ILO Assists Countries to Report on Child Labour Conventions

A regional training workshop, to provide International Labour Organization’s (ILO) member states with technical support on reporting on the child labour conventions, got underway this morning (March 6) at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites in Kingston.
During the four-day workshop, Caribbean member countries of the ILO will be assisted in preparing timely and comprehensive reports on Conventions No. 138 and 182, which focuses on the minimum age for entry into employment and the elimination of the worst forms of child labour, respectively.
Speaking at the official opening of the workshop yesterday (March 5), Minister of Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier, explained that Jamaica was one of several Caribbean countries that have ratified both conventions, and as such, was required to make regular reports on the measures that have been implemented to give effect to these conventions.
In keeping with commitments under the conventions, Minister Kellier noted that the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2000, to collaborate in the implementation of a National Country Programme to progressively reduce and ultimately eliminate the worst forms of child labour.
The Minister further informed that rapid assessments and a national survey were conducted to access the magnitude, nature, consequences and causes of child labour here in Jamaica. A national steering committee on the prevention and elimination of child labour was also established to provide policy guidelines on the activities to combat child labour.
In addition, a new Child Care and Protection Act was promulgated by Parliament. Mr. Kellier noted that under the Act, a Children’s Advocate, to provide legal representation for children, was appointed. There was also the establishment of a Children’s Registrar and a Children’s Registry.
In addition, he said, resources have been allocated to agencies with direct responsibility for children.
These include the Programme for Advancement through Health and Education (PATH); early childhood educational institutions; the Early Childhood Commission; the Child Development Agency; and the Possibility Programme.
He informed that Jamaica was one of few countries in the region that have completed and submitted their first report on Conventions 138 and 182.
The training workshop is a joint effort involving the ILO’s Subregional Office for the Caribbean; the ILO’s International Training Centre in Turin, Italy and the government of Jamaica.
In addition to Jamaica, participating countries are Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

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