THE Labour Ministry is working with the sugar industry to ensure under-aged children are not employed during this cane-harvesting season.
Labour Standards director Vilimone Baledrokadroka said they have conducted training on child labour issues with stakeholders highlighting to them the required ages of employment and the kind of jobs prescribed.
"We have completed our training in the sugar cane areas in all divisions, training stakeholders about the law and the penalties," he said.
"The training also highlighted to stakeholders the risks involved if they breach the child labour laws and it is a set standard by the European Union.
"So if there are reports of child labour then Fiji could lose out on the quotas provided to us by the EU through our buyers and the preferential price which is higher than the world market price.
"And we can't afford that because it's a major loss and the nation can't afford that, especially when we rely on sugar and the many households that depend on it. So it will be a huge loss across the nation."
Mr Baledrokadroka said the review of child labour laws under the Employment Promulgation included an increase to the existing fine.
"The penalties are even heavier now if employers employ under-age children," he added.
So far, the ministry has not received any report of child labour from the cane harvesting sector.