188 cases of child labour

According to the Minister for Employment Jone Usamate, his ministry received about 188 cases of child labour in the past five years. Interesting to note that the ministry has just received five cases for 2016. This could be attributed to the team from the Employment Ministry which started labour inspection and created awareness programs for employers to combat child labour. Furthermore, the child labour unit of the Employment Ministry will go ahead to embark on greater awareness on child labour in communities and villages to ensure that children are not seen to be in child labour during school hours.

The efforts of ILO and FTUC in facilitating the Tackle project, which was a success, must be commended. However, I am concerned about the unreported cases of child labour that need to be tracked and addressed. It is important that the factors leading up to child labour are addressed. Some of these factors include the escalating cost of living, family break-ups, school dropout and peer pressure. Children may be forced to work and miss an opportunity to complete their basic education. Thus, schools should be used as the platform to raise awareness on child labour.

I also express my sympathy to the family of the late Subhash Singh, the former principal of Labasa Sangam and Seaqaqa Central College. Mr Singh was a humble leader and wonderful English teacher and had a habit of lighting up his classes with humour. Isa, I have fond moments and memories of the short stay at Labasa College in 2000. His dedicated services as a spiritual leader, teacher and administrator will be cherished. The vanua of Macuata has indeed lost a fatherly figure. May Mr Singh’s soul rest in peace!

As I conclude, like many diehard rugby fans, I eagerly await the naming of our 7s coach. My instinct tells me that 7s trainer and the understudy to Ryan, Naca Cawanibuka, is going to get the nod to coach our 7s team ahead of many applicants. With bated breath I cling to the hope of a positive decision by FRU.

More Stories