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Fiji Time: 1:21 PM on Thursday 31 July

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Child labour scam

Tevita Vuibau
Saturday, November 10, 2012

AN employer has been charged under child labour laws for employing a 15-year-old boy in his construction company.

Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Jone Usamate confirmed that the child was working at a building site when he fell and broke his arm.

A statement from the Ministry for Labour said the employer was charged by the Child Labour Unit of the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment.

The case is set to be called for mention on November 15 before the Employment Relations Tribunal in Suva.

Any employer or any person employing children outside the provisions of the Employment Relations Promulgation (ERP) will incur fines ranging from $10,000 or two years imprisonment or both for an individual and $50,000 for a corporation.

Mr Usamate said such exploitation of children would not be tolerated and warned that employers practising this would be taken to task.

He revealed that more employers would face the full brunt of the law regarding child labour.

"We are in the process of charging a few other employers who have employed children in hazardous and harmful environments and have breached the provisions of the ERP 2007," Mr Usamate said.

Earlier this week Mr Usamate had stated that no child should be deprived of their education by making them work when they were supposed to be in school.


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