THE Fiji Trades Union Congress and Fiji Teachers Union mobilised schools and communities to prevent 300 at risk children from engaging in child labour.
Aged between six and 14, the children were retained in the formal education system through the provision of school fees and stationery and uniform grants.
According to FTU general secretary Agni Deo Singh, this assistance was made possible through the union's scholarship fund which has been in operation for more than 30 years. The scholarship funds are derived from member subscriptions.
"We identified 25 schools through field surveys and then students were identified through parent-teacher interviews," he said.
Although several action plans for the prevention strategy were put in place, he said there was an immense need for assistance.
Mr Singh's presentation at the National Child Labour Forum held in Cuvu, Sigatoka over the past three days prompted participants to discuss ways in which the organisation could be used effectively in the fight against child labour.
Ministry of Education's principal education officer and human resources manager Apao Solomone said they would try to restore relations with the FTU to tackle child labour.