JIS News

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Horace Dalley has said that the government has been taking proactive steps to curb incidents of child labour in the country.
To this end, he said, the government has partnered with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Programme on Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) to implement a country programme “to progressively reduce and ultimately eliminate child labour in Jamaica.”
Minister Dalley, who was making his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on May 17, said in pursuit of the goal, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica conducted a national survey which revealed that in 2002,16,420 children, between the ages of five and 17, were engaged in some form of economic activity.
“Based on the ILO’s definition of Child Labour,” Minister Dalley said, “the conclusion was that 7,500 children were economically active, 75 per cent of which were males.” He told the House that awareness of the issue of child labour was heightened by way of the production and distribution of a CD titled, ‘Let Us Try’ which was shown at several public events across the island through a mobile exhibition. Additionally, a video was produced on child labour in Jamaica, along with brochures, flyers, and posters, all of which were also produced and widely distributed.
“During the life of the programme, three initiatives were implemented with a target of withdrawing and rehabilitating 600 children from hazardous work and preventing an additional 300 from joining the work force at a cost of $10 million,” he informed.
Furthermore, the Minister said, “in keeping with plans to institutionalise the programme in the Ministry, training seminars for labour inspectors were conducted with a view of formulating systems and procedures to address incidents of child labour when identified at the workplace”.
According to the Labour and Social Security Minister, a national plan of action that will chart the way forward has been drafted by members of the National Steering Committee on Child Labour, labour inspectors, the Ministry, government and non governmental organisations.

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