- National Project Coordinator, Regional Initiative, International Labour Organization (ILO), Resel Melville, has commended the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) on completing the Jamaica Youth Activity Survey 2016, which aims to bring an end to child labour in Jamaica.
- The survey was designed to collect statistically sound and internationally comparable estimates of key indicators that are used to assess the situation of child labour.
- Speaking at the launch, Ms. Melville said the survey sets a standard and is an example for other nations in the Caribbean and other regions to follow.
National Project Coordinator, Regional Initiative, International Labour Organization (ILO), Resel Melville, has commended the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) on completing the Jamaica Youth Activity Survey 2016, which aims to bring an end to child labour in Jamaica.
The survey was designed to collect statistically sound and internationally comparable estimates of key indicators that are used to assess the situation of child labour.
Conducted by STATIN with support from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the ILO, the survey was launched at the University of the West Indies, Mona, on April 25.
Speaking at the launch, Ms. Melville said the survey sets a standard and is an example for other nations in the Caribbean and other regions to follow.
“This report and these statistics are not only important at the local or national level, but they actually have a very significant impact at the regional level and at the hemispheric level in terms of our efforts and interventions to eliminate and prevent child labour in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Ms. Melville said.
She argued that the report has been launched at the right time, as there are upcoming initiatives where the data will be needed.
“The timing of the release of this report dovetails perfectly with several other key initiatives that the ILO has been collaborating with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Jamaica and others partners in Jamaica on,” Ms. Melville said.
“Jamaica is one of the countries accepted for the pilot application of the Child Labour Risk Identification Model, which has been developed by the Regional Initiative. This particular model will seek to use the country’s existing data to create maps to show the specific areas in the country and the levels of probability or levels of vulnerability to the risk factors for child labour,” she added.
She said that with the survey, various organisations will be better able to target specific areas where children are in need, and define multisectoral actions that will be most effective in addressing, preventing and interrupting the trajectory of child labour.
“At the regional level, Jamaica continues to be a leader in the Caribbean, an exemplar to the other eight countries which have signed on with us for this regional initiative,” Ms. Melville said.
“The other CARICOM members who are currently considering joining the regional initiative are looking at the examples and the leadership of Jamaica, in terms of its activities and interventions,” she added.
Ms. Melville said that in the next two weeks, there will be the third face-to-face meeting of the focal-point network for a regional initiative, which brings together the country representatives from all of the participating countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. At this meeting, the data from the survey will also be analysed.
“This particular meeting is important, because it is not only going to provide us with a status report on the progress that the Regional Initiative has made in the past year or four years but it also maps an event for strategic planning for what we consider to be the second phase of the regional initiative,” she said.
The Jamaica Youth Activity Survey 2016 is the first stand-alone survey of children’s activities conducted nationally.
Objectives of the survey were to collect comprehensive information on children’s engagement in economic activities; improve information on working children, child labour and hazardous work at the national and regional levels; strengthen the capacity of the Government of Jamaica to conduct future data collection, research and analysis of child labour and to use information collected to monitor Sustainable Development Goal 8, Target 8.7.
The survey found that approximately 53,274 children participated in economic activities and were working between five and 17 years of age (33,436 boys and 19,838 girls). The survey also found that 37,965 of the children engaged in child labour, which refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children and interferes with their schooling.