JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Director of Social Security in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Denzil Thorpe, says the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) plays an essential role in reducing child labour across the island.
  • “Over 70 per cent of PATH beneficiaries are children because if we get the children to go to school then the incidents of child labour will be reduced,” he said.
  • Approximately 16,240 Jamaican children are involved in child labour. This is in comparison to the 168 million child labour cases worldwide.

Director of Social Security in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Denzil Thorpe, says the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) plays an essential role in reducing child labour across the island.

“We find that children, especially those who are poor and who live in the rural areas, are being pulled from schools to participate in economic activities. So PATH is here to provide the poorest in our society with targeted social safety net programmes that will enable them to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty. PATH provides that social protection to prevent child labour,” Mr. Thorpe said.

He was speaking at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Social Protection and Child Labour Strategy Meeting, held in recognition of World Day Against Child Labour, which was observed on June 12.

Mr. Thorpe also said PATH strategically targets children more than any other vulnerable group. “Over 70 per cent of PATH beneficiaries are children because if we get the children to go to school then the incidents of child labour will be reduced,” he said.

An independent survey conducted by the MLSS has revealed that boys are more likely than girls to be removed the formal education system in order to help substitute their families’ incomes. To combat this problem, PATH allocates more funds to boys to keep them in schools.

Meanwhile, Director of the Child Labour Unit, Marva Ximinnies also underscored the relevance of social protection strategies in tackling child labour in Jamaica.

Pointing to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) annual report she said “social protection has a key role in preventing child labour by reducing economic vulnerability of families, enabling children to go to school and protecting them from exploitation.”

Approximately 16,240 Jamaican children are involved in child labour. This is in comparison to the 168 million child labour cases worldwide.