Not all work is child labour: Director Secondary

Natabua High School student Yuvnel Sharma speaks during the World Day against Child Labour in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

NOT all work done by children is child labour, says Ministry of Education director secondary education Emosi Lutunaika. Speaking at the Work Day Against Child Labour celebrations in Lautoka yesterday, he said people needed to understand what was defined as ‘work’ under International Labour Organisation conventions governing child labour. “Not all work done by children should be classified as child labour, children or adolescents participation at work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling is generally regarded as being something very positive,” said Mr Lutunaika. “This includes activities such as helping parents around the home, sweeping, cleaning and picking up rubbish. “These types of activities contribute to children’s development and the welfare of their families. “They provide skills and experience and help prepare them to be productive members of society during their adult life.” Also speaking at the event, ILO director for Pacific Island Countries Donglin Li said children as young as 15 could work as long as it did not interfere with their social and educational development and health. “People ask me why students cannot do work but I tell them that’s a misunderstanding,” said Mr Li. “You can do some work provided it does not affect, education, health and career and mental development.”

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