PHILIPSBURG--The police will not be taking any action against the performance of 11-year-old sensation Tamelia, who is scheduled to perform at the Zouk and More International Concert set for St. Maarten Festival Village on April 29 from 8:00pm.
Police Spokesperson Inspector Ricardo Henson said the acting minister of Labour Rita Bourne-Gumbs has granted permission for the performance and as a result the police will not be taking any action.
St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) was told last week that permission had been granted for the performance under certain conditions. The conditions are that the performance of the child should not go beyond 10:00pm, the performance should not take place in an obscene environment and the performance should take place under parental guidance.
Permission was given in anticipation of new legislation/policy related to cultural and artistic performances of children and youth. The 11-year-old is expected to be the opening act at the concert tonight.
SCDF had asked Labour Minister Rita Bourne-Gumbs for clarity on the matter after Inspector General Dr. Earl Best said the Labour Inspectorate would be investigating the matter.
SCDF was told that the matter was discussed with Head of the Labour Affairs Agency Peggy-Ann Dros-Richardson and Best and consensus was reached on how the performance should be approached.
SCDF President Michael Granger had told The Daily Herald earlier that SCDF does not consider the performance of the young artiste child exploitation. He had said 11-year-old Tamelia will be performing for between 10 and 20 minutes for free at the start of the concert in an effort to showcase her talent. The minor's parent will also be there with her.
Granger had said that denying the child the permission to perform would have opened a Pandora's Box because there were many other youth shows that are held during and outside of Carnival with minors performing and showcasing their talent including the Junior Calypso show, Junior Queen Pageant and the talent shows held outside of carnival.
The country's current labour law prohibits labour by children under the age of 12. According to the labour laws children between the ages of 12 and 15 can perform certain types of labour under specified conditions. Labour is permitted for children from ages 15 to 18 with the exception of labour during night hours (7:00pm to 7:00am).
Under all circumstances, further conditions and rules as prescribed by the articles of the labour law that have to be adhered to. Persons violating these regulations are subject to fines and prosecution.
Children and youth may never work between the hours of 7:00pm and 7:00am. These laws are based on the National ordinance on Labour Regulations (AB 2013 GT no. 15) article 2 sub1, article 4, article18, article19, article 20 and the national decree on labour by youth (AB2013 GT no. 532).