As the world observes World Day Against Child Labour today (June 12) which is a worldwide movement geared towards ending child labour, Minister of Labour and Social Security Pearnel Charles Jr is calling for urgent public action to combat all forms of child labour.
In a video message to commemorate the day, Minister Charles referenced a 2016 Youth Activity Survey conducted by STATIN which revealed that 37,000 children were exposed to child labour, and its recent Child Labour Risk Model has identified that close to 54,000 children are at risk for child labour.
“This presents a clear and present danger and it requires urgent public action as my Ministry continues to lead programmes at the community level to combat all forms of child labour,” the Labour Minister said.
He noted that the highest risk of child labour has been identified in the parishes of Portland and St Thomas.
He also underscored that the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, Clarendon, Trelawny, Saint James, Hanover and St Elizabeth present worrying trends of child labour.
“Children in Jamaica have been engaged in economic activity related to fisheries, small construction activities, night clubs and bars, agriculture, dry goods peddling and other informal commercial activities. It is important for parents and children to be aware of the distinction now between child labour and child work,” Charles Jr said.
He added that: “When a parent gives a child a domestic activity such as a chore or some learning experience that is child work and its quite acceptable once it does not expose the child tohazards nor prevent their educational and social development.”
Child labour refers to work that deprives children of their childhood and potential dignity. World Day Against Child Labour 2023 is being championed under the theme ‘Social Justice for All. End Child. Labour!’.
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