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State steps up fight against child labour

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

FINDINGS from a survey that was conducted at 146 schools across the country last year will be used to effectively construct a national action plan to combat the worst forms of child labour in Fiji.

This was revealed by the Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Jone Usamate at the opening of the Fiji National Child Labour Forum on Monday.

"In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, our Child Labour Unit conducted training to 347 teachers in 146 schools in all divisions in 2012. At the same time a survey was conducted in these 146 schools to collect data on the number of children who are employed during and after school," he said.

"The findings of this school-based survey will add value to drafting of the national plan of action for the elimination of worst forms of child labour which is scheduled for completion in March 2013 for stakeholder consultation before implementation by the end of the second quarter of 2013," he added.

Mr Usamate said through the national action plan, it was hoped that child labour would be more effectively monitored and addressed in the country. "Through the national plan of action, we need to create a synergy that will lead to action. It will lead to results. It must impact on our nation, our region and the world to remind everyone that our children deserve the very best choices in life, including employment."

Heads and representatives from the European Union, government departments, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Fiji Police Force, trade unions and non-government organisations involved in combatting child labour and the media participated in the three-day forum.


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