. The ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries is currently providing technical support to assist in this regard.

The ILO’s Pacific Sub-regional Child Labour and Trafficking programme has conducted the first ever National Child Labour Forum in the Solomon Islands in August 2014 with excellent participation and collaboration from stakeholders which included government ministries, employers organizations, workers unions, UN agencies, NGO’s and the media. The stakeholders identified key areas of child labour that needed to be addressed immediately.

One of the priorities identified was the need for adequate information regarding the nature of child labour in the Solomon Islands. A Rapid Assessment research was undertaken by the ILO in September 2014 as a direct outcome of the forum and this research has found that child labour, especially the Worst Forms of Child Labour is found in the Solomon Islands. Priority now must be given to the elimination of this as required under the ILO Conventions.

Priority national actions were proposed by stakeholders as an initial step to developing a National Action Plan to eliminate child labour in Solomon Islands. Stakeholders also identified the types of child labour, including hazardous child labour that exists in Solomon Islands and highlighted the need for additional technical training on child labour inspections, strategies and approaches, legislative review and conducting national child labour awareness.