The Ministry of Employment, Productivity an Industrial Relations has over the past eight years dealt with 231 cases of child labour in the country.
This was highlighted by the Ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Osea Cawaru as he opened a workshop in the western division on 2019 World Day against Child Labour.
“Our current labour legislation, through the Employment Relations Act 2007 is being enforced by the Ministry to ensure no child is employed during school hours and officials carry out routine inspections, spot checks, awareness and advice on the importance of children being in school,” he said.
“Since 2011, we have dealt with 231 cases of child labour in Fiji. I am glad to announce that these children have returned to school. Some of these children are now enrolled into technical and vocational training programs.”
Attended by students from over ten schools from Nadi, to alow them to be more aware of issues pertaining to child labour, PS Cawaru added that there were various aspects of learning which were not child labour.
“Children and Teachers, this does not mean that all work done by children is ‘child labour’ such as, assisting your parents or guardian on backyard gardening,” Mr Cawaru added.
“Moreover, school based activities like having school gardens and agricultural projects are not classified as child labour. They are part of your holistic education and learning development.”