The Guam Youth Congress, during session over the weekend, unanimously passed legislation repealing a law that allows minors to work for free as an apprentice or as an indentured laborer.
Guam Youth Congress’ Tristan X.V. Quintanilla introduced Bill 21-32 which repeals the law which he described as outdated and irrelevant.
Under the current law, a minor, aged 14 years or above, may be bound by indenture as an apprentice to any mechanical trade, farming, or art up to the age of 18, if female, or 26, if male.
“Chapter 10 Title 19 of the Guam Code Annotated, known as the Master-Apprentice law, is a bygone law from an old era that allows for minors to be indentured into servitude. Something that I believe no one here would like to see standing on the books and something that I don’t think anyone here would like to allow to continue to exist,” Quintanilla said.
Bill Number 21-32 was passed by the Guam Youth Congress with 19 yes votes, zero no votes, and seven excused absences.
The law also has a provision allowing the Superior Court, with the minor’s consent, to bind a homeless minor or an orphan as an apprentice.